Kiwi Fruit – Ripening

Q: I have male and female kiwi vines and there’s a lot of fruit! How long does it take for them to ripen?

A. The kiwi fruit you see in a grocery reach almost full size in August but are not mature enough for harvest until late October or early November, after the seeds turn black. Fruit will soften off the vine but full flavor does not develop until sugar content reaches six percent on the vine. Keep a sharp eye on night temperatures and check the largest fruit for ripeness; they can be enjoyed now. If a hard freeze is forecast, invite your neighbors over for a pick-your-own party.