Like any other fruit, understanding the growing stages of Kiwifruit is essential to maximise its production and achieve a high-quality fruit, with a well balanced taste and sweetness when the harvesting time arrives.
Actinidia is a genus with more than 50 species, most of which are native to Southwest China. Globally, Kiwifruit is known for its sweet, slightly acidic flesh as well as its high nutritional value due to its high vitamin C concentration.
The first kiwifruit orchard outside of China was developed in New Zealand in 1930 using Actinidia deliciosa plant material. As of 2008, California Kiwifruit Commission estimates that the world’s farmed surface is approximately 57,000 hectares (ha) and the world’s production is approximately 320 million tray equivalents It’s estimated that there are 12,185 acres in production of kiwifruit in New Zealand.
What to know about the growing stages of Kiwifruit?
To maximize fruit quality and weight, it is essential to understand the phenological growing stages of Kiwifruit such as budbreak, flowering, fruit maturation, and pollination, as well as the timing of various management practices (pruning, application of bioregulators and pesticides, natural and mechanical pollination, flowering time and fruit thinning, harvest time, etc.
In temperate climates, kiwi fruit plants are easy to grow. They should be kept away from extremes of cold or heat. It is important to note that kiwi plants cannot tolerate cold and should only be cultivated in locations with 700 to 800 cooling hours.
So, for 700 to 800 hours, the temperature should be below 7 degrees Celsius in winter. Kiwis grow best in hilly areas. At altitudes ranging from 800 to 1500 meters above sea level, they can be grown. Leaves might be scorched if temperatures rise above 35 degrees Celsius in summer. Kiwi fruit plants should be propagated in the early spring season.
Unlike other fruits, kiwifruit does not have a distinct phenological scale. As per Hayward variety, there are five stages for the formation of buds after winter dormancy, as well as an additional five stages for developing flower buds up until full bloom.
The Five Growing Stages of Kiwifruit
Bud development is the most important stage of growth. When a plant goes into dormancy, all of the buds from the preceding crop-year have closed up. may see a little ostiole (about 2 mm in diameter). Active buds start to swell. Just a few white trichomes cover the scales. In few days Swelling at the end of the bud starts, As buds begin to form on leaves and flowers, they are surrounded by brown trichomes and scales. Scales detach, revealing green leaf tips covered with brown trichomes.
1st major growth stage is Leaf formation This opens up into a cluster of leaves that can be seen day by day. The visible leaves have begun to unfold and spread out from the stem. Unfolded two to eight (or more) leaves, although they aren’t yet fully expanded To begin with, the leaves are fully formed.
One of the main growth cycle is shoot prolification, Shoots achieve a length of roughly 10% of their eventual size in initial days then gradually Shoots achieve a length of roughly 50% of their eventual size and at last they achieve 90% of their full length till end of growing season.
Inflorescence emergence is the final development stage. Singlet or triplet flowering inflorescence buds appears and buds are closed, with no peduncle, greenish sepal is visible and covered by trichomes. Inflorescence bud swelling i.e., Developing flower buds The buds are still closed, but the peduncles are getting longer. There is now a white-greenish flower with elongated reddish peduncles. Pedicles are elongating as well as becoming thicker and longer. Longer than the calyx and whitish-greenish to white, the corolla is clearly apparent.
This stage of corolla has the white petals forming the first hollow ball. Only one of the petals remains attached. Separation of a number of petals Pistils are still not visible for as long as the calyx is. It’s time to bloom! Corolla bell-shaped is the first flower to open. 10 percent of the blooms are open at the beginning of blossoming. At least 50% of the blooms are open. The first petals are withering or falling off the plant. A few pistils are still viable The majority of the petals have dried or gone off the plant so there are no active pistils left.
After flowering, ripening fruits can be seen In the final stage of fruit development, White core and green pericarp with rounded-ovoid shape of the cultivar. This Stage of growth is when the fruit reaches full maturity.
Approximately 10 weeks after anthesis, the seeds attain their full size, harden, and change colour from white to brown, advancing through tan to dark brown. Fruit that is ready for commercial harvesting. When the seed ages, it turns black. Solid content greater than 6.2 %. Yet unfit for human nourishment. Fruit begins to squish down.
Fruit that is ready to eat: the fruit has a characteristic flavor and texture. About 14–16 percent of the solids are soluble.
Senescence is the major development stage. Dormancy begun Growth of the shoots is complete; the foliage is totally dark green. Old leaves begin to deteriorate and fall.
There are no more leaves to be found. Winter season is for rest.
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