kiwi or grape up a pergola

mingwei1(z6MA)May 25, 2006

Hello, we just had a pergola built, and this is my first time with vines besides climbing roses and clematis. Also first time with pergola. Any advice on kiwi (I'd like fruit, I think) or edible grape? It sounds like grapes attract bees, which is a downside for sure, also need spraying? definitely another downside. What about kiwis? do those have the same problem? Are they easy to train up the pergola posts with no trellis?


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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

Kiwi can't support the weight of their own vines. You'll need to help them up the pergola. I would think 2nd year growth would get to the top. The vines, once on the pergola, will support the weight below it.

You'll need a male and female for fruit. LOTS of vines with two! I have a 24 x 8 arbor on one side of my yard that is 70 percent covered (7 foot off of the ground) by 3 plants that are about 6 years old. The long hot and dry season here, coupled with my restrictions on the root system) have kept it from exploding with growth.

I have to water daily from now until late September. Just a warning--they expire a lot of water. Don't plant somewhere that you'll need to keep dry all of the time.

The fruit is yummy. The wife won't say anything but we both would say its not cost efficient at this point. We lost a third of our male last summer (very hot, very dry, and an extended Indian Summer clear into December). Our third year of fruit set resulted in about 3 cups of fruit surviving. This year's spring was so bizarre I have very little fruit set. Probably okay, since I need to get more vining growth for shade.

Fun? You bet! Good fruit? Yes. Loads of work? Un-huh.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I was thinking of this for my front to replace a very overgrown boxwood. I take it the catalogs claim of 100lbs of fruit a year was a little overstated? If you check back on this link let me know if your production ever improved.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 3:48PM
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100 lb is probably a good number, but only after years of waiting, and letting the vines sprawl. My hardy kiwis grow about 12 ft/ year. If you let a single plant go 48 ft in each direction before pruning, you'd get 100 lbs easily.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 9:07PM
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We built a pergola last Spring and planted two hardy kiwis in February, a male and female. They are both now reaching the top of the pergola and we are hoping for fruit next year. They haven't needed any special training, just twine to keep them against the poles so they know where to grow.

Stunning color this past fall as well! Bright, bright yellow leaves. And they do well in the mild climate here in Portland, OR. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: My urban edible landscape blog

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 3:32PM
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barbara_muret(ctr OK)

wow I'm impressed - I planted male and female "hardy kiwis" last spring and have done everything "by the book" and pampered their every need and they were just babies by fall in my eyes... but maybe next year they'll take off like crazy.

I'd say plant a hardy grape known for big leaves and good coverage. A good nursery catalog like Raintree is more exact in descriptions so you know what you're getting-and the staff can make suggestions.

Grapes will produce less fruit and more growth with a little fertilizing.

Honeybees won't be a problem. But any flowering plant will attract someone to pollinate it.

Happy gardening.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 5:20PM
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What about any mess under the pergola?

My first thought was Wisteria. While not being edible. the blossoms are lovely. A neighbor warned me, however, tat the blooms only last a couple of weeks around here (Silicon Valley) and the rest of the year it drops seed pods and leaves, making a big mess.

Do kiwi make a mess? What about grapes? Also what varieties of seedless grape would work well in this region?

Thanks for any advice!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 9:59AM
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I am about to complete a 16 X 16 pergola over a portion of a rock patio that I constructed. I am in zone 7 (almost 6). I have two female Saanichton kiwis and one male fuzzy kiwi that are now growing in pots waiting to be transferred to a bed that I am building near three post of the pergola. I intend to drop decorative chains down from the top of the pergola to allow the kiwi plants to run up the chains vice the pergola posts. That will allow staining of the pergola when it needs it. I also have three hardy kiwis growing on a three post trellis that are about 9 years old. I still do not have fruit although they did bloom this year for the first time and I am now sure that I have 1 male and two females. Hope for fruit next year. Here are pictures of my patio/pergola unfinished.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Can Kiwi and Grapes be grown on the same arbor. We have an existing arbor which we have grape vines growing. We want to plant some Kiwi and replace a couple of the grape vines.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 2:03PM
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Here is my completed pergola with fuzzy kiwis in Northern VA.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 7:12AM
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donnaz5(Z5 NY)

My kiwi are the big joke around here...and I'm a full zone colder than you...they are monsters...I am not really sure a normal pergola would support them...they would take it over and pull it down!
I also grow grapes...I never have a problem with bees..because I'm not afraid of them, and they're only there for the very short pollination period...but grapes attract japanese beetles by the truckload...and they get in your house..not a biting insect, but who wants them on the walls of their house and piling up in the window sills?
I would look into some other things, if you are looking for a climbing edible...depends on what you want..if you want shade, hops are great..if you want fruit to eat, look into schizandra...great vine, very nutritious.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2015 at 10:51PM
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