Favorite Kiwi?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)January 11, 2012

I resurrected a thread by the same name that I started in 2008 and posted in it today, but I can't seem to find it on any of the first few pages of the GardenWeb so I'm starting a new one.

The link at the bottom is to the original 'Favorite Kiwi' thread. In that thread, a bunch of people had various varieties growing but didn't have fruit yet. I'm trying to check back in to see what people think after 4 years.

Below is my addition to that thread:

Anyone have any updates to this thread? (see link) It's been a few years now!

Last year was the first year I got any friut on my 4 females (Anna, Ken's Red, Dumbarton Oaks, and Cordifolia). Unfortunately, I didn't realize they were ripe when they were and lost a lot of them. I also didn't keep any tasting notes, but what I do recall was that they all tasted 'good' and none tasted 'bad'. There were some subtle differences, but nothing to make me say, 'this one is the best' or 'this one is the worst'.

Since I first planted them in 2008, there seems to be a bunch of new varieties out there. Has anyone grown:

Fortyniner

Arbor-Eat-Um

Geneva

MSU

Fifty Five

I'm thinking of putting in 2 or 3 more and would like to get some that are the 'most different' from the ones I already have (ie different flavor, different ripening time, different look, etc).

So far I've zeroed in on Fifty Five because it's the earliest ripening one that I've found.

So, what are your thoughts and reviews and lessons learned in the last 4 years of Kiwi growing?

Thanks!

Bart

Here is a link that might be useful: Original

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have mostly switched to fuzzy kiwis, they are completely hardy for me and are tastier and much larger. The only hardy kiwi I have really liked is Ken's Red which finally fruited for me this year. The other ones, Anna, MSU, Geneva, have too much "green" taste and my kids never liked them (I did, but I don't want to grow fruit just for me). Myers Cordifolia has still not fruited.

I would get a Saanichton and a fuzzy male as your next kiwi investment, and "upgrade" into the fuzzy world!

Scott

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 3:30PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks Scott!

Are you growing your Saanichton on your old hardy kiwi trellis? I don't have anymore trellis space left and I was going to attempt to grow these on a split rail fence around my pool. Based on my limited experience with hardy kiwi on a trellis, I think I could grow them fairly easily on a fence.

My only concern is wintertime lows. I think I'm a little cooler than you (1550 ft. in the eastern Blue Ridge). We got down to 9 degrees last week and regularly make it down to the low single digits each year.

Do you have to do any special type of winter protection?

Thanks again,
Bart

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bart, your lows sound about the same as mine - in the last ten years I have been from -2F to 7F as the lowest low, and average at about 2F. I don't protect them at all, and have never seen any dieback at all. This compares to blackberries, muscadines, and figs which have seen dieback in bad years which makes me think I could even take a bad winter and come out OK. The major problem for fuzzy kiwis is temperature swings causing them to leaf out too early in the spring. I don't have that problem where I am and I expect you may not be too different.

In terms of growth they are similar to the hardy ones but somewhat more vigorous. I have them all on one trellis. I interplanted them and I am now thinning out the hardy ones and letting the fuzzy ones take over.

I wouldn't recommend any variety besides Saanichton, most of them ripen too late. I expect there will be others ripening early enough but I still have a few years before I will know that.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 4:43PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks Scott! The order has been placed! One Saanichton and one male.

What other fuzzies are you trialing now?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bart, I have Exbury, Blake, had Elmwood until it died recently, plus several seedlings. These are all supposed to be earlier ripening varieties.

I should go pull some Saanichton out of the fridge and see how they are doing, they usually are best in February but some are probably ripe already. They do need to be fridged until mid-winter if they are to be fully ripe. I like that fact, there is nothing like fresh home-grown fruit in the middle of winter!

Scott

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 8:45AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Scott,

Do any/all of the fuzzy varieties give your tongue an unpleasant tingling? I like the ones from the grocery store, but within a few minutes I feel the tingle.

I haven't noticed any tingle with the hardy kiwi. In conjunction with no peeling, it makes eating them a lot more pleasant.

Bob

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:59AM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks Scott!

I had no idea they didn't ripen on the vine. Are they inedible when freshly picked or just not as good as they could be?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bob, I get some after-effect from store-bought kiwis that are not totally ripe when I eat them. If a kiwi is totally ripe there is no after-effect for me. I expect that many commercial kiwis are picked too early (like with every other fruit). Even if a kiwi is picked too early they mellow out after long enough storage in the fridge. Kiwis have some unique acid in them, quinic acid is the name I think, and I expect that it is high concentrations of quinic acid that are bothering your mouth. This acid level drops in storage. My kiwis that I eat in February are very mellow tasting compared to the average store-bought ones, and lack the green bean flavors I don't like in the arguta kiwis. My kids just inhale them.

Bart, you can eat them off the vine but they are far too sour and not sweet enough. You probably won't want to take more than one bite.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 12:39PM
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northwoodswis4

I have planted several varieties of Kolomikta kiwis, some of which are going into their third year. If they ever get any fruit, how will I know when to pick them? Then what do I do, put them in the fridge for at least a couple weeks? I can't just nibble in the garden? That is my favorite way to eat fruit. Then do I take them out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter a few more days until they are soft? Am I understanding correctly that they keep for months in the fridge over winter? I had planned to dehydrate most of them, but if they keep that long, maybe I won't need to dry any of them. That is, assuming I ever get any fruit on any of my vines. Have others in the Midwest on the edge of zones 3 and 4 gotten kiwis to fruit?
Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 1:20AM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

Northwoodswis, what variety of kolomikta are you growing?I had 2 foot tall plants last year fruit from rooted cuttings the previous year.They ripen very unevenly, mine start ripening in August and can easily be identified by touch.You can run around the vine giving each one a slight squeeze. The ripe ones will yeild to the lite pressure.Or if you have a good eye you can actually tell by the look of the skin as they will become slightly transparent.Any way you look at it, it is a real fun easter egg hunt. Hopefully this will be the year for you once you eat a ripe one off the vine you will get hooked! I and my wife,kids and whoever else that happens to come by and eat them,they all say how much sweeter and flavourful they are compared to the store bought fuzzys.But everyones taste differ so you may not feel the same way.
Have they produced any flowers yet?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 12:36PM
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northwoodswis4

Glenn10, I don't have the names handy, but a couple are just labeled Arctic Beauty, one is Viktor, I think there is a September Sun, Pascha male, and a couple others. They haven't produced any flowers yet. So you just eat them off the vine, none of this refrigerating first? Glad to hear that. Any problems with birds?
Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 8:30PM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

Northwoods,I have September sun as well and it produced 2nd year.You don't need to refrigerate first but I foregot to add that they don't keep very long like the big fuzzys do in the fridge.You may get 4 weeks in the fridge and by that time they start to get dehydrated and don't taste the same as they would fresh.Like I said they ripen very unevenly, over the range of about a month here.It would be best to eat as many fresh as you can and then when your insides have had enough make jam with the rest.We haven't made jam with them yet because everyone does a really good job of eating them(our chickens and turkeys enjoy them as well). As for pests, your typical raccoons and tree rats seem to have figured them out but birds aren't a problem here other than the farm fowl eating all the lower reach ones.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 6:57AM
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northwoodswis4

Glenn10,
Then there is hope yet. I had heard that kiwis took years and years before they fruit. Maybe we'll see some fruit this summer, even. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 6:03PM
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shane11

Does anyone know a good reliable source for 'Blake' kiwi vines?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:17AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I got mine from Rolling River Nursery.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:49AM
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shane11

Scott, I was curious if your blake kiwi set any fruit this year or is it still too young?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:42PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

The arctic kiwi (kolomokita) is ripe when soft and it starts to wrinkle. Mine usually become ripe in July and August. The male typically has the beautiful variegation on the leaf (white, pink).
John S
PDX OR

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Shane, it could in theory be fruiting by now but its spot has proven too shady. So, no fruit but its not its fault.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:36PM
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