Sorry to hear about the disappointing fruit set on your kiwi this year. Yes, the hail and wind storm may have played havoc with your vine but here are some other things to also consider:
- You planted a female kiwi but not a male. Females can set fruit on their own, but they're not at all reliable about doing so every year, also abundantly.
- You did plant both a female and a male but that was within the past 3 years. Young plants require several years to develop a sturdy root system which will provide abundant harvests.
- A frost occurred which damaged the flower buds and/or flowers, thus preventing fruit set.
-The kiwi ran short of water during August, the time when fruiting buds begin to develop.
Kiwi are large scale, somewhat rampant vines which require a sturdy support. Further, they need sufficient water to avoid browning of the leaf edges during the growing season.
This publication suggests fertilizing kiwi. Even so, our clay-based soil, plus an organic mulch, may be sufficient for a home garden kiwi.
The fruits are harvested late in the season, when they are mature but still firm, and then are stored for a while before they soften and are ready to eat. (See page 21 and beyond.) Cut the fruit from the vine. If pulled free, they will soon spoil. You may need to experiment a bit to determine the approximate time to harvest your kiwi.