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Kiwi Growing Question

Posted by Oklahawg NE OK z6-7 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 5, 05 at 2:03

I've got 5-year old kiwi growing on a large (and growing) arbor that occupies more than its fair share of my side/back yard. However, when I first planted the 3 plants (2 female, 1 male) I truly didn't envision the scope of my project. So, while I have ample room for the vines to grow I am worried about root growth.

The arbor is 32 feet in length and is used to shade a number of plants underneath (making the most of my growing space). However, the root zone is a 16x4 area that is a raised bed. I put them in a raised bed because a first attempt at kiwi led to me discover that my soil is heavy clay and the raised bed allowed me to mix in good soil and not have it turn into a giant pot that held any water added.

The by-product of this is that there is noteworthy amount of water that stands next to the raised bed (coincidentally, the area adjacent is a low spot in the yard) and water stands 1-2 inches deep in a 10x2 area. This is covered by morning and midday shade from the arbor but late afternoon sun hits the area directly. BTW, due to NE OK heat I water daily once temperatures hit the mid-80s. I have a misting hose snaked around the top of the arbor and connected to a mini-sprinkler with three mist fountains that are located above the trunk of the 3 plants. Its seems to do okay, getting moisture to the vines and leaves as well as drippage to the root area.

I am wanting to address the standing water this year. I thought a year ago I might add a soil mixture (to be determined) to the low area that collects water and try bog-type plants. The concern here is that the sunlight the plants would get late afternoon (when its searing in July and August here) would not be conducive to healthy bog plants (cranberry; blueberry?).

The second notion, and the most recent, is to remove the wall of the raised bed next to where the water stands and add a soil mixture (to be determined) that would allow the kiwi roots to expand in this direction. The concern here is that the kiwi will grow into this area even if its not in the best health of the plant and get root rot.

The third notion, and really not an option, is to turn the area into a water feature. I already have a LARGE pond in the yard and feel one water feature is enough.

Suggestions, reprimands, and ideas would be appreciated. I can give more info as needed. Oh, one final piece of information--I got about 60 fruit from one female and 30 from the other last year. Vine growth slowed substantially after the fruit set, though. Heat? Sure, since I'm probably pushing my luck growing them in a suburban backyard (heat island, etc.). I mention this because I was curious if I was impeding root growth which, in turn, was stifling vine and/or fruit production.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Kiwi Growing Question

Is the standing water only present in the winter? That might make a difference in whether bog type plants would grow there. If it dries out every summer like parts of my yard, they might have trouble in summer. Making a mound of soil in the low spot might change the drainage enough to keep water from standing there. Some plants like daylilies can grow in boggy conditions but wouldn't suffer if the bed dries out some in summer, and wouldn't mind the heat.

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