Herbs

Cutting kiwi berries - How to ensure more yield

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Anyone who grows the kiwi berry naturally wants to harvest as much as possible. In order for this to work, the kiwi berry must be cut regularly. Find out what needs to be considered here.

© ClaraNila - Fotolia.com

The kiwi berry proves to be a growth-intensive liana plant. If you do not want to suddenly stand in a jungle of overgrowing scrub in your home garden, annual cutting measures are essential. The long tendrils not only appear less aesthetically pleasing, the plants in question will not be able to convince with high yields either, since they invest all their energy in the formation of meter-long and bulky shoots.

When cutting, the hobby gardener can use the vines as a guide.

The trellis education

In order to keep the effort as low as possible and still achieve the best possible harvest yield, espalier training is a good option. A stable trellis is provided with four horizontally running wires. The top wire should run at a height of about 1.5 meters. Attach the bottom wire to a height of about 30 centimeters and the two remaining wires are attached between them.

After planting, only the strongest shoots are left on the plant. The shoot is shortened to about 50 centimeters and attached vertically to the bottom of the tension wires.

" Tip: A soft PVC hollow cord should be used for fastening so as not to injure the plant.

The shoot extension develops during the growth period. This is in turn guided perpendicular to the next tension wire and tied there. The shoot is shortened about 15 centimeters above the tension wire. New side shoots soon formed. Only the strongest of the new shoots are left on the plant and guided horizontally along the lower wire.

Further side shoots will form on these guide shoots, which form the basis for the flower formation and later ripening of the fruits. The shoots are cut into about five leaves behind the fruit in midsummer. Once the mini kiwis have been harvested, the shoots can be cut back further. One or two buds should be preserved. So that the main drives do not grow unnecessarily, they are cut back annually.

" Tip: Kiwi berries should preferably be cut in summer or autumn. Pruning in spring would cause severe wounds and bleed the plant heavily.

The cut 1 × 1 modeled on the vine

  • Young plants are prevented from winding up uncontrollably.
  • Attach one or two shoots to the trellis and guide them vertically upwards.
  • Remove all side shoots initially.
  • Thin shoots less than five millimeters in circumference are removed.
  • Shortening of the whip shoots - July to August
  • In the fourth year of the stand, thin and rotating shoots are cut out in late winter

Female plants will be easy to grow. In the case of the growth-intensive male plants, hedge trimmers should be used after a few years.

The easy way

For hobby gardeners, for whom espalier education seems too complex and complicated, there is another way. However, this is likely to affect crop yield.

Kiwi berries can be treated as normal climbing plants. To do this, let the plant grow along a pergola. The main drives are raised in different directions. Once the fruits have been harvested, the mini kiwi is slightly exposed.

" Tip: Kiwi berries generally tolerate pruning very well and shoots that are too long or disruptive can be pruned at any time during the growing season.

Why should kiwi berries be cut?

  • Kiwi berries are very fast-growing.
  • Kiwi berries can proliferate uncontrollably.
  • Kiwi berries need an annual pruning for an attractive appearance.
  • The pruning promotes flowering
  • The pruning promotes the visual appearance of the plants.
  • The pruning removes old and diseased plant parts.

How can the fruit size be improved?

So-called axillary drives are formed on multi-year side shoots. Here are the flowers. To improve the quality of the fruit, the old fruit wood has to be cut back to the young fruit wood. This process is called fruit wood rotation. These cutting measures are preferably carried out in summer. The kiwi berries can also be cut in January or early February when the plant is at rest. Since the interfaces in March and April would bleed heavily due to the plant juice shooting in, cutting measures should be avoided at this time.

Cutting measures for diseases

Although the kiwi berries are known to be quite robust plants, diseases or pests can occasionally occur. One of the reasons for this can be root rot that is too moist or infestation with scale insects. While any help is often too late when the roots rot, the plants can usually be saved in the event of fungal diseases or infestation by pests by pruning. Cutting measures should take place immediately if diseased parts of the plant are noticed. The mini kiwifruit is very well tolerated by cutting and will have recovered within a short time and will develop new shoots.

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