Saturday, September 26, 2009

Growing Kiwi

I've been growing kiwi from seed too. I've got a few left out of maybe 100; there is something they don't like here and I'm not sure exactly what it is yet. They grew really well in my Dad's (unheated) greenhouse in Scotland but their growth is stunted here.

Kiwi have male and female plants and, like the papaya, you need both to produce fruit. Again sex cannot be determined until they flower and none of mine have flowered yet, and I think I read it may take years until they do.

However, it's an interesting project if not exactly a money-spinner.

To Grow Kiwi from Seed

Buy a kiwifruit in the shop, take it home and cut it open. Extract a few of their tiny seeds and remove as much pith as you can from around them. I find the easiest way to do this is to lay them on absorbant kitchen paper and place the paper, seeds and all, inside a colander and run them under the tap.

  1. Leave them to dry in a warm dry place, and when they are completely dry they can be planted into some compost, just lightly press them into the surface of the soil.
  2. Water well, and seal the whole pot inside a sealed polythene bag.
  3. Leave in a light, warm place out of direct sunlight and after a couple of weeks you should see the seedlings peeking through. 
  4. At this point, remove them from their plastic bag.
  5. When they are large enough to handle, after they have grown at least their second set of leaves, gently transplant them into individual pots. 
  6. Keep in as bright a situation as possible and water daily, potting on as they outgrow their pot.
In a warm climate like Spain they can be planted straight into the garden, but in cooler climates you will need to keep them indoors or at least in a greenhouse or conservatory, bringing them indoors when frost threatens.
There are varieties you can buy now at that is specially grown for UK climates.

The botanical names for the kiwifruit vines are usually either actinidia chinensis or actinidia deliciosa.

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