[NAFEX] RE: Hardy Kiwi and frost

Moyer, Richard ramoyer at king.edu
Mon Apr 7 14:38:42 EDT 2003

Don't know if the folks at Kiwi Korners will contribute, but here's my
limited experience with 4 plants over 10 years.
---These kiwi are native to the far east including China, Russia, Korea and
Japan, hence are adapted to less severe temperature swings in spring than we
experience here.  To reiterate, they're genetically programmed to bud out
after danger of frost at home, but not here in eastern US.   We lost most
active growth on kakis and kiwi when 23F 10 days ago.  Our native persimmons
are not so easily fooled, but our Asian persimmons are.
---Among Meyer's Cordifolia, Ken's Red and Anna kiwi cultivars, Anna
reblooms for us on secondary buds and still gives a partial crop even after
severe freezes.  The other two haven't, hence try Anna.
---Some recommend protecting vines the first winter, such as potting them up
and storing in an unheated cellar, then placing out after all danger of
frost.  Have read they bud out later as the vines grow older, and they also
have more reserves for recovery if frozen back severely.
---Heavy mulch and other microclimate factors can keep soil colder and delay
budding, but root rot also a problem in summer, so raise the planting area
to minimize soggy roots.
---Have also read males can be harder to establish.
Richard Moyer
Zone 6, East Tenn, enjoying clove currant bloom
P.S. If late frost/freezes are your norm, consider minor fruits which are
unfazed by fluctuating spring temps, require less space then kiwi, yet with
comparable yields.  

Mike Levine wrote:
However, my next question is:  Are there varieties of kiwis that leaf out
later?  Or that have more frost resistant foliage.  Are there breeding
programs to try to achieve these goals?   Also, how's the fruit and vigor of
those vines?  I planted MSU thinking it would be adapted somewhat to my
climate.  I guess they don't have problems with late frosts over in E.
Lansing like we do here in Ann Arbor :)    Late frosts are the norm here.
Comments on your favorites with precocious vines, good flavor, high yield,
or vigor would be appreciated too.

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