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Thread: Kiwifruit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    317

    Default Kiwifruit

    Has anyone had any good or bad experience growing either fuzzy or Hardy Kiwi? The information I see indicates bees like it and it likes bees. The plants I have seen information on that work best in our area have green fruit that has no fuzz, they are supposed to be about the size of a grape, the fruit is supposed to be very tasty. The plants supposedly benefit from insect pollination. I have eaten the fuzzy fruit and thought is was good!
    Myron Denny
    Glencoe Okla

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    I tried arctic kiwi. I don't know what the bees thought because I couldnt keep it alive long enough to find out. I'm a pretty decent gardener, just couldnt seem to keep kiwis alive. That's my experience anyhow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,192

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    The Fuzzy grows fine in my yard. USDA zone 9.
    Problem I have is it ripens around Oct-Nov. We have to bring them in the house to ripen them sealed in a bag with an apple. They never seem sweet enough, & the core is a little hard even though the meat is soft with good flavor.
    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    HB&K farms in Dundee Oregon is one of the only farms in the united states that is certified to sell Kiwi honey because of his large kiwi farm and could probably tell you more about kiwis than you ever wanted to know, He told me that they are labor intensive if you want a sellable crop they needed pruned 3 times a year. And that regular migratory workers don't like pruning them because they grow on trellises overhead and you need to be looking up the whole time your prunning....
    Honeydew

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    I'm interested in the selling of kiwifruit honey I dont know how this would be possible, to my knowledge kiwifruit rarely produce any nectar at all.

    When it comes to bees pollinating kiwifruit they dont like it, because there is none or very little nectar production, they wont work it by choice.
    you have to feed them sugar syrup the whole time they are in the orchard to get them interested in collecting the kiwifruit pollen.
    It's a nightmare and really bad for the hives the brood nest gets clogged up with sugar syrup reducing the laying area for your queen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,192

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    My bees spend almost no time on the kiwi. The one hive is practically under the arbor. I always assumed there was something better in bloom at the time.
    The 2 female vines I have produce, hundreds of fruits without the bees help though.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    Hardy Kiwi is what I am interested in, they are smooth not fuzzy, the info I read indicates the bees are very much attracted to them. It might be that kiwi attracts bees differently in different parts of the world?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    I am in Zone 10 on the central coast of California.

    I think the Fuzzy Kiwi is one of the best fruit plants/trees one can have.

    They take about 5 years to become productive, You need a male and female and they do have to be pruned (a bit like grapes)

    I find the Fuzzy Kiwi need some time in the fridge to ripen well. I pick mine starting after Thanksgiving and ending at New Years. I place them in grocery bags with the date marked on them in the fridge and let them sit (with out other fruit that will rush the ripening process). Some of the first ones picked start wrinkling a bit and become soft starting 30-45 days later in January . That’s when they start being really good. Over time the rest will ripen. Today I was eating from bags marked 12/7/10. With a little luck I should make it well into April this year.

    I have tried to “quick ripen” in a bag with a banana but never had much luck.

    I have two producing females, age 12 and 6, and I have a 4 and 5 year old that are just starting to produce.

    This year and had to get a used fridge to keep the fruit.

    If you don’t prune them you can get a lot of small fruit, I tossed out about one third of the crop because it was too small to deal with and I ran out of fridge space. I only prune once a year so far. This year I tried to prune better to reduce the amount of fruit and try to increase the size.

    Around the corner from me is a 20 acre patch of Fuzzy Kiwi. They bring in new boxes of bees each year so the bees don’t know about other sources and will pollinate the Kiwi. I see more bumble bees on mine then bees.

    As for the hardy Kiwi I have some plants but have not had a male plant so I don’t know how they work yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Juan Is. WA state
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    We have a commercial planting of hardy kiwis and they take a lots of pruning for fruit size and a very strong trellis system to handle the fruit load. The bees do love the blossoms but sometimes in the Northwest our unstable weather is too cool when they bloom and the wild bees handle much of the job for us. They are a wonderful and healthy fruit to grow. We also grow fuzzies. We pick them in November and store them in cold storage with high humidity until late January when we take them out and start warming them up to ripen.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Christchurch New Zealand
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Kiwifruit

    I used to have an orchard in the North of New Zealand (Kerikeri) and had about 8 acres of Kiwifruit. I also had hives for pollination purposes as Kiwifruit need to be pollinated by bees (or if you're really keen, by hand) You need two plants. One a male, which flowers a little earlier than the female plant but generally bares enough flower for the full female pollination. Bee hives are usually manipulated so as when the orchardist wants the pollination done, the hives that come in for pollination have been previously positioned where there is lots of nectar. When the bees are brought in, the hives are there for about 2 to 3 weeks then removed... & job all done.
    Kiwifruit vines will cope with some frost and generally dont mind frosts of say 5 -8degrees but not snow! They are a sub-tropical plant. If you have them planted in a area which gets snow, I suggest TRYING to wrapping them up with straw. (especially the trunk and main leader.) When the bees are in the orchard, they certainly are active within the vines. Its a great sight and sound. If there is a supply of nectar bearing trees (such as citrus) that might be flowering at the same time (generally in a diff part of the season) then the bees will go "walk-about" but pollination still is seeming to be done. Maybe the orchardists are bringing in a few more hives if the neighbours are growing something more palatable to the bees. By the way, if you don't have the male vine and a female vine, the fruit will be tiddlers and very few in number. Grafting is dead easy and if you only want one plant, graft both on one root stock but clearly identify the male part of the vine as it's the one that gets pruned back to just a trunk straight after flowering is over with.
    Cheers

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