Anyone in Christchurch growing Kiwifruit?
My vines are ramping all over the chookshed and nearby trees, with a prolific crop of fruit hanging at head level. After a couple of sharpish frosts the leaves are gone and I can see hundreds of kiwifruit hanging there; trouble is they are hard as rocks and sour as lemons. Ugh. Do they ripen in Christchurch or is it like with figs - only one year in 10 seems warm enough to produce an edible crop? I dont want such a huge vine if I don't get any fruit from it . . . anyone else grown kiwifruit in Christchurch?
If they ripen up and start to taste better than "Ugh", then I would be interested in some!
I have seen a vine pair growing against a north-facing dark-brown-painted fence at Woodend. Out there it gets the more coastal climate. The owner said it did produce. Other than that I know of a cocktail kiwifruit vine pair that sometimes produces in Sockburn.
However, don't give up on your kiwifruit just yet! My mother had a vine pair near Greymouth when I was a child. Sometimes at the end of autumn some fruit were reluctant to ripen on-vine before the frosts started. She would pick them and place in an airtight plastic bag in the bottom of the fridge with a couple of ripe apples. Usually, they would be ripe about a week later. Obviously this will not be as nice as vine-ripened fruit, but what I suggest mimics what the commercial suppliers probably do to us anyway, picking green and ripening on the way to the shops.
Use 2 apples to about 15 kiwifruit. Make sure the fruit are whole and unmarked and perfectly dry. Let us know how you get on.
Now that the snow has cleared I ventured out into the back yard to look at the kiwifruit. Although I wouldn't call them ripe they are not as hard or as sour as they were so I am going to give this a try. The fruit are in a bag with the apples now - will let you know how it turns out!
OK, final update. The fruit still hanging on the fine are softening but not ripening. After a heavy snowfall and a series of frosts they seem to be rotting rather than ripening on the vine. Of the fruit I brought inside the ones in a paper bag with an apple finally rotted, the ones in a ziplock plastic bag with apple ripened enough to be edible - both those in the fridge and the ones on the bench. So next year as soon as the seeds turn black I will begin with the apple and plastic bag routine - and John if you want some next year you will be welcome.
Thank you Margaret... I will try and remember!!