Kiwi – When to Pick

Q: In the backyard of my new home, there are two twenty-year old kiwi vines, a male and a female. The female has produced hundreds of fruit. They are now the size you see in the grocery store. However, they are hard as rocks. Should I leave them on the vine?

A: Like pears, bananas, and pineapples, kiwifruit continues to ripen after being picked. However, to ripen properly, the fruit needs to contain a minimum amount of sugar when plucked. Sugar develops in kiwifruit late in the season, so now is a bit early to harvest them.

One way to tell if the kiwis are ripe enough to pick, is to pick one, slice it and examine the seed. The seeds should be fully black, not green or white. The blackening may not happen until mid to late October. Put them in a bag with a banana to finish the ripening process more quickly.