Fruit and Vegetables

Kiwi cultivation


Kiwi cultivation


Let's start by saying that the Italian climate is perfect for the growth of plants of this type. To plant the plants you need to choose a soil that is moist but not too sunny. Kiwi trees are not afraid of the cold, but they cannot stand abrupt temperature drops. The suitable soil should be draining: to increase the drainage capacity, sand can be added at the moment in which it is prepared before planting the specimens. The soil can be prepared by digging in depth, and adding organic fertilizer (particularly recommended is manure, available in specialized shops).
It is a climbing plant: therefore it needs to grow with a support, better if a pergola. In order to obtain a harvest, it is necessary to have at least one male and one female plant, which will pollinate each other. They are recognized by the size of the flowers: those of the female plants are in fact much larger than those of the male plants. If you intend to grow a certain number of kiwi plants, there should be at least one male plant for every three or four females at most. When choosing plants to use in your field, it is best to take those that are at least one year old. The plants will have to be planted leaving a few meters of distance between one and the other: they are planted simply by digging in the ground prepared previously a fairly large hole, and covering the roots so that the plant does not hang from one side.
The kiwi can also be grown in a vase, if you do not have so much space available in the garden: the important thing is that the vase is placed in a not too sunny place. The vase must be in terracotta (a material that allows the oxygenation of the soil and roots) and you must place it at the base of the pebbles or gravel, to facilitate water drainage.

Growth



The cultivation of plants of this type requires a constantly moist soil: watering must therefore be regular and frequent, but care must be taken not to soak the soil too much, so as not to create dangerous water stagnation. Obviously, we must also rely on the climate: while in autumn and winter natural rainfall may suffice, in summer there may be need for even very close irrigations. However, kiwi plants must be watered during the coolest hours of the day. Fundamental to the success of a cultivation of this kind is pruning, which must be carried out twice in the same year: the first at the end of the winter period (when there is no longer the danger of night frosts) and the second in spring. This last intervention will be finalized to the shortening of the branches that do not present neither fruits nor flowers so that the others can have more light and more nutritional elements.

Collection



We will have to wait at least three years to get the first fruits from our plants: this is in fact the period of time that must pass from the planting. It is recognized that the fruits are ready to be harvested when they take on the characteristic gray-green color: once detached from the plant, they are well preserved in an airy and dry room, for no more than a week. If they are kept in the refrigerator, they can also be kept for a fortnight. The harvest period for kiwis lasts from November until the following autumn: it is therefore a very long period of time. It is recommended, however, to finish harvesting before the temperature drops and the arrival of frosts: if the thermometer falls below zero, the ripe fruit will be damaged and will no longer be eaten. To properly harvest the kiwis, the scissors are not necessary: ​​just twist the fruit slightly, which will come off easily from the twig correctly and without damaging the plant.

The kiwi is very resistant to the attack of pests and other insects: its main enemy is represented by the rot of the roots, caused by stagnant water. Other damage is caused by abrupt drops in temperature and strong winds: in general, these plants can be attacked only by aphids and scale insects, insects against which specific products can be used, which can be purchased in stores specializing in gardening items. However, kiwis can be attacked by fungi: to reduce the risk of this happening, pruning scissors must be disinfected before they are used, and care must be taken to periodically remove the weeds that grow at the base of the plants. In case you notice yellowish spots on the stems or leaves, it is probable that the plant has been attacked by a fungus: it is necessary to immediately run for cover by giving the appropriate products and cutting the affected leaves.