Due to its health benefits, the kiwifruit is highly popular in the list of nutritional and medicinal fruits. If you want to grow kiwifruit in your own backyard, here are the steps to do so.
- Choose the type of kiwifruit. Due to its increasing popularity, cultivars or varieties were developed. Hayward is the most popular and best used in areas experiencing long hours of cold temperature. Elmwood, Abbott, Dexter or Vincent, on the other hand, are suitable for locations experiencing warm areas like Florida, Southern Texas, and Southern California.
- Make a planting calendar. Kiwi plants take about 240 days for them to become fully grown. In this period, the plant may not be able to withstand very cool temperatures and exposed buds will not survive the cold. Thus, you have to recognize and plan the best time to plant kiwifruits. Once fully grown though, they can withstand temperatures even below ten degrees Fahrenheit. However, the acclimatization must be done slowly, else the vine may be damaged and the trunks may even split into two.
- Prepare the site. Kiwi fruits need support and a substantial drainage system. For a trellis, you can use a T-bar or patio cover. The soil should also be well drained and rich in nutrients since a soil that is not fertilized may cause nitrogen deficiency. The pH level of the soil should be between 5 and 6.5.
- Water the plants. Kiwifruits require lots of water in their growing period while keeping the soil well drained. Water is extremely important during the summer since most kiwifruit plants die from draught than from any other causes. Symptoms of draught in kiwifruit plants include drooping and browning of the leaves, and the absence of new shoots.
- Keep the plants fertilized. Kiwifruits require lots of nitrogen in their system, especially on the first half of their growing season. It keeps them healthy, and the fruit produced does not easily rot. Unless the soil used has other nutrition deficiency, stick to nitrogen fertilizers that only have trace contents of other elements. Regular mulching or adding compost is also beneficial. However, keep the mulch away from the vine so that you can prevent crown rot.
- Prune the kiwifruit plant. Pruning, especially in winter is a requirement to ensure that you have the best fruit. This is done on the vine that grows along the trellis or support. Old vines are cut off to allow new shoots to come out.
- Harvest! The exact date on when you can harvest your kiwifruit depends on two factors –the cultivar you used and the climate in your area. The fruit seeds should be fully black for the fruit to be considered ripe. You can store them in plastic bags and placed in a refrigerator for keeping. A well-preserved kiwifruit can be stored for several months. If you’re planning to sell the fruits commercially, you can use a refractometer. The harvested fruit should have 6.5 brix for it to be considered mature-ripe.
Kiwifruits are rich in Vitamin C and are best eaten raw, mixed into a
salad, or turned to wine. Aside from the health benefits it offers, it
also provides a good means for a profitable business.