Kiwifruits, also known as simply “kiwis” are a popular type of edible berry that grows on vines in temperate regions. Large areas of South Africa’s interiors are suitable for gold kiwifruit production, as the vines can tolerate temperatures as low as -15°C in midwinter. South African growers produce good quality yellow kiwi, and they produce it at a time when they can go into a market in Europe ahead of any other Southern Hemisphere player. During the 2018 season the return for New Zealand kiwi fruit growers was approximately R1,3million / ha.
This is the type of kiwifruit typically found in groceries stores. It is a brown, fuzzy fruit with a thick skin and green pulp. For optimal growth, it requires about a month of cool weather with temperatures ranging from 30 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 – 7°).
Another popular type of kiwi, the golden kiwi is sweeter but more delicate compared to the common kiwi. It is closely related to common kiwifruit but is less fuzzy and more yellow.
This name usually refers to two different kiwi species, the hardy kiwi and the super – hardy kiwi. These kiwifruits are much smaller compared to common and golden kiwis and have a thinner, smooth skin. As their names suggest, this type of kiwi is the most cold – tolerant and can be grown in areas that experience harsh winters.
Kiwi fruit vines need deep, friable, fertile, free-draining soil to thrive. They can be planted in full sun or semi shade and need to be kept moist (but not waterlogged), as this could lead to root rot. Mixing organic compost into the soil will improve growth. Vines should be protected from strong winds.
The fruit ripens in November , and harvesting can start when the fruit begin to soften. It can be picked off the vine by hand, or clipped off, close to the base of each fruit. Firm fruit can be kept at room temperature for up to eight weeks. Ripe fruit will last for a week or more if kept in the refrigerator.
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