We have a lovely brick wall that faces north, yet is sheltered from the late afternoon hot summer sun and prevailing winds. It is on the back of the house bordering the deck. We’d talked about planting a kiwi fruit but finding the right solution took a bit of lateral thinking and a jigsaw. One option would have been to buy a really big pot, such as a half wine barrel and put that on the deck. The problem with that was the very real potential for it to dry out in the hot sun through summer and it would not be easy to repot when the potting mix got tired. And I don’t have a good history with large pots on the deck. So I cut a hole in the deck…
Trying the space for size. Deciding how many boards I would need to cut. You need both a female and male plant if you want kiwifruit. The male plant is the larger one as it was a year older. This was the treasure I got with a Stoneman’s voucher I’d received as a goodbye. So I better not kill them!
Dug out about 100 litres (measured in 20L buckets) of icky sticky yellow clay by lying on the deck digging blindly with a trowel after loosening what I could with a fork. I dropped the soil level directly under the hole by about 20 cms giving a 40′ish cm height to the planting area. The rest of the hole was more like a flattish bowl. Deep enough to lie on the deck and put my head down the hole at any rate.
Milly checked under the deck and came out with spiderwebs on her.
I filled a rough circle about 3 feet in diameter under the deck with the contents of 2 compost bins, a bag of potting mix, some gypsum (clay treatment) and perlite (was hanging around from another project). As the soil settles a bit I will tuck more compost down the sides of the hole. We can water through the deck across the eventual root zone.
Happy in their hole after planting.
A week later and the leaves are really coming along and I need to investigate reinforcing mesh to attach to the brickwork as trellis. Apparently a good vine can produce up to 80 kilos of fruit. Mum remembers getting 200+ per year from their 2 female + 1 male vine in Melbourne years ago and giving them away to people in egg cartons. Strange furry eggs.
Kiwi fruit on muesli. Kiwi fruit for morning tea, Kiwi fruit sorbet. mmmm