Mary's Veggie Garden

June 3, 2010

Kiwi Blossoms! Kiwi Fruit!

Filed under: Flowers,Fruit,Gardening,Kiwis — marysveggiegarden @ 5:52 pm
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My female hardy kiwi vine bloomed spectacularly this year – there must have been hundreds of flowers. This is the heaviest bloom I’ve ever seen on either of my 2 female kiwis. If you inspect these flowers closely you can see the tiny kiwi fruits.

 

Female Kiwi 'Annasnaja' blossoms 5/29/2010

The male also bloomed, but there were far few flowers; this picture shows most of the flowers on the male kiwi.

 

Male kiwi blossoms 5/29/2010

Kiwis are wind pollinated and despite the paucity of male flowers, pollination was successful; the baby kiwis are noticeably bigger than they were 5 days ago. Hardy kiwis produce grape sized fruit with smooth skins which ripen in late September or October.

 

Hardy kiwi fruit - 6/3/2010

Background:

I purchased these hardy kiwis, Actinidia arguta, from Raintree Nursery in 1999. The females are the variety ‘Annasnaja’ and the male variety was not named. These vines grow vigorously; I should hack back this one before it gets into the Norway maple behind it to the left. By the way, the kiwis are outside the fence. The deer eat the leaves from any branch that droops below the 5′ high trellis, but they do not touch anything higher.

 

Annasanaja Female Kiwi, 5/29/2010

The male kiwi first blossomed in 2004 or 2005, the fifth or sixth year after planting. The females first bloomed (very lightly) in 2007 and I harvested 5-6 pounds of kiwis that year.

I was hoping for a lot of fruit in 2008, and the females cooperated by producing a lot more flowers in their second year of bloom. Unfortunately the male produced zero flowers. It seemed a common problem; the only other person I know with hardy kiwis reported almost no blossoms on his males. No male flowers mean no fruit.

2009 was very cool and extremely wet through the spring and summer. The male kiwi produced around 6 flowers. The females also bloomed lightly, so I was surprised to find a couple of pounds of fruit in October. With all the rain, and with almost no fruit, all the vines grew prolifically and needed pruning every week.

I have my fingers crossed – I’m hoping for 50 pounds of kiwi fruit. All I must do it keep it watered, because the weather is not cooperating.

11/18/2010 My kiwis flowered and set baby fruit but the entire harvest only filled a 2 cup bowl. Despite the severe drought (only 3″ of rain from May to early August) the vines grew prolifically, but they must have aborted most of the fruit.

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