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

Pruning a Hardy Kiwi in the summer

Hardy Kiwi growth report 2011Maybe this will be the year our 3 Hardy Kiwi plants will start blooming?

2011 is the first time they went up high enough to merit a 2nd level to the trelis.

I had some doubts on if they were going to make it the first couple of years, but now I've got a more optimistic view thanks to this recent growth spurt.

Video credit goes to who recommends pruning every 3 weeks in the summer for an amazing bush like effect.

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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 never knew they could be bushy. I thought they were always just vines. Ours are in their first year and are about 7 feet tall now and we have them on an arbor. Our plan is to leave them viney until they reach the top and then I think we will begin this pruning.

Here's a photo from this morning:

Comment by Brian Mon Jun 27 11:52:05 2011

Seven feet tall in their first year! Wow! Your kiwis must really like your garden.

The real test for both of us, though, will be whether we get fruit. I just read on Gene Logsdon's blog about a commercial hardy kiwi vineyard in Pennsylvania, so I have high hopes that our kiwis might be hardy enough for our climate. I hope...

Comment by anna Mon Jun 27 13:46:26 2011
If the variety you have ends up not being hardy enough there is a nursery in massachusetts that sells many varietys of hardy kiwi. I found that we had to hand pollinate (they use wind) to get any fruit. I will note that for the first 3-4 years we had crappy growth, then a pet died and we buried the pet next to the kiwi roots and the plant took off.
Comment by rebecca Mon Jun 27 14:09:08 2011
We bought our kiwis from Tripplebrook Farm in Massachusetts, so we might have gotten them from the same place. They've been very hardy during the winter, but the Achilles heel of hardy kiwis in our climate is leafing out too soon in the spring and then getting nipped by late frosts, which has happened every year. We'll just have to wait and see if that affects fruiting.
Comment by anna Mon Jun 27 17:43:47 2011

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