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Video: Actinidia In My Garden
A wonderful liana decorates the house, pumps out moisture from under it and gives tasty fruits
All neighbors or guests who come to our site immediately pay attention to the wall of our house, densely braided with green branches of vines.
And the first question: "Is this your girlish grape?" And we patiently explain that this is actinidia kolomikta, the progenitor of kiwi. Visitors admire: "What a beauty, and even with edible fruits!"
Yes, this liana is very beautiful, and besides its attractiveness, it annually treats us with very sweet fruits with delicate pulp and an unusual aroma - of pineapple, and apple, and strawberry. She is also a champion in vitamin C.
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But actinidia kolomikta appeared in our country not at all for the sake of its tasty and healthy fruits. Her primary task was different. We purchased our plot in 1992. It was a forest area on a gentle slope with many thick aspens, birches, bird cherry, mountain ash and other trees. All summer we uprooted, cleared the territory, and by the end of August a foundation pit was dug for the foundation of the house.
Since no water appeared in it for a month and a half, we started construction, starting, of course, with the construction of the foundation, not paying attention to the fact that there is a source about 25 meters from this place. And now, in the summer of next year, water appeared from under the foundation, which had to be diverted by making deep drainage around the entire house. The work was done in good faith, and the basement floor became drier, but the problem was not completely solved.
Construction continued, and after a while I came across an article about geopathogenic zones of the earth that adversely affect human health, and in particular, about houses standing above underground water veins. It is in such a place that our site is located. The impression was, to put it mildly, not a pleasant one, but by that time we had already erected the walls of the house, developed almost the entire site, and it was a shame to abandon it all.
They began to take a deeper interest in this question: is everything really so dangerous for the health and even life of people? There were different publications, and in the end I found a reassuring article on this topic in some magazine. It said that if your site is located above an underground river, then try to plant as many vertical plants as possible, i.e. lianas, and this, supposedly, will ward off trouble. Grasping this straw, we began to plant vines: Chinese lemongrass, maiden grapes, woodworm, hops, clematis.
And even later, when I read in a book on gardening that actinidia is very fond of water and in general can serve as a powerful pump for draining water from under buildings, I bought a sapling of actinidia kolomikta in the store. True, knowing that this plant is dioecious, I asked the seller: this plant is female or male, because there should be two of them for setting fruits. To which he replied: we received the seedlings from Holland and, excuse me, there were no marks "m" or "f".
There was nothing to do, I bought it, because my main task was to get rid of water, and the harvest is in second place. We planted her near the house on the south side in well-fertilized soil, and she apparently liked the place, because she grew very quickly. Three years later, it was already a beautiful dense liana, which had risen four meters up along stretched wires.
Our Far Eastern beauty has not yet yielded fruit, although it bloomed, but on the other hand, it surprised us with its spectacular variegation. During the flowering period, small patches appear on the upper side of the leaf in the form of white spots, which later turn pale pink, then crimson, and finally green again after flowering. But some white-pink spots remain, and this is extraordinarily beautiful!
Beauty is beauty, but I would like to taste the fruits. And I went for a consultation at the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden, where they told me that the plant is really dioecious, but there are monoecious among the seedlings, and in this case there will be fruits for the 6-7th year, but it is better to insure yourself and plant a male specimen.
I managed to get such a seedling only in August 1998 at the exhibition "Russian Farmer", we planted it with our specimen, which was not yet bearing fruit. Over the summer of the following year, the male specimen grew to two meters, and in 2000 it became even taller and stronger, but there were no flowers yet.
But our actinidia this year not only bloomed profusely, but also gave us the first long-awaited emerald green with dark stripes, from 1.5 to 2 cm long, cylindrical fruits. And they are delicious! Sweet, the skin is thin, the flesh is juicy and melts in the mouth. There are many seeds, but they are small, like those of strawberries, and the taste of the berries resembles pineapple and kiwi.
After that, my actinidia bore fruit every year, and the male seedling from the exhibition was gaining strength, and we did not bother him: let him help pollinate our beauty, and at the same time drink some water from under the house.
Time passed, and suddenly in August 2005 I suddenly noticed full-fledged berries on the male plant. And she was so surprised that she began to carefully examine whether branches were intertwined from my creepers? But no. It turned out that this plant itself is strewn with fruits. So much for a dioecious plant - miracles, and more! Now we have two huge vines and plenty of these delicious fruits.
True, their number also depends on the strength of the spring frosts. Experts say that if the plants have undergone May frosts, then the foliage will recover due to dormant buds, but fruiting will not come this year. And we have had it so many times that the foliage froze partially and even completely blackened, then recovered, but the fruits were annually.
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Apparently, the influence of the southern brick wall, on which it is located, affects, since the house has been heated since the end of April, and the spring sun heats the wall, which gives off heat at night. But in 2004, there were no spring frosts in our area at all, so there were a lot of berries, but they turned out to be smaller than usual.
There is another difficulty - picking fruits at an eight-meter height, so you have to come up with all sorts of structures with the tension of the lutrasil so that the berries fall (and they fall when they ripen) not on the grass, but on the lutrasil. In the morning you come, and on it ripe and clean fruits. If you need more of them, then you can shake the vine, collect and make preparations for the winter.
We tried to cook the jam, but it turns out to be too sweet, for the same reason we refused from the raw preparation, but the compote took root in our family. We fill a three-liter jar half with berries, fill it with spring water, and only 250 g of sugar. It turns out a very pleasant, aromatic and tasty compote. Opening such a jar on a winter evening is a pleasure. So our actinidia works 100% - it pumps out water from under the house, decorates our house and plot, strengthens our health with its beneficial fruits, and, hopefully, reduces the influence of geopathogenic zones.