Did you know that you can grow Kiwis in Minnesota? When most people think of Kiwis its the large fuzzy ones from New Zealand that they sell at the grocery store that come to mind. But there are actually many different types of Kiwis, and some of them are cold hardy down to Zone 3. We're going to be putting in Kolomikta Kiwis this year. They are a variety that produces fruits slightly larger than a grape with no fuzz and that are eaten whole. They have the same general Kiwi taste as what you would find in the stores, but are a little sweeter according to the descriptions.
Kiwi plants are very aggressive vines that require trellising / support and take up a lot of space. We decided to build a pergola of sorts running beside our garage over the walkway.
Kiwis are male and female gendered and female plants require a male for pollination, but the male plant does not produce fruits. With that in mind, we decided on three Kiwi plants, one male and two female. Each plant will be grown up one of the posts on the opposite side of the walk from the garage. The Kiwi's will form a trunk up the post and then will be trained into a canopy along the wires above the walk. The posts are spaced 9 feet apart and are about 8 feet tall.
Looking into the yard from the back gate visitors are greeted by our wisteria pergola (the one non edible plant in the entire back yard) and then the 18 foot long wisteria pergola. Once mature each female plant will produce around 25 lbs of Kiwis in a year. Fifty pounds of Kiwis will be a nice addition to the urban ton. It's a shame they wont start producing for 5-7 years!