Couch Grass vs Kikuyu: What’s The Difference?


If you’re tossing up between choosing Couch Grass vs Kikuyu for your new or existing lawn, it’s important to note a few key differences prior to selection. 

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually many different types, species and even brands of turf to choose from when selecting a variant for your new or existing lawn. While of course they are all generally green and leafy, there are a few key points of difference when it comes to the maintenance, climate suitability, and of course – price. Two of the most popular varieties for Australian lawns and backyards are Couch Grass and Kikuyu, but how do you know which is right for you?

Your Guide To Couch Grass

Known as Bermuda Grass in the United States, Couch Grass is at it’s best in warm climates, and is native to most areas in the eastern hemisphere. It’s enormous popularity in Australia is often thanks to it’s well earned reputation for being highly drought and wear tolerant, making it a relatively low maintenance for homeowners. 

As Couch Grass tends to thrive in areas of full sun and has very strong horizontal growth, it is also able to tolerate very low mowing heights that other varieties simply wouldn’t stand for. It’s these same strong growth habits that allows it to handle high amounts of foot traffic, and can bounce back relatively quickly if affected by bouts of stress or excessive wear. It’s for this reason that it’s a very popular choice for Aussie sporting fields, golf courses, parks as well as lawns and backyards, as the underground stems called rhizomes can help it repair quickly as well as above ground stems called stolons.

The main thing to note about Couch Grass is that it requires a minimum of five to six hours direct sunlight a day. The rapid coverage and dense undergrowth of couch turf when paired with its low input requirements and winter growth activity, means that couch can compete quite successfully with weeds and other turf grass species that may try to invade your lawn. Couch Grass can also grow in a range of soil types, and prefers a soil pH between 6 and 7.5.

Your Guide To Kikuyu Grass

Also known as Pennisetum Clandestinum, Kikuyu Grass is actually native to the highland regions of East Africa. It’s renowned for being a highly invasive and aggressive grass species, but it’s this very same trait that also makes it a great choice as a grass type for residential laws, gardens and backyards. 

Once it arrived to Australian shores as a robust pasture grass for cattle grazing, it was quickly embraced for its ability to withstand a range of climates found in our states. Apart from being a fan favourite as pasture for livestock grazing, Kikuyu Grass is now also used for parks, racecourses and lawns in the lower parts of the nation thanks to the fact that it thrives in a sunny aspect, and handles full sun. It is also able to establish a strong, deep root base, which helps it stand up to the hot summer days and provides acceptable drought tolerance.

Being a warm season turf variety, Kikuyu grass prefers growing temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees celsius, but can manage in conditions much hotter. During the cooler months, it will go into a certain level of dormancy and will stop growing when exposed to frost. Kikuyu is also not a fan of too much shade, but performs at its best in fertile, light to medium textured soil with moderate drainage and salinity levels. The ideal soil pH for Kikuyu is 5.5-7.0, but it can tolerate levels as low as 4.5.

Couch Grass vs Kikuyu: Who’s The Winner?

If you’re weighing up opting for couch grass vs kikuyu, unfortunately there is no clear cut “winner”. The best choice often boils down to a number of individual factors that are dictated by your own personal circumstances, such as – 

  • Shady levels 
  • Areas prone to drought
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Wear and tear
  • Appearance
  • Cost of turf
  • Budget

If you live in a warmer, hotter part of Australia, Couch Grass tends to tolerate these conditions slightly better. However, it does generally require slightly more maintenance than Kikuyu, and also costs slightly more too. However, before when you do make a selection on your new turf type, it’s important to ensure that you properly look after it if you want it to go the distance. 

Lawn Care Tips From The Professionals

It’s important not to undo all of your hard work that’s been put into getting your lawn fluffy and green. While it can be hard to know which chemical-based weed killers may also damage your turf, your pets or even your family, the good news is that there is a safer alternative now on the market. 

While hand plucking weeds is a cost-free and efficient method used to prevent a weed infestation – it’s certainly not the most convenient. In comparison, a glyphosate-free organic weed killer like Bioweed is a safe way to keep them under control. As a non-residual solution, it will break down into the soil in as little as 72 hours and can combat over 200 invasive weed species. The best part? It’s not just exclusive to lawns, and can be used to defend your garden or even pastures against a large variety of foreign invaders. 

If you are looking for a natural complete liquid fertiliser for your lawn, look no further than Greenpros range. Biotic Booster is a specially formulated liquid fertiliser packed full of beneficial goodies that will not only get your lawn looking vibrant and green but also build healthier soils that can get through the tougher growing months.

After all, what’s the point of a well-manicured lawn if you can’t stop and feel the grass between your toes from time to time? Now that you have all of the insights required in order to keep the local turf weeds under control, there’s no reason why you can’t.

With a team of highly experienced plant and gardening enthusiasts, the team at Bioweed are armed with a wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks that can help you to get your lawn and garden looking their very best. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re looking for further organic gardening solutions.