Harvesting kiwi is not one of the simplest because it is very difficult to understand when the fruit is ripe, since the skin does not change color, and the size is also an insignificant parameter.
It is a very widespread crop in Italy, our country has established itself over the years as one of the largest producers in the world. The fruit is of Asian origin, it is produced by female plants of actinidia, a diodic climbing shrub (i.e. with sexualized plants) and is usually harvested in November.
The kiwi plant is very interesting because it is very productive. The harvest period at the end of autumn gives very pleasant fruit because it comes at a time when the production of a large quantity of fresh fruit is exhausted. For this reason, actinidia can be a great crop to place in the garden or orchard, remembering that both male and female plants are needed to bear fruit.
How and when to pick kiwis
The collection period. The actinidia plant comes into production at the end of October, depending on the climatic zone and the harvest, ripe fruits are found throughout November and even later in December, until the arrival of frosts.
Find out when to choose. To decide whether to pick a kiwi or not, it is necessary to assess its maturity, which is not very easy because the characteristic hairy skin is brown both for the green fruit and for the ripe fruit, there are no variations which help to understand when it is ripe. intelligent. Ripe kiwi fruit is sweet and sweet, but if you pick it unripe it will be tart and unappetizing, in addition to having tough flesh. Professional growers use a refractometer, an instrument that measures sugar content. Those who cultivate for pleasure and who have few plants in the garden cannot afford this type of equipment. Therefore, you need to experience the timing and try to leave the fruit on the plant for as long as possible. The important thing is to get all the kiwis before the frost hits, which will ruin the harvest.
How to collect. The difficulty is to understand which fruits should be detached from the branches of actinidia, so the manual harvesting action is very simple, the kiwis are detached by cutting the stem, it is useful to use garden shears.
Ripen the kiwis. It is possible to harvest immature kiwis, in case they need to be stored in crates with a few apples. The ethylene in apples acts as a ripening hormone and speeds up the process.
Conservation and properties
After collection. To store the harvested kiwis, they must be stored in the classic fruit crates which are breathable because they have holes. They should not be close together and overlapped. A dark, dry and cool place guarantees storage for at least a month, as long as there is air circulation. If the kiwi is stored in the refrigerator, it will keep twice as long.
Kiwi properties . The fruit of actinidia is characterized by a high content of vitamin C, which makes it excellent for avoiding the influence and can replace citrus, another fruit available between autumn and winter. In addition to this, the kiwi also has a good content of mineral salts and fiber and is positive for the intestinal flora.