What would pavlova be without them?
THE second part of the scientific name for kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) gives you a hint that this is one delectable fruit. They’re a quintessential pavlova topping as well as being perfect for fruit salads, smoothies, muffins and cakes.
Kiwifruit are hardy, deciduous, long-lived vines that produce fruit during autumn.
Traditionally they need warm summers but also require a certain number of “chilling hours’’ during winter to be productive. In subtropical zones look for varieties that are “low chill’’, which means they require less cool weather to fruit successfully.
Another important point to note with kiwifruit is that there are separate male and female plants, so you need to grow both to be able to produce fruit.
Male plant flowers have pollen and the female plants develop the fruit. Thankfully, kiwifruit plants in garden centres are labelled as male or female.
You’ll need a reasonable amount of space to grow a kiwifruit at your place as each vine can grow more than five metres wide. You’ll also need a strong support for the vines to grow on, such as a sturdy fence or a bare pergola.
Potted kiwifruit vines can be planted all year (wait until frosts have passed in cold areas).
Enrich the soil first with some fertiliser and then keep the soil moist until the vines are well-established. It’s important to keep kiwifruit well pruned to make sure they don’t get out of hand.
To encourage lots of flowers, start applying some liquid potash every 2-4 weeks in spring. Angie Thomas is a horticulturist at Yates.