Burnett: Kiwi plants in your garden a great conversation topic

Ten years ago I planted two female and one male kiwi vine and have harvested fruit for the past eight seasons.

I have no idea how the darn birds know just when my grapes are at their perfect ripeness.

They must have scouts out testing for sweetness then when the grapes are just right they send out an all points bulletin to let the entire flock know.

In about three weeks, my kiwi will begin to ripen and, thank goodness, for some reason the birds aren’t interested in them; at least not up to this point.

You never know when they might clue in to one of the best tasting fruits on the planet.

Ten years ago I planted two female and one male kiwi vine and have harvested fruit for the past eight seasons.

Over the past three years, with the help of my good friend Sal Caruso, I have budded in some other varieties including a more prolific male he calls Chuck.

So I should be really getting some interesting production in the next year or two.

There are two common species of Kiwi Actinidia reliably hardy to the Okanagan—A kolomikta and A arguta.

The kolomikta is often referred to the Arctic kiwi or Russian gooseberry and is the hardier of the two.

In fact, it is grown quite successfully in many prairie regions.

There is a variety called ‘Assai’ which is self-pollinating which comes in handy when space is limited.

On the other hand, I find this species to be somewhat small in fruit size and premature drop is quite common.

I prefer to grow the arguta species of which there are several varieties such as Anna, Red Princess, Hardy Red, Ken’s Red and Chanbay.

They are hard to find in local nurseries but sometimes can be ordered through specialty nurseries on the net.

All are great varieties although each one can be separated from the other according to size colour flavour and productivity.

I recommend choosing an arguta type rather than the kolomikta and you can find them in the local garden centres.

I’ve seen them at Bylands as well as Dogwood.

Kiwi are vines just like grapes so a similar infrastructure is needed to support them.

Posts placed three meters apart with two taut wires between them at the two- and five-foot height is an ideal way to support your kiwi vine.

The vines should be planted at least six feet apart. My friend Sal has his climbing over an overhead pergola type structure and this seems to make better use of the space.

Kiwis are easy to grow, have no known insect or disease concerns and can be used for privacy purposes.

You don’t see too many grown here in the Okanagan yet so having this beautiful, tasty fruit in your garden can be a great conversation piece.

Kiwi jam and jelly is delicious and the fruit can be frozen in serving size freezer bags, delicious on cereal through the winter.

If you want more info or have any questions you can email me at don@thegardenexpert.com.

Tune in to The Don Burnett Garden Show on AM 1150 News Talk Sports Saturdays from 8 to 10 a.m.

 

Just Posted

Film exposing effects of Canadian mining company to be shown in Kelowna

Hudbay Minerals’ legacy of lead poisoning, and civil-suits including allegations of murder, rape and shootings

Kelowna councillor candidate drops out of race

Curtis Cinibel confirms he is withdrawing the civic election after filing paper to run

Okanagan College hosts 10th annual Powwow

The Kelowna campus will once again host the event Sept. 20

Cornel West to speak at UBC Okanagan campus

The professor will cover topics from his best-selling book

Kelowna park visitors urged to not go near bears

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan cautions against going near bears

Store recognized for inclusive employment efforts

Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerland presented with certificate from WorkBC

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Most Read