Arctic Beauty Hardy Kiwi is an extremely vigorous plant, with a showy foliage display and great fruit production. While this plant is very hardy in the winter, the most common issue keeping people from getting a great fruit crop every year is late season frosts after the vines have already sent out their new shoots.
Kiwi flowers develop on current season’s growth, generally just a few inches from where the bud emerges each spring. If you get an early warm-up in late winter or early spring, the shoots start growing and the kiwi is at risk of getting burned by late frost. When the new shoots get burned, most of the time the flower buds are killed and there is no chance of fruit until the next year.
To avoid this, provide frost protection for your vines if they’ve started to grow in the spring and you’re still not past your region’s last frost date. This can be done by covering the vines with old sheets, row cover or by misting the vines with water 3-4 hours everyday before the sun breaks the horizon. Felix Cooper, Director of Research and Development for Gurney’s, even suggested an alternate method, which he employs: he cooks on his grill under his covered patio before the sun comes up every morning, which raises the temperature around the vines and avoids frost.
Whichever method you choose, it’s time to prepare your Arctic Beauty Hardy Kiwi for winter so you can enjoy this delicious fruit crop year after year.