Wondering how to grow kiwi fruit in Perth, Western Australia? Look no further. Despite the name, this deciduous vine actually originates from China.
Kiwi fruit have become a staple for many Australian households, however they can be quiet expensive. This is why many people are starting to investigate just how easy it is to grow your own kiwi fruit in Perth. Kiwi fruit are a real hit amongst kids, there is nothing like cutting open a kiwi fruit and enjoying all of its tasty goodness. Kiwi fruit are ideal for on the go eating and are great in the school lunch boxes in autumn and winter. Kiwi fruit are a great addition to a fruit orchard, a vigorous plant they require robust structure to climb on!
When to plant kiwi fruit in Perth:
Potted kiwifruit vines can be planted year round however do best when planted from late autumn to early spring while dormant.
Types of kiwi fruit in Western Australia:
A dioecious plant, both male and female plants are required for pollination. One male will pollinate up to eight females sometimes more.
Female kiwi fruit:
Kiwifruit Bruno Female – Large elongated fruit. Dark brown skin with dense, short, bristly hairs. Light-green flesh of good flavour. Ripens early May. Vigorous and productive with a relatively low chilling requirement.
Kiwifruit H4 Female – Kiwifruit selection that crops well in subtropical areas. Good size and flavour, similar to the popular Hayward variety.
Kiwifruit Hayward Female – Most popular commercial kiwifruit variety. Excellent quality and size, but does require a higher chill requirement than most other varieties. The Chieftain Male is the superior pollinator for these and the Kiwifruit Male is an alternative pollinator.
Kiwifruit Dexter Female – Fruit is similar to Hayward only slightly more elongated. Relatively low chill requirement, well adapted to warmer winter areas. Originated in Queensland as a seedling of Hayward.
Male kiwi fruit:
Kiwifruit Chieftain Male – Superior Male pollinator producing large quantities of viable pollen. Excellent pollinator for Hayward.
Kiwifruit Male – Preferred Male Kiwifruit pollinator. A non-fruiting, all purpose male used as a pollinator for female vines. 1 male per 8 females.
Kiwifruit Male Sweetie – A very low chill male non fruiting kiwifruit for pollinating the Sweetie Kiwifruit selection.
How to grow kiwi fruit at home:
- Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Vines prefer a mostly north facing position with protection from harsh winds and scorching sun.
- Enrich the soil with organic material such soil improver. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball.
- Remove the plant from the pot, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant’s root zone. This helps keep water where it’s needed.
- Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks.
- Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
- Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
- During the growing and kiwi fruit fruiting and flowering season apply pelletised plant food. During the dormant stage from late autumn to early spring apply soil improver.
When to harvest kiwi fruit:
First fruit should appear after 2 – 3 years. Don’t wait for the fruit to get ripe on the vine – it doesn’t. Once you have picked them off the vine it will take anywhere from three days to two weeks for them to ripen indoors. The riper they are, the sooner they’ll soften inside. If they don’t taste sweet, they aren’t ripe enough to pick and if they leave a furry taste on your tongue, they are definitely not ready. Home-grown kiwi fruit will be much sweeter than the supermarket kiwi fruit you are use to; and will have more flavour too. Pick the latest fruit first – kiwi fruit are best stored on the vine.
Storing kiwi fruit at home:
Store unripe and ripened kiwifruit at 0–2 degrees Celsius. To ripen, hold fruit at room temperature in a loosely closed paper bag, for two to three days and avoid unusual heat and direct sunlight. Once kiwifruit is ripe and yields to the touch, it should be refrigerated until ready to eat.
Kiwi fruit care and common problems:
Will only crop if they are planted in a warm enough position, and may suffer from dieback in cold winters. Avoid clay-based soil. Kiwi fruit plants do best in soil with a soil pH of about 6.5.
Most kiwi varieties require both male and female plants for successful pollination. One male plant can pollinate up to eight nearby females. Hardy kiwis produce smaller fruits, but are usually self fertile. Healthy kiwi vines will bear for ten years or more.
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