Ever successfully fruited Hardy/Arctic Kiwis?

HighlanderNorthApril 7, 2012

I bought 2 Hardy Kiwis about 8 years ago, and planted them into pots initially(large pots), then planed them in the ground a few years later, then I sold the house and moved, having never seen fruit number 1......

In the mean time, there is a large garden center nearby, and they had a HUGE female Hardy Kiwi and a large male growing along a split rail fence that cut through their property. It was very long and healthy looking, and it was supposedly about 5-6 years old when I first saw it there. I kept and eye on it each season for the next 3 years, and finally it began flowering! But then the flowers would just fall off, as the male apparently wasnt producing pollen(I guess).

Then, about 1.5 years ago, the garden center changed hands, and the new owners decided to remove the fence it was growing on for some reason, so they cut it back to the ground and soaked them with roundup!

I found out too late, as I wouldve tried to dig them up and take them out for free, if I'd known, but........

So I've never yet seen or tasted a Hardy Kiwi. They sell the plants at every Home Depot and Lowes around, and people buy them, but I dont where they are........

Have you successfully grown them to fruit, how long did it take for both female and male plants to mature enough to produce pollen and flowers?

How do they compare in flavor vs. a standard grocery store Kiwi?

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Yup, I've had oodles of them over the past 20 some odd years. I planted my initial vines in 1988. I get a crop I'd say 2 out of 3 years. Some years, like this year, there will be no crop due to a freeze after the buds popped. And, about every 5 or 6 years, they just get so overgrown that I cut them to stubs, which eliminates that years crop but does wonders for them otherwise. As luck has it, mine really need a good pruning, so I will do it in the next 4 weeks or so and only lose the crop I already lost to frost.

How do they taste? -- well, almost exactly like the ones from the grocery store. They're just much smaller, about the size of a large California grape, and of course, no fuzz. The variety 'Anna' aka Annasnaya does have a mint-like aftertaste when very ripe, not unpleasant just different, but it is something peculiar to that one type.

Mine had their first crop when about 3 or 4 years in the ground.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 4:07PM
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I would warn you against buying kiwi plants from a big box store. I bought one kiwi female (supposedly Krupnoplodnaya) from a hardware store and ordered a male from a mail-order retailer to go with it. About two years later when both finally bloomed I noticed that the flowers were identical. I had two males! So it took another three years to get a female ( I was smarter this time and ordered it from One Green World) and get it to bloom. It finally had one flower last year, which turned into one small kiwi, which I split with my DH. It was delicious, tasted just like a fuzzy kiwi, at least from what I could tell. :) They don't seem to do much the first year, grow tall their second, and finally make side shoots with flowers the third.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:03PM
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I only got to eat some hardy kiwis once. They were from an old neglected vine that was growing in the canopy of a neglected apple tree. I thought they were dramatically better tasting than any store-bought kiwi I've ever had. They were very ripe. I didn't even find the taste especially similar to store-bought kiwi. They seemed to be as sweet as the sweetest fruit I've ever had (a little like sweet bronze muscadines in that respect) with plenty of balance and great tropical flavors, not really pineapple flavor but that's the closest thing I can think of. I suppose they reminded me of fuzzy kiwis a little (in taste), but I'd rank all the store-bought kiwis I've eaten in the bottom half of fruits. When I ate the hardy kiwis at that time I didn't even know what hardy kiwis were, but I thought they were probably the best fruit I'd ever tasted. Objectively speaking, I've read that hardy kiwis reach much higher brix numbers. I've also heard other people talk about how delicious hardy kiwis were that didn't think especially highly of store-bought kiwis.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:08PM
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