Fruit and Vegetables

Kiwi pruning

Kiwi pruning

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The fruit known as kiwi is nothing but a berry. It derives from the climbing lianas of a very resistant plant called Actinidia deliciosa, which is part of the Actinidiaceae family.
Of this very nutritious fruit, which is spreading more and more on the table of Italians and is now easily available in supermarkets at advantageous prices, there are two varieties, namely the gold type and the green type.
Gold can be easily recognized, given that it has a more elongated shape, without the classic lids on the skin of the fruit itself.
The green kiwi instead has a brownish skin. Its pulp is green, while that of the gold variety is yellow.
Not everyone knows that even the peel can be eaten. It is absolutely not harmful, as long as it is washed with care.

Kiwi spread

The origins of kiwi - and therefore of the plant that produces it - are to be found in the south of China. And it is in this country that we have the first information about its cultivation, which date back as far as 700 years ago.
In Europe it came relatively recently and that is towards the end of the 20th century, making itself immediately appreciated for the sweet and unusual taste, which made it a delicacy that adds something exotic to lunch or dinner.
The success recorded by this fruit in our country was truly surprising, considering that today Italy has become one of the largest producers of these fruits in the world.
In particular it is cultivated in the following regions: Piedmont, Fiuli, Veneto, Lazio (especially in the province of Latina) and Campania.

Kiwi pruning

Let us immediately say that the pruning of the kiwi plant is very similar to that which is carried out on the vines, both for technique in the strict sense, and for the most suitable period.
However, we must bear in mind the fact that Actinidia can withstand more branches and even more fruits than with vines and therefore it is advisable to leave its branches a little longer.
The right time to carry out the pruning is therefore in winter ended, that is in February or even in March and in any case when there is no longer danger of frosts that can cause damage to the plants themselves, compromising their development.
It is therefore necessary to prune the branches that have given fruit during the previous season.
These branches must be pruned at the base. On the others you need to leave only 6-7 gems.
Then we need to examine the base of the plant. If the formation of the characteristic "suckers" is detected, the latter must be eliminated.
Of course we must proceed to the banal elimination of those branches that appear too thick or even intertwined, since they limit the necessary penetration of light, with its beneficial effects.
If fruits are already present on some branches, those where the fruits have not yet been born must be shortened. Fertilization must be manure-based, to be administered once a year.

Varieties Actinidia and some curiosities

The main plant that generates this fruit is Actinidia deliciosa, but it should be remembered that Actinidia kolomikta, Actinidia chinensis and Actinidia arguta also exist, each of which has its own peculiarities.
The plant is widespread in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. It has the peculiarity of being a so-called dioecious plant, meaning that it presents male and female flowers on different plants. So for every 4-5 plants with female flowers, the proximity of at least one plant with male flowers is necessary.
Generally the fruit is harvested in September and in the first half of October.
To grow well you always need to get plenty of water.
It should be noted that kiwi plants, which must be kept in a cool and dry place, since excessive heat easily damages them, should never be left in places where ethylene is present, since this gas has the effect of significantly accelerate the maturation processes.
As for the qualities of this fruit, it must be said that it is very rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron. A real bomb of nutritional elements, to the point that there are doctors who advise eating one a day (once it was said the same for apples, but times change).
The regular intake of this fruit limits the risk of cramps and therefore the kiwi goes very well in the athletes' diet.
The high amount of potassium then has the effect of making the skin more luminous and elastic and should reduce the presence of obvious wrinkles.
This fruit also strengthens the gums and reflexes the teeth and is advisable for those who suffer from digestion problems. A real cure-all or, if you prefer, an elixir of long life.
Finally, a curiosity: in nature there are also varieties of kiwis with brick-colored skin and red flesh, but they are not easy to find on the market.