Kiwi harvesting

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by soccerdad, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a female Kiwi vine - or is it two? - that produces Kiwis like one sees in grocery stores. They are hard as rocks right now. I have read that they should only be picked once they are soft but does anyone who grows them in the Vancouver area have any suggestion on that topic? I fear that they'll freeze before they soften.
     
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You might be right about freezing before they soften; but you don't have to wait for kiwis to soften. Commercially, they are picked at the firm stage, when the sugar content gets to a certain point. They will then ripen indoors, and the hard starches will convert to sugars. I always wait until the evening before the first forecast hard freeze to pick all of my fuzzy kiwis. That's usually in November in this area. Because the fruits already have some sugar in them, they will not freeze during a light frost, althought the leaves may turn brown and start dropping.

    Kiwis are one of the best fruits for storage; mine keep until April in a basement cool room. You can ripen them anytime by storing them at room temperature next to apples for a few days.
     
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  3. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    I'm assuming you are referring to the green Actinidia deliciosa (fuzzy kiwi).
    I'm growing A. chinensis (gold kiwi) which at one point were considered one and the same and were lumped together with A. deliciosa. My gold kiwis are currently ripening - they will be ready for harvest mid to late October - and will be left on the vine until ripe or until threat of hard frost. Being in the Vancouver area I doubt your kiwis will freezer before then so I would leave then on the vine and watch the temperatures. And if necessary you can pick the fruit and allow it to ripen inside but do not store with other fruits as the ethylene gas given off by apples etc. will cause them to ripen quicker (which is fine if you only have 1 or 2 but if you have lots of fruit this can cause you to lose a good portion of your crop before you can use it).
     
  4. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks. To be frank, I don't recall which I am growing but they appear identical with what I see in the stores.
     
  5. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    There are two varieties that you will see in the stores; green "fuzzy" kiwi and gold kiwi.
    The greens are everywhere and available year round; they are fuzzy on the outside and green on the inside.
    The golds are only available at a certain time of year (only commercially grown in Australia and New Zealand) and the vines are not available for purchase (I got mine out of the US years ago where they are still very uncommon); golds are smooth skinned and yellow/gold on the inside (the skin is also edible)
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Freezing kiwis is not a good idea. You must pick them before frosts arrive. They are ripening nicely after picking, if to keep them in dry and warm (around +20C) place.
     
  7. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Mine are now in storage. We will see.
     
  8. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I am just curious, how much harvest one can expect from one kiwi plant in the Vancouver area?
     
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I got over a hundred fuzzy green kiwifruits from one vine last year.
     
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  10. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    I harvested enough of the grape sized Actinidia varieties this year to make 24 jars of jam. And I will be harvesting gold kiwis today, for the first time, so I'll let you know the yield later.
     
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  11. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    @vitog and @pmurphy, thank you for information!
    I have 2 actinidias, but they seem to be both male and I haven't got any fruit.
    Will try kiwis soon.
     
  12. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    Update.
    I harvested the golds and got 156, equalling 16 lbs off my vines. Some still need to ripen a bit but I didn't want to leave them on any longer because of the frost.
     

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  13. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Nice harvest! Really motivating for my attempts to grow kiwis here too!
     
  14. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I have about 70 but (a) the vine is almost entirely in the shade all year, (b) I didn't realize that I needed to add nitrogen to the soil and (c) this is only the seondyear of fruiting.
     
  15. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    My vines are on the west side of the house so are mostly shaded, and I've never pampered my plants, i.e. given any fertilizers or supplements. The only thing I do with my vines is prune as necessary to contain them, sometimes drastically.
     
  16. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Sorry, my mistake; that was over 100 pounds of kiwifruits.
     
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  17. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I have had a half dozen kiwis in a papear bag with an apple - and, to cover all bases, an apple slice - at room temperature for about 10 days now. They remain hard as rocks. How long before they might start to ripen?
     
  18. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    I'm not sure how long it will take for green "fuzzies".
    My golds were not quite ripe when I harvested so I placed them in the basement fridge just over a week ago (there is no other fruit in the fridge). Today I noticed that they are already starting to get overripe so I spent this afternoon slicing and freezing it.
     
  19. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I picked my fuzzy kiwis exactly 1 week ago and put all but 2 of them in our garage. The 2 were placed in a paper bag with 4 apples and are now softening and almost ripe. They may have been riper than most of the other ones because they fell off the vine while I was picking adjacent fruits. Soccerdad, you could try using more apples with the kiwis or try bananas to generate ethylene gas. It might depend on how ripe the apples are.
     
  20. codlin

    codlin New Member

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    You might of picked them, alittle too soon. I have hardy kiwis and the 3rd season, I got it right. The very slightly softness feel of the fruit, along with the amount of tension needed to pull them off, even if you cut them off, and the weeks temp., all play a part. The color is has that browning too.My can sit for a week or be hastened with an apple.
     
  21. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Hardy kiwis ripen a lot earlier than fuzzy ones. In Burnaby, my Issai variety ripens fully on the vine in October; Anna ripens even earlier. The green fuzzy kiwis only rarely get soft before a heavy freeze arrives in late October or November. They are usually quite hard when picked but snap off the stems easily, which I assume indicates some degree of ripeness. Once they soften up at room temperature, they taste quite ripe.
     
  22. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    The ones that I kept in a bag with apples ripened recently after 4 1/2 weeks.
     

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