Hardy Kiwi 'Issai' is one of Elke's Faves this season...this is what she has to say:
I’m in love with these little kiwis. I planted 3 ‘Issai’ 2 years ago and had a non-stop supply of these delicious grape-sizes fruit this past summer & fall. It was like I got a treat every time I went into my garden. Deeeeelicious! It’s also self-pollinating so it doesn’t need a companion to produce fruit.
Hardy Kiwi is fun to grow and will bear fruit that tastes similar to traditional kiwi fruit. Note: it will bear fruit in the fall season (September) of its second year.
Kiwi 'Issai' is a vigorous, fast-growing, woody vine that grows quite tall and can fill a 200 sq. ft. trellis in time. It's foliage remains a lustrous dark green throughout the growing season. Slightly fragrant, greenish white flowers appear in May-June and this cultivar does not require a separate male pollinator plant.
This variety is closely related to the traditional kiwi fruit which is found in shops, but it has the advantage of a hairless skin so does not need peeling. Fruit is about 1½ ins (4cm) long and is extremely high in vitamin C, delicious and very sweet. The fruit tastes similar to, though slightly sweeter than, its larger-fruited relative, the true kiwi, Acinidia deliciosa, which can not be grown north of Zone 8.