DEAR NEW FARM:
Would you have any idea why our little kiwis would drop off
the vines after having grown to only about half an inch in
We’ve had good fruit in past years but in the last
two seasons have lost everything before it has matured. The
trees bloomed like crazy—and the flowers got pollinated
because the bees were busy amongst the vines—but then
the little kiwis drop off early. I could already taste them
in my mind!
We asked our friends Robin and Nancy Gammons, growers of kiwis
(and a whole lot more) on their 5-acre diversified farm in
Aromas, California. Here’s what Nancy had to offer:
“There are usually two
causes for immature fruit drop: lack of water at a crucial
time and lack of pollination. Bumblebees appear to be the
best insect pollinators, as honeybees aren't that attracted
to kiwi blossoms because they don't have much nectar. Since
you saw many bees amongst the blossoms, I would assume that
it might be due to water.
Kiwifruit like a lot of water;
we irrigate everyday, four hours a day, but have very sandy
soil. With a heavier soil, you have to be more careful,
as the vines also need good drainage…and fertilizer.
We feed our kiwifruit twice in the season: once in the spring
and again in the late summer, using an organic 7-5-7 blend.
So, that’s my guess. Not educated, but experiential."
us with comments, suggestions and questions.