new zealand kiwi fruit

In April last year I planted some seeds from an over ripe grocery store fuzzy kiwi, they grew about a foot tall by the end of the year and wintered over during last year's severe winter. This year I have 10 vines with main stems almost a half inch in diameter and which have twined around a wooden trellis I built. They're about 15 feet tall, very exotic looking with their hairy red stems and lush foliage. My question is, last year I simply mulched the vines under a leaf pile to protect them- but I didn't really care if they survived; this year I've grown attached to them, but I have no idea how to get them through our New York winters. Should I lay the trellis on the ground (with vines) and mulch them with hay- maybe with a top-dressing of soil? Does anyone have experience growing fuzzy kiwi fruit outdoors in climate zone 6-7? -Ken
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wrote:

My Australian "Yates Garden Guide" lists them as suitable for mild to temperate climates but preferably in areas that don't have late frosts.
Although I now live in a sub-tropical zone, I did have Kiwi Fruit while living in further south, in Canberra and Victoria, both areas with snow and frost during winter. Normally I just pruned them back like a grape vine toward the end of winter, after the fruit matured and they did the right thing come spring. Prune the laterals back to to or three above the last season, thin them if it is getting too dense.
New Zealand, the origin of the Kiwi Name, is a popular winter skiing destination so I guess there is a chance that they could handle cold winters without problem. They won't grow where I am now, unfortunately, it is too warm for them.
They do need both a male and a female vine to bear fruit, and it takes four years for the first fruit. That may pose a problem as you have grown these from seed.
Regards
Jeff
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Their lowest zone rating is 8, so you are out of luck. They will also take 5 years to fruit, though that might be reduced if you feed and water them a lot. I think if you lay down the trellis and cover with hay or leaves they will survive, but do you realize how much work this will be? These vines grow to be 100 ft long, as thick as my arm, in 6-7 years. They need to be pruned heavily to set fruit properly. Plus you will need a male to set fruit, not clear that you have one. Other than that they are great looking vines which produce huge amounts of spray-free, nutritious, long-lasting fruits (properly preserved, they last into April).
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Well, that sounds like fun. If you got them through the first winter, you can probably keep them alive even easier now that they are bigger. You will probably have to handle them the way I have to handle seedless grapes up here. I prune them in the fall after the leaves are gone and lay them on the ground so I can cover them. The trunks are going to get thick and hard to bend so plan ahead. I train the grape trunks to be close to the ground until I bend them up to the trellis 5 or 6 feet away from where they grow out of the ground. I have no idea how long the growing season has to be to get ripe Kiwi fruit. You're into it now so you can tell us in a few years. Lets hope at least one vine is male and at least one isn't. I've often thought I might try growing some Kiwi fruit. I wouldn't dare try the fuzzy kind but there are some small smooth skinned species that can take some cold and a short season.
Steve in the Adirondacks
kettlink wrote:

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hiya. well i have had great fun growing kiwi the last couple of years.
live in shropshire in the uk and it can get very cold. -12c las winter.
i grow my kiwi (one male and one female) up a south facing brick wal to get some residual warmth from the bricks. you can get a self fertil kiwi, thus eliminating the pair!! last winter it got very cold as said above. all the leaves fell off my kiwi and the main stem seemed t die and go rigid and woody. I cut the female down to the ground bu left the male. Thats all i did. no mulching or plastic sheeting o similar.
Come spring, the male started to sprout new leaves from the old "dead stem and the female started to sprout new growth and leaders from th stem at the ground.
After further research at my local garden centre, they inform me tha kiwi's only fruit on stems over a year old (like grapes) and that will need to prune back leaders once i have the shape i want as the may get to over 100ft long!!!
The female plant hasn't developed as well as the male plant this yea and i think that this is my fault for hacking her to the ground. Thi year i will leave well alone, and hopefully get some nice fruit nex year when the female is mature. The male is currently trying to flowe so i should get some fruit if the two plants get their timing right!!
The trick is going to be setting and ripening the fruit in our shor summers..............
- meekl ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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Kiwi fruit form on the current seasons growth...ie: the shoots/canes that form during the current spring. Hacking the vine off at ground level is probably going to be fatal (to the plant). Male and female flowers grow on different vines the problem being the female flower has no nectar and bees show little interest. You will find some info,with pruning pic at.. http://berrygrape.oregonstate.edu/fruitgrowing/berrycrops/kiwi/kiwiprun.htm Asearch in 'google' will also bring up numerous good sites with more info. best wishes....kelvyn (from new zealand..the home of kiwifruit)
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-------snip-------

More accurately, "home of the kiwi". The home of the kiwi FRUIT, on the other hand, is in southeast Asia.
--
Stan Goodman
Qiryat Tiv'on
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We only know it as 'kiwifruit' Stan....one word...the rest of the world seems to refer to it as just 'kiwi'..(that is a bird here)
--
No guinea pigs were harmed in the writing or sending of this post.

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Very well. Your tagline said: "from new zealand..the home of kiwifruit". But the home of the "kiwifruit" (whether one word or two) is not New Zealand, but Southeast Asia.
The original questioner said explicitly in the subject line: "New Zealand kiwi", obviously referring to the fruit, which is incorrect.
--
Stan Goodman
Qiryat Tiv'on
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