Sorry I've been MIA. I really haven't had too much gardening news to share. We actually had our first frost on October 6th in my backyard, much earlier than the average date of October 20th.
I ordered an Issai Hardy Kiwi from Gurneys a few months ago, and I just received it last week since they only ship in the fall. I thought it was going to be bareroot, but to my surprise it was a beautiful, tiny green plant. If you have never heard of hardy kiwi, you're not alone. I was very excited to read about this variety of kiwi that grows in the colder regions and is cold hardy to about -10! One Issai Kiwi plant can produce up to 100 pounds of fruit per year! The best part is that you can eat these kiwi just like grapes because they are fuzz-free. I chose Issai because it only takes a couple of years to produce fruit and it is self-pollinating, so I didn't have to buy a male plant. It is also billed as thriving in any type of soil. Another popular type of hardy kiwi is the Artic Beauty, which requires a male and female plant to be planted within 100 feet of each other and also takes up to 10 years to bear fruit.
One thing to keep in mind with hardy kiwi is that they are a vine. I have read that they can grow up to 30 feet per year, so you will have to have plenty of space and definitely a support system in place for them. You also can't be afraid to prune them. I have seen some gorgeous photos of people who have trained them up the stairs on their deck. I plan on training mine along the fenceline in the backyard.
This little guy transplanted very easily and looks like it's thriving in the week it's been in the ground. I'm very excited to see how it will grow this spring.