The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hardy Kiwi ground protection

mulching the kiwi plants with aged wood chips

We put a healthy layer of aged wood chips on the Hardy Kiwis today.

All three plants produced plenty of new vines this year but no fruit.

The wood chips should increase their ground protection, which might be enough to give them a boost in the Spring growth spurt of 2013.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I've been meaning to ask... we have a single kiwi vine here... I know there are males and females. I have a dumb question: How do we tell which one we have?
Comment by Shannon Mon Oct 15 18:32:04 2012
Shannon --- That's not a dumb question, but unfortunately you need to catch one in bloom and then just peer into the flower to see if there are stamens or pistils. There is actually at least one variety that is supposed to have both male and female flowers, so that's another possibility.
Comment by anna Mon Oct 15 19:02:38 2012
Hardy Kiwi's have been declared invasive in Massachusetts. Yes, seriously.
Comment by BeninMA Mon Oct 15 20:12:08 2012
BeninMA --- Shoot, not another one! I decided not to plant goumi for that very reason. I guess I'll have to do some research on our hardy kiwis.
Comment by anna Tue Oct 16 08:39:25 2012
I wouldn't worry about what my state government says. It sounds like individual vines can become extremely vigorous and out-of-control if you let them. But I've also read that hardy kiwi does not easily re-seed itself -- and as you're discovering, it's slow to take off as well. It doesn't sound like something primed for taking over the countryside.
Comment by BeninMA Tue Oct 16 12:18:55 2012

Our vines grew fairly well and produced a handful of fruits. When the summer heat turned up I watered them more and had the tips turn black and die back partly. The vines are putting on even more growth now, almost a month after we stopped irrigating them. I observed the same pattern with the cuttings I took and had in small pots.

The Kiwi's don't like to have their feet wet and the die back and subsequent black tips were a signal to stop watering. The leaves droop and go limp when they need water. The plants can tell you quite a bit if you know what you are looking for. Hopefully this information will be of some help to someone out there.

The 3 cuttings and the 2 vines in the ground are doing very well now. The vine diameter is about 1" in it's second year in the ground.

Comment by Brian Tue Oct 16 13:27:42 2012

BeninMA --- Yeah, that does make it sound less problematic. I'm confident in my abilities to keep the vines under control, as long as they don't spread into the woods via seeds.

Brian --- Thanks for sharing that extra data! I'm jealous of your handful of fruits. Maybe next year....

Comment by anna Tue Oct 16 15:51:19 2012

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