Thursday, 25 October 2012

Kiwi Berry Project

Couple weeks back at a fall fair I tasted kiwi berries (Actinidia arguta) for the first time..and they are awesome. The size of big grapes they are like miniature kiwis you don't have to peel and just pop into your mouth. I found out that these berries grow on plants that are much hardier than their full sized cousins and picked up four plants to make a little kiwi berry grove on the allotment. First up I made a bit of a makeshift trellis with some bamboo canes.

They grow best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. If they get going they can grow metres of vines in a season so in the end this may not suffice but I rammed 4 large bamboo sticks into the ground.

Added some small cross bamboo sticks for sturdiness and support.
 Here you can see I have a purple and a reddish variety (purple kiwi!)

 And here the normal green one and importantly a male plant. Kiwi berries need a male plant to fertilise the flowers. You can have seven females to one male. They are wind pollinated but this corner of the allotment gets wind from almost all sides so I didn't put the male in a special position.

Here they are planted, it does not look like much yet but by planting them now they still have time to start growing a good rootsystem and get a flying start.

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