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What do hardy kiwis like for microclimate?

 
Troy Rhodes
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I have 3 hardy kiwis headed my way and due to arrive soon.  I live in the banana belt of Michigan along the southern border. 

Annanasnaja arguta kiwi.

What sort of microclimate and soil/moisture do hardy kiwis prefer?

Anybody have a favorite trellis system?  The vines can apparently get quite prolific and need a lot of support.

Thanks in advance.

troy
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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mine came in pots and sat on my windowsill for about a month (mid mich)..i planted them out this week on either side of a trellis arbor ..there wasn't a whole lot of information in any of my books about them but I do know they like good soil and mulch and plenty of moisture..partial shade esp at the roots..

hope this helps..i put in one male and one female and one self pollinating Issai..
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Ive heard that they need protection from early frosts, protection on the root areas and good sun exposure. I have mine growing on the east side of my house so it gets good sun, and is in a cool enough area in the spring so it doesn't pop buds too soon. I grow mine up against my house so it gets the added protection that way. As far as a trellis, it depends on you really. I prefer to keep mine smaller so I have a smaller trellis, and I prune it to get good fruit but also to keep it bushy, not viney. Make sense?
 
Suzie Browning
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Location: Southwestern Ohio
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Does anyone know what the root system of Hardy Kiwis are like?  (Are the massive like top growth?)
 
John Saltveit
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I use a trellis system with two 4x4's, vertically cemented in a  hole.  Then I put a 2x4 above them. It works perfectly.  They will like full sun.  I always cut back the males after flowering, because that's all they are good for.  Careful about the depth of planting-not too deep or shallow. Kiwis are extremely sensitive to this.  I usually hand pollinate, because kiwi pollen is not so attractive to insects.  If I don't I still get many fruits, just not as many.  They are yummy and problem free once established. You just have to prune them, like labrusca table grapes.  I moved so I had to leave them behind. Kiwis don't like to be transplanted, but hardies can grow from cuttings. So can arctics.  They need steady moisture. The root system is pretty normal. About what you'd expect from the plant of that size.
John S
PDX OR
 
John Polk
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Ah, the banana belt of Michigan.  Lovely area.  I spent a summer @ Klinger Lake (near Sturgis).

A word of caution about kiwis:  If you have cats, try to keep them away from the plants.  The plants put out an aroma that is like catnip to the feline critters.  They have been known to dig up the plants, trying to get to the source of the nose candy.
 
John Saltveit
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I have heard that the catnip effect is true for arctic kiwis.  I never had a problem in about 8 years.  I have not heard that it is a problem for other kiwis. There are like 100 species of kiwis.
John S
PDX OR
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I enjoyed folks comments and experience on these - in several kiwi threads. Would love to see pictures of your vines.

I also have the self pollinating Issai, in a large pot on my patio. It grew fairly nicely the first year (USDA zone 8a, on a West-facing cement patio), then was neglected for a year at a nearby relative's (under the NE eaves of their house) while my place was under construction. The trellis was ripped out by the wind and the plant seemed dead, though the alchemilla/lady's mantle in the pot with it was HUGE, thriving and taking over. When I retrieved it (again putting it on my West-facing patio) it put out some little sprouts, which withered and died quickly.

I kept the plant in the pot and this year (I've moved and now have a NE-facing patio where I placed it out from under the cover where it gets rain, but not much wind) another a little green bud is sprouting low on the main stem. When I noticed this last week, I removed the alchemilla in case that was sucking all the moisture away from the kiwi and now I hope to keep it evenly moist and well fertilized with fish fertilizer this year to see if it comes back. (Kiwis like moist, rich soil, I hear.) If it doesn't, I'll replace it.

So now, either for this plant or a new one, I have questions about creating a little container guild, in addition to microclimate.

For shading the roots in the pot, I have other containers clustered around it, and/or I could move the pot so it sits more in the shade during the hotter months.

For the top of the soil, and shading the top of the roots, I've planted some sweet violet and a primrose for now, and tucked in some sprouting garlic cloves around the perimeter where there didn't seem to be any root competition. Might move in some other shallow-rooted herbs to thoroughly cover the top.

What do you grow as a root-shading living mulch for your hardy kiwi?


 
lil hodgins
Posts: 43
Location: s w france
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they grow them commercially in my area and they water them quite a bit, they are grown on stakes and wires ......... I planted an autofertile in my garden but have had no fruit yet, maybe this year !
 
Isaac Hill
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Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
What do you grow as a root-shading living mulch for your hardy kiwi?




Clover!
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 365
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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John S, PDX OR wrote:I have heard that the catnip effect is true for arctic kiwis.  I never had a problem in about 8 years.  I have not heard that it is a problem for other kiwis. There are like 100 species of kiwis.
John S
PDX OR


I have kolomiktas, and they have suffered feline depredation. It was a problem for awhile, but now they're big enough to withstand some abuse. When they were small, I'd find the leaves stripped off and the stems covered with cat hair. Now they're blooming, but I only have females. It appears that the male cultivars I've tried are less hardy than the females, so I'm trying some others. A couple of females have survived here in Fairbanks since the late '80s, and went eight years with no care whatsoever; they were still alive when I moved back in 1997. They're planted on the south side of the house, but are in partial shade.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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