How to Trellis Hardy Kiwi

Overview

The hardy kiwi differs from the kiwifruit in size and flavor. Kiwi fruit do not grow as well in North America as they do in Asia, but amateur horticulturalists and the average home gardener are fond of growing them in their gardens. The fruit is green and fuzz-free, sweeter than kiwi fruit, and about the size of a grape, with the characteristic tiny black seeds in a rayed pattern on the inside. Hardy kiwi prefers a sunny location, well-draining soil and a sturdy trellis to grow over and around.

Build a Trellis

Step 1

Dig two holes, about 2 to 3 feet deep, on either side of the kiwi plant. There should be 15 to 18 feet between each hole.

Step 2

Bolt the cross arms to the tall posts that make up the trellis.

Step 3

Raise the T-bars, one at a time, and stand them in the holes. Cement the trellis T-bars in place.

Step 4

Let the cement dry. Once it is dry, climb a ladder so you can reach the top of one T-bar.

Step 5

Take the three long sections of wire, space them evenly along the length of the T-bar, with one on each end and one in the middle, 2 feet in from either side. Attach the ends to the cross arm.

Step 6

Attach the unattached ends of the wires to the cross bar on the other T-bar.

Train Young Plants in the First Two Years

Step 1

Prune the shoot down to two buds at the time of planting.

Step 2

Choose one shoot to be the kiwi's trunk and prune all others.

Step 3

Head back the shoot's growth (prune) as it begins to lose vigor. This will encourage new growth.

Step 4

Remove any lateral shoots (shoots that grow from the trunk) and allow the trunk to grow just beyond the height of the center wire.

Step 5

Trim down the trunk to just below the wire, then choose two lateral shoots that will grow along the center wire in either direction. These are the lateral trunks.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 4-inch by 4-inch posts, 8 feet to 9 feet high
  • 2 2-inch by 6-inch cross arms, 4 feet long
  • Cement
  • 8 to 12-guage wire in three sections, about 15 to 18 feet long
  • Ladder
  • Stake
  • Pruning shears

References

  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Hardy Kiwi fruit
  • Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Kiwifruit and Hardy Kiwi
  • Penn State College of Agricultural Science: Pruning and Training
Keywords: hardy kiwi, trellis, T-bar

About this Author

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. She writes about green living, careers and the home garden. Her writing has appeared on eHow and Answerbag. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies.