Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit

Known by its countrymen as the “Chinese Gooseberry”, the Kiwifruit is a large woody, deciduous vine that is actually native to the Yangtze Valley of China. The fruit was renamed by New Zealand exporters to ‘Kiwifruit’ around the 1950’s for marketing purposes. The fruit can be described as being oval in shape, similar to the size of a large egg, with fibrous, dull brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a unique flavour, and today is a commercial crop in several countries, mainly in Italy, New Zealand, Brazil and Chile.

  • Plant & Growing Tips:

    Kiwifruit are best grown in most temperate climates where there is adequate summer heat. With careful placement they will still succeed in areas that seem unlikely.

    Tolerates part shade but does best in a sunny location.

    Deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil, preferably a friable, sandy loam is ideal for the kiwifruit. You should avoid heavy soils that are subject to water logging.

    Provide a strong support structure such as a single wire or “t” bar trellis, patio cover, fence or even a large tree so that the vine can climb upon.  Be aware that a healthy vine will easily cover an area 6x6m and up to 3m or more high, bearing fruit quite prolifically. This means the support system needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of bearing vines.

    Vines should be planted in a protected site where it is not exposed to strong winds.

    Kiwifruit require a good 700 hours chilling below 7°C. Ensure that vines are not exposed to temperatures below -12°C. Even though mature vines can withstand short periods at such drops, it is best to keep plants protected from such cold, especially young plants that can be killed to the ground by frost.

    Autumn frosts are extremely detrimental to kiwifruit vines as it retards new growth and kills developing flower buds, or, if the frost occurs after the flowers have opened, it will prevent the setting of fruits. Provide overhead protection during this period if there is threat of frosts.

    Throughout the growing season the kiwifruit will need large volumes of water regularly. Vines should not be allowed to undergo drought stress.

    Vines will not accept salty soils.

    Mulch around vines during the warmer months to help retain moisture.

    Prune kiwifruit vines as you would to a grapevine. One stem should be trained up to a wire (central trunk) and then allowed to branch out along the wires. Prune back anything older than one year old wood as fruits are borne on only year old shoots. Best fruit production comes when vines have been pruned in the winter.

    For good fruit quality and yields, it is important that vines have a long growing season which is not interrupted by late winter or early autumn freezes (approximately 240 days free from frosts).

    Vines are typically spaced at 5.5 -6m apart within rows and 4.5m between.

    Vines can be successfully grown in large containers. Ensure to provide some source of support structure to climb.

    Kiwifruit should be planted in spring.

  • Fertiliser Applications:

    Stage: Pre-Plant    

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 12½ cups (2.5kg)

    Commercial Use: 2.5kg/site

    Comments: Apply one to three months prior to planting to an area 1m across at each site and incorporate to about 25cm deep.

     

    Stage: Young Vines

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 2 cups (400g)

    Commercial Use: 300-500g

    Comments: These rates are applicable for the first three years of the vine’s age. The first application of complete fertiliser should commence 4 weeks after planting. Considering the Kiwifruit is planted at the start of spring, apply this rate every month until the end of spring.

     

    Stage: Mature Vines  

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 2-3 cups (400-600g)

    Commercial Use: Up to 600g  

    Comments: Broadcast around the vine in late spring, then every 6 weeks to late February, to 1m radius from the base of the vine. In most areas, vines need additional magnesium.

Disclaimer

Please note that the above information and recommendations are provided in good faith and are given without liability for loss or damage suffered as a result of their application. Optimum response to fertilisers will only be achieved when weeds, insect pests and diseases are controlled and adequate soil water is available.

Fertiliser use recommendations are presented as a practical guide to good agronomic practice under most situations. Local soil, climatic and other conditions should also be taken into account as these could affect plant response to fertiliser rates and applications.

For further information we recommend you seek advice from your local agronomist.