Kikuyu grass, a warm-season staple of Australian backyards, sports fields, pastures, public areas, and golf course fairways, is an ideal choice of grass for Australian climates.
Many Australians grew up with Kikuyu, as it’s one of the few types of grass that can be grown almost anywhere in the country. While technically classed as a warm-season grass, its hardiness allows it to grow practically anywhere from Far North Queensland to cold Tasmania (to varying degrees of success).
It’s tough, cheap, and quick growing, meaning it’s as popular today as ever. So if you’ve chosen Kikuyu as your lawn of choice, how do you go about getting it looking its best?
Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your Kikuyu going strong.
Kikuyu is a fairly drought-resistant lawn, but to have it performing at its peak, watering may be in order.
If you are starting to spread your Kikuyu seed, it is critical to keep the soil moist while the grass grows. Kikuyu, despite being a robust plant, might take longer to germinate than you might expect. Three weeks can go by before fine blades start worming their way out of the soil. All the while, you want your ground to remain moist. This may mean watering 2-3 times per day.
By providing the Kikuyu with these ideal moist conditions, you will help it create a strong root system that will help it survive drier periods later on. After germination, this watering can be slowly scaled back until your lawn is fully established. At that point, your watering will be governed by the time of year that you find yourself in.
In the summer heat, you may need to water your Kikuyu every 7-10 days (even more often if you have sandy or quickly drained soil). In winter, this can often be scaled back to no watering. Check your grass for signs that it needs watering – if you see a slight browning or wilting of the blade tips, you should give the lawn a drink.
Remember a couple of rules when watering Kikuyu grass
A thorough but infrequent soak encourages deep root growth and a drought-resistant lawn.
Watering is best done in the early morning.
Overwatering can cause root rot, illness, and excessive growth.
If there’s one thing Kikuyu is good at, it’s growing and spreading. It is possibly the most aggressive-spreading grass in Australia, so you’ll have to be on your toes to reign it in.
To keep it tidy, your Kikuyu lawn will likely need a weekly mow in the warmer summer months, when its peak growth period occurs. In colder months, this may stretch to a month or a month and a half.
Kikuyu isn’t a massive fan of the shade, which can affect the ideal cutting height, as you don’t want to take so much blade off that it can’t capitalize on whatever light it receives. As such, while Kikuyu in full sun will happily be cut to 2-5cm, shaded Kikuyu will do better if cut to 5-7cm. If possible, adjust your mower when in shaded parts of your backyard.
You’ll probably also need to get the brush cutter out every couple of weekends to ensure its runners don’t creep where they’re not wanted. Ensuring your garden beds are well-fenced is also a wise move, as Kikuyu has a habit of getting where it shouldn’t.
While it will most likely grow happily without it, ideally, you’ll feed your Kikuyu with a slow-release fertilizer twice a year. Aim for once at the start of autumn, and once at the start of spring.
If your Kikuyu lawn looks a little forlorn and needs a quick perk-up, a high-nitrogen fertilizer may give it the kick-start it needs.
Kikuyu is an excellently hardy turf and, as such, requires little maintenance to survive. But if you want yours to survive and thrive, you’ll want to put a little extra effort in to make it happy.
Kikuyu Grass Problems:
Kikuyu grass is a popular type of turf grass in many parts of the world. However, it can also be a troublesome weed in some areas. The grass has a strong root system that can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, and pavements. The grass has a strong root system that can damage lawns, gardens, and sidewalks. It is also difficult to control once it has established itself, as it has a deep root system. Kikuyu grass can also be a problem in agricultural areas, invading crops, and pastureland. If you are having problems with Kikuyu grass, it is essential to take action quickly to control it.
Contact the friendly seed specialists at McKay’s if you have any other Kikuyu queries.
1. Why is my Kikuyu grass turning brown?
Grass turns brown due to a lack of essential nutrients like nitrogen, lack of water from the soil, disease, or maybe when it undergoes dormancy.
Grass can also turn brown due to excess nitrogen. If a dog urinates in your Kikuyu lawn, it may damage it and cause the grass to turn brown because dog urine contains various nitrogen compounds.
2. Does Kikuyu stay green all year round?
Kikuyu is an evergreen plant and stays green in cold and hot seasons. However, extreme frost may cause browning, but it will rapidly recover.
3. Can you overwater Kikuyu?
No, you cannot overwater Kikuyu. Water is necessary for all grass, but don’t overwater your Kikuyu grass. Keep the soil moist, especially if the lawn is fresh.
4. How do I fix patchy Kikuyu?
While patching is simple, addressing the root causes is critical to preventing this from happening again.
This could include:
- Taking care of pests and diseases
- The lawn is being aerated.
- Taking down overhanging branches.
- Creating new tracks or play areas for children and pets.
5. How often should you water Kikuyu?
For the first 14 days, the new Kikuyu should be watered twice a day. Water matured Kikuyu every 7 to 10 days or whenever the lawn shows signs of moisture stress.
6. Should I scalp Kikuyu grass?
Scalping the lawn in the spring is ideal. However, if your Kikuyu lawn was laid in late autumn or winter, do not scalp it in its first spring season; your lawn is still in its infancy and needs to develop a strong root system to get through its first summer.
Scalping is beneficial as it helps sunlight reach the soil and clear any type of debris or dormant.
7. How do you top dress a Kikuyu lawn?
- Begin by mowing the lawn.
- Make small piles of the top dressing material, and spread it across the lawn.
- Rake them evenly.
Does perennial ryegrass come back every year?
Perennial ryegrass is a type of grass that does indeed come back every year. This is in contrast to annual ryegrass, which only lives for one growing season before dying off. Perennial ryegrass is a popular choice for lawns and turfgrass because it is very hardy and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It is also relatively low-maintenance, requiring only occasional mowing and watering.
How do you care for perennial ryegrass?
Perennial ryegrass is a versatile and hardy grass that is easy to care for. It tolerates a wide range of soils and climates, and is relatively drought-resistant. However, like all grasses, it does require some basic maintenance in order to stay healthy and looking its best.
Mowing is the most important aspect of care for perennial ryegrass. It should be mowed regularly, at least once a week, to keep it from getting too tall. The height of the grass should be kept at around 3 inches. This will ensure that the grass stays dense and lush, and prevents it from developing bare patches.
Perennial ryegrass also needs to be fertilized periodically. A slow-release fertilizer should be applied every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. This will help the grass to maintain its green color and keep it from getting thin and weak.
Finally, perennial ryegrass needs to be watered regularly. It should be watered deeply and evenly, about 1 inch per week. This will help it to develop a deep root system and stay healthy during periods of drought.
How long does perennial ryegrass take to establish?
Perennial ryegrass is a type of grass that is often used for lawns, pastures, and other areas where a grassy surface is desired. It is a fast-growing grass that can establish itself quickly, often in as little as two weeks. Once established, it is a hardy grass that can tolerate a wide range of conditions, from drought to heavy traffic.
What time of year do you plant perennial ryegrass?
Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass, which means that it thrives in cooler temperatures and goes dormant in hot weather. In general, you should plant perennial ryegrass between Autumn and Spring, when the temperatures are cool. This gives the grass the best chance to establish itself.