Kikuyu Grass Lawn Care Guide

Written by Ian Thompson

Ian holds a Masters in Turf Management from Sydney University, has over 20 years experience working as a golf course Superintendent, turf manager, product formulation and development. We call him our resident Lawn genius.

Kikuyu is most known for its robust growth and hardiness, stands as a popular choice for lawns that demand resilience and quick establishment. Flourishing in full sun, Kikuyu forms a dense and durable carpet, making it well-suited for high-traffic areas. Its vibrant green colour and rapid recovery from wear and tear make it a go-to option for those seeking a thriving lawn that can withstand the rigours of active outdoor use. If purchasing, consider dwarf varieties over the older types.

Mowing Kikuyu Grass:

Kikuyu requires regular mowing, more than any other grass type. Maintaining it a higher height is recommended to reduce frequency or applications of plant growth regulators. Target an optimal height between 10 to 50 mm. Regular mowing not only enhances the lushness of the turf but also manages the vigorous growth characteristic of Kikuyu. Utilise a sharp mower blade to minimise stress on the grass, adjusting the mowing frequency and height based on the season. Reduce mowing during cooler periods when Kikuyu naturally requires less attention.

Watering Kikuyu Grass:

Kikuyu grass thrives with deep, infrequent watering. Despite its hardy nature, Kikuyu has a higher water requirement compared to some other varieties such as couch. Ensure your lawn receives ample water to prevent the formation of dry patches, adjusting based on weather conditions. Deep watering encourages the development of a robust root system, enhancing drought tolerance, and employing a sprinkler or irrigation system is recommended for even water distribution, especially during hot and dry periods.

Weeding Kikuyu Grass:

To maintain the quality of your Kikuyu grass lawn, implement proactive weed management. Regularly inspect the lawn, manually removing any emerging small weeds. For more substantial weed challenges, consider applying a targeted herbicide. Kikuyu does tend to undergo some yellowing and even white areas after strong herbicide applications so it is recommended to closely follow the label directions. Additionally, use pre-emergent herbicides at the beginning and end of the growing season to prevent grass weed.

Fertilising Kikuyu Grass:

Due to the speed of growth of kikuyu it is important to maintain your fertiliser levels throughout the season. Kikuyu tends to be yellower than most grasses so if you’re chasing deep green colour use of greening liquids can be very helpful. Adhering to recommended application rates is crucial for optimal results.

Renovate Kikuyu Grass:

For a Kikuyu grass lawn it is recommended to scalp it on a yearly basis to remove old leaves and thin out the top of the lawn due to the grass’s robust growth nature. Aeration proves particularly beneficial, contributing to enhanced soil health and improved water and nutrient absorption. Regularly assess your lawn’s condition, identifying and addressing any issues to maintain a resilient and visually captivating Kikuyu grass lawn, showcasing the unique vigour and beauty of this variety.

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