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arctic kiwi questions

Kate Staron


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 4
So, I was inspired by this site to get some food guilds in my yard using the existing trees as a base. I've got a red maple, white oak, and pin oak. The white oak gets the most sun.
I just ordered some arctic kiwi plants. I originally thought I was going to use it on the maple tree, but observing today, it's getting the least sun of the three trees, so I may be putting it on the white oak.

I hope to add some berries, thinking raspberry or cranberry and such to fill out the guild.

For anyone that has the kiwi vines:

How best to train it to the tree? I heard letting it spiral would be bad for the tree.

Assuming it vines longer than the eight feet, where the first branch of the tree is, is it possible for me to let it droop, or do I need to figure out where to put another support to bring it across and down?

If I need more support, how much?

Is there any special planting/watering/pruning care this needs? (I've read it need more than a bit of pruning, but I'm not sure if that applies to a forest type garden)

Anything surprise you about the plant? (Good or bad)


Thanks for any advice. I'm usually quite bad with plants, but I'm trying to get my head around permaculture and how to make it a reality on my little lot.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
where are you at? depending on location, arctic kiwis (Actinidia kolomikta, yes?) might like full sun all the way to full shade, so the shadier tree could end up being the better bet.

they also take quite a long while to begin bearing fruit. I assume you've got at least one male for pollination as it's a dioecious species.

they grow pretty slowly, but vines can beat 30 feet eventually. and cats like them, sometimes rather more than is good for the plants. especially while they're small.

pruning can increase fruit production, but isn't strictly necessary. mine are only a couple of years old, and still years from fruiting, but I don't plan to prune them.

you might consider dropping lines from tree limbs for the kiwis to climb to avoid potential strangling, though it would be a long time before a tree was damaged by one of these vines. it could happen, but not quickly. A. arguta and A. deliciosa, however, could both eat a city block fairly quickly.


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Kate Staron


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 4
I'm in zone 7b as of last year's hardiness zone, zone 8 as of this year. soil tend toward clay and most of the yard is fairly soft from burrowing critters (not sure which)

I got a pair of Actinidia - Anna and Meader cultivars (looks like that might make it A. arguta Hardy kiwi not arctic? Are the two terms used interchangeably?)
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
yeah, those are A. arguta. both A. arguta and A. kolomikta are called arctic kiwi, though I guess arctic beauty kiwi would more specifically refer to A. kolomikta.

unfortunately, zone 7b/8 doesn't actually tell us much about your climate. for demonstration purposes, I'm in Western Washington and share a hardiness zone with a large part of Texas. our average minimum temperatures are roughly the same, but the similarity doesn't go much further than that. if you're reticent to disclose your general whereabouts, a slightly more specific description of your climate would do for our purposes here. in the case of arguta kiwis, they pretty much like full sun for best fruit, so it's less important than it would be with the kolomiktas. unless you get real intense sun and dry conditions, in which case even the argutas would like a bit of shade.

so, you say you got a pair. did you also get a male? I believe that whole genus is dioecious. some folks graft a male branch onto a female plant for pollination, but I've never heard of them being sold that way.

at any rate, be careful growing argutas on a tree. it's a vigorous vine. the shade of the oak might slow it down a bit, but it also might make it stretch for light and then put on weight at the ends of branches where it would cause the most damage. if it's a strong tree, you may well get away with it, but be sure to watch it. woody vines frequently break and/or kill their hosts.
Kate Staron


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 4
Oh, Southeast Va. Read hot, muggy, wet (except when it forgets to rain for a month.) In the summer temp and humidity tend toward 90's.
According to the site I bought at - anna was the female and meader was the male.

tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
Kate Staron wrote:According to the site I bought at - anna was the female and meader was the male.


ah. that sounds right. if it turns out you like the female, you could certainly plant several more without needing more males. a commonly recommended ratio is around 8:1.

my guess is that where you're at, they will grow pretty darn quickly. don't let any small children get too close...
 
 
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