Iago Hale, UNH professor and kiwiberry breeder, recently provided us with his latest updates for commercial production of kiwiberry (aka hardy kiwi).
Variety recommendations and sourcing vines
Over the last year, we have been working closely with Hartmann’s Plant Company, genetically analyzing their entire kiwiberry inventory and cross-referencing it to our collection in order to validate the identities of their offerings. That undertaking is complete, and we are very happy to be able to direct commercial producers to Hartmann’s for sourcing verified varieties.
Current recommended commercial cultivars for the northeast, now available as verified varieties from Hartmann’s:
- Females: Geneva 3 (strongly recommended); Ananasnaya (also commercially viable)
- Males: Meader Male, 74-46, 74-52, Opitz Male
For male pollinator varieties, our recommendation is to plant Meader Male (early male with a flowering window that encompasses the above females), in combination with at least one of the other male varieties listed, all a tad later but still overlapping strongly with the females. Hartmann’s inventory of 74-52 and Opitz Male is just now being developed; but 74-46 is currently available. When buying from Hartmann’s, be sure to specify that you want UNH-verified vines.
Excellent pruning video tutorials
Dr. Bernadine Strik at Oregon State University recently released a set of online training videos, covering proper pruning and training techniques for kiwiberry. This online resource is excellent – clear, thorough, and well worth the $50 cost. We highly recommend it for folks with commercial aspirations for this crop.
As a reminder, the UNH Kiwiberry program published an online guide for regional producers last year; this excellent resource is chock-full of information for aspiring or current commercial growers of this crop.