Chinese Gooseberry/Kiwi fruit Cultivation guide

Actinidia chinensis as it commonly known, is a fast growing ornate climber for a warm, sunny aspect where it is hardy in most area's. The large felt-like rich green leaves, ruby red bristles and small but fragrant flowers make this an appropriate choice for an ornamental vine on south facing walls or arbours. They can also be cultivated in a cold greenhouse or conservatory.
Cultural requirements
Kiwi fruits prefer a rich slightly acidic soil with plenty of added organic matter - but they are quite forgiving and thrive on most reasonable soils. On chalky soils they are prone to becoming chloratic. They need plenty of space so allow at least 8' in which they can grow.
The flowers appear early. These, and the new spring shoots, are very prone to late frost damage. Make sure you can protect the vine during frosty nights when growth has started.
After planting cut back to 12" or so. Train shoots out horizontally from the leader and once they fill the available space pinch them out. Further laterals will form at this pojnt, laterals that will bear the fruit. Pinch these out after 5 leaves have formed. Each year subsequently prune out about one third of the older shoots leaving a bud about 2" up. This will rrnew growth from that pojnt.
Leave the fruit as long as possible before picking, but don't allow the frost to get them. Line them out on a sunny windowsill where they will continue to ripen for enjoyment through November.
Most Kiwi's a female varieties that need pollinating with a male partner. Up to seven females can yield welkl with just one male vine. If a lone female is planted it will never fruit. Some self-fertile varieties are now coming on to the market and these are advantageous if you can only grow one vine. They do crop quite well but the yield and quality is usually inferior so if you can plant two or more vines then stick to the traditional method.
Chinese Gooseberries can be grown in large pots of 20" or more. Use a proprietary peat based compost and make sure they are watered well throughout the growing season.
Good female varieties
The best male variety
Self-fertile varieties

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