The Fruit Garden

Care & Cultivation Of Kiwis & Kiwiberries

Care & Cultivation Of Kiwis & Kiwiberries
Kiwi fruits are vigorous climbers and can easily reach a great height, although they are best trained on horizontal wires on a warm wall and pruned to keep in check.

When planting choose the site carefully ensuring you give the plant enough space to develop, as once established plants are difficult to move. Plant against a fence or onto support wires placed at 30 to 45cm (12-18in) apart. For more than one, plant 2 to 3m (6-10ft) apart. Kiwis prefer an acidic, well-drained soil. Choose a sunny position that is sheltered from strong winds.

Apply mulch of organic material, composted bark or compost around the base after planting, avoiding direct contact with the vine to prevent crown rot.

During the first summer ensure the plant does not dry out particularly in windy conditions, check the plants on a regular basis to ensure that the shoots are tied in to the supporting framework and feed with a nitrogen feed regularly. Mulch generously in spring, again avoiding direct contact with the vine.

Prune in winter for best fruit production. During the first few years trim occasionally as required. After 3-4 years, the plant should be pruned annually to 8-12 shoots and thin out weak stems. Fruit are borne on 2-3-year-old stems.

The fruits will drop off or pull off easily when they are ripe. You can also harvest when fruits are mature and ripen them off the vine.

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