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Growing Guides



Kiwi Plants

 

Planting

Kiwi vines require a sunny sheltered spot with good drainage and fertile soil. A trellis, pergola or set of wires will be needed for support. The typical spread is 3-4m (10-13ft), though supported shoots can reach 8m (25ft) in length.

Plant your vines as soon as possible after receipt. Improve the soil structure by thorough digging before planting, ideally to a depth of about 45cm (18in) - two spades deep. Mix in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost.

Soak the roots in water for 1-2 hours. Dig a hole comfortably large enough to take the rootball, remove the pot and plant, ensuring the top of the rootball is level with the surrounding soil or up to 1cm (½in) deeper. Apply rootgrow™ mycorrhizal fungi directly to the roots before planting - this will help the plant to establish quickly. Firm the soil around the rootball and water-in thoroughly. Tie the stems to the trellis, wires or pergola up which they are to climb.

 

Watering

Keep the soil around the vine moist throughout the first growing season. In later years only water during prolonged dry spells, drenching thoroughly no more than once a week.

 

Weeding & Mulching

Keep the area around the vine free of weeds, particularly during its first year. An annual mulch of well rotted compost will greatly improve moisture retention and soil structure, and help suppress unwanted weeds.

 

Pruning

Kiwi vines flower and fruit on the current season’s vigorous new shoots. To prune therefore cut last year’s shoots back hard early in the spring just before bud-break. Later in the summer if the plant outgrows its allotted space just trim back the growing tips to control.

 

Feeding

Feed in spring using Fruit Feed.

 

Pests & Diseases

Kiwi vines are generally trouble-free. Watch out for attacks of aphids, and grey mould (botrytis) in a wet autumn. Any chemicals should be used strictly as per the manufacturers instructions.

 

Further Information

For further information refer to RHS Growing Fruit by Harry Baker. Useful information can also be found on the RHS website.

 

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