Site Selection and Soil Preparation

Kiwifruit can be grown in any garden soil provided the pH is between 5.5 and 7.0. The plants thrive in moist soils but do not tolerate poorly drained soils. They benefit from the incorporation of organic matter before planting.

While most cultivars are hardy in areas up to Zone 4, they require about a 150-day frost-free season. Vines perform best in full sun, but on such sites they tend to break dormancy too early in the spring, when late frosts can damage new growth. Planting them with a northern exposure delays early growth and minimizes this risk. Early fall frosts also can cause damage, so avoid planting in frost pockets. Plants usually regrow if damaged by a spring frost, but this will delay fruit development. The succulent growth is also susceptible to wind damage and hot, dry conditions. Protected moderate microclimates are best, as kiwifruit also do not like sudden changes in temperatures.

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