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Planting kiwi & pruning kiwi
Feb 21, 2012 - Charlotte from Peaceful Valley
Not all kiwis are fuzzy. There’s your fun fruit fact for the day!
Hardy kiwi vines, like the Issai Kiwi we carry, will produce smooth, not fuzzy, fruit in a range of climates in USDA zones 4-9.
Watch Tricia plant kiwi in our new video and see her tips on growing this satisfying fruit.
Remember, the prime requirement for kiwis is good drainage. It’s also necessary to pull any perennial weeds from the site. In our video about growing kiwis Tricia added a sprinkler to her drip irrigation system to give her vine the moist, but not waterlogged, soil it needs for good root growth. Water is key for kiwis to bear their heavy crops.
Although these vines are winter hardy while dormant, young vines can be winter killed. In the wintertime it’s a good idea to wrap the trunk of the hardy kiwi vine while it is young (1 - 4 years old).
Kiwi vines will cooperate with a number of trellising styles. You can plant them at the corners of a large arbor, train them along trellises, or grow them espalier style along fences. Choose your support system and install it before you plant the kiwi vines. The hardy kiwi vines we carry are moderately vigorous and will grow about 6’ - 12’ a year, much less then their fuzzy cousins that can grow as much as 30’ in a year.
TRAINING & PRUNING KIWI VINES
Kiwi vines need strong support since they can produce 50 - 100 pounds of fruit each year! Our video shows you examples of trellis systems. The Oregon State University Extension has more details on exact measurements for trellises.
* Your first job is to help the vine develop one, straight trunk by tying it loosely to a stake as it grows. This is the major growth of the first year. If side branches reach the level of the first wire supports, you can leap ahead and begin the training that usually occurs in the second season.
* The second season of growth is when you want to encourage two arms (or cordons) on opposite sides of the vine. When you have two good shoots reach the first level of wire, drape one in each direction on top of the wire and tie them loosely.
* Allow new shoots to grow from the cordons, and train them toward upper wires, being careful not to let them wrap around the wires.
* Prune these cordons and the lateral canes in the dormant season back to wood that is 1/4” or larger in diameter.
* In the third season train the lateral shoots perpendicular to the cordons. You do not want them to be parallel to the cordons because they would block the sunlight.
* Do your dormant pruning in the third season to leave 15 - 20 lateral canes across the cordons of the vine. The kiwi fruit will grow on the canes from the previous year.
* By the fourth year your kiwi vine structure will be in place.
Dormant pruning for mature kiwi vines will be a regular process of renewing fruiting canes. The pruning becomes more complicated in a mature vine and is well explained by the the Oregon State University Extension article.
The technique for pruning kiwi vines is the same as for muscadine grapes.
Categories: Kiwi Vine, Grape Vines, Wine Grape Vine, Table Grape Vine
Growing GuidesKiwi Planting & Growing Guide
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