Plant kiwi berries - instructions and tips on location, soil and care

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Kiwi what? Yes, you are reading correctly. There are not only the big hairy kiwis, but also kiwi berries. They can even be planted much better with us.

Plant kiwi berries

When we talk about kiwis, we think of the big hairy fruits from the supermarket or their relatives with a smooth shell and yellow pulp. For cultivating in our latitudes, these varieties are only partially suitable, because mild winters are a prerequisite that the plants survive the cold season at all. Therefore, it is always advisable to plant kiwis in the bucket. Far more robust are the small kiwi berries. They defy even severe frosts and the cultivation is rewarded with a rich harvest of small vitamin bombs. Learn now what to pay attention to when planting kiwi berries.

Which species can be planted?

The world of kiwis is more colorful than you might think. There are over 100 kiwi species. As kiwis are actually referred to only the commercially available fruits. All other varieties are called kiwi berries. The different species differ in the color of their shell and also in their shape. So there are round to elongated varieties with green, yellowish or reddish peel and corresponding pulp. Some varieties are particularly suitable for cultivation in their own garden, as they have a compact growth habit and can be harvested in the second year after planting the first fruits. Particularly suitable appear the following varieties:

  • Jassei
  • Isay
  • Cinderella
  • Julia

Issai is one of the most popular representatives of the kiwi berries in the orchard. The smooth-shelled fruits have an aromatic kiwi taste and are also suitable for the small orchard. Other popular varieties are:

Kiwi berries Typeparticularities
NostinoThe male plant is well suited as a pollinator of female kiwi berries. Also partially self-fertile species gain by the cross-pollination by Nostino in yield and fruit size. The flowers appear in May.
lemurThe female plant is especially appreciated for its aromatic fruits. The first fruits can be harvested in the second year after planting.
Ken's RedA special feature of this red-skinned variety is the red pulp. If the plant gets enough sun and nutrients, the fruits even get an almost violet color.

Always plant kiwi berries in a double pack

This is not uncommon among the kiwi berries and in most species even a must if the plants are to bear fruit. While the varieties recommended for home gardening are considered conditionally self-fertile, this does not guarantee a rich harvest. If male plants are additionally planted as pollinators, this will in any case have a positive effect on the yield. With only one male kiwi berry, between six and eight mini female kiwifruit can be fertilized.

Male or female?

How can male be differentiated from female plants? This can be done by the flowers. The flowers of the female plants surround a wreath of radially arranged styluses. Male flowers do not possess this wreath.

So you can plant kiwi berries yourself

Find the right location:

The original home of mini kiwis is in the northern and eastern regions of Asia. There, the small kiwi berries usually appear in forests where, like lianas, they wind up the trees. To give you a rich harvest in the house, the crowns of the plants should get enough sun. A very hot location, however, is less well suited. The root area should preferably be in partial shade.

According to the natural conditions, the plants feel particularly good on tree edges. Ideal are East and West locations. However, north and south locations are also tolerated.

The ideal location in keywords:

  • sunny in the crown area
  • partially shaded in the root area
  • sheltered
  • near the tree

On hot days, a mulch layer can protect the root area from excessive sunlight. Otherwise, the roots could die off, as shown by brown and curled leaves

Select the appropriate substrate:

The kiwi berries preferably thrive in a loose and well-drained soil. The soil should not overheat, because this damages the sensitive roots. These run, similar to the native raspberry, flat below the surface.

As a typical forest plant, the mini kiwi loves a nutrient-rich substrate. A sandy soil makes it easy for the plants to root well. Lime soils are less well tolerated. However, the kiwi berries are less sensitive to calcareous soils than the large kiwifruit. Heavy soils should be enriched with compost or peat. This gives the plants an effective long-term fertilizer. The soil may also be slightly acidic.Ideal is a pH between 5 and 6.5. At a higher pH, magnesium or iron may be deficient.

The ideal substrate in key words:

  • relaxed
  • permeable
  • nutritious
  • pH between 5 and 6.5
  • limepoor

Plant kiwi berries - step by step instructions

The best planting time for the kiwi berries is in May, after the icy saints. Then the plant has enough time to root well and gather forces for the winter. Theoretically, the mini-kiwis can be planted into August. When planting, proceed as follows:

  1. Select location.
  2. Loosen soil at least to a depth of 40 centimeters.
  3. Water rootballs.
  4. Lift planting hole.
  5. Put in the plant.
  6. Enrich soil with compost, peat or horn shavings and fill up.
  7. Close planting hole.
  8. Water the plant abundantly.
  9. Spread mulch layer of leaves, pine needles or grass clippings around the plant.

If you are planting several kiwi berries, you must keep an adequate distance. The minimum distance is one meter. Experts even recommend two meters and more as the roots of the kiwi berries need a lot of space. In addition, male kiwi berries grow faster than female plants. A planting distance of 2.5 meters is therefore ideal, so that the female plants are not displaced and overgrown.

Maintaining young plants properly

Especially on hot days you should water the young plants regularly. If you have added sufficient organic material during planting, the young plants need no additional fertilizer in the first two years.

After two to three years, the young plants will bear fruit for the first time. By an intensive coloring of the shell you can then recognize the degree of ripeness of the fruits.

Video Board: How to plant Kiwi.

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