If you’re in the process of selecting a turf variety for your new or existing lawn, then it’s important to grasp what sets kikuyu grass apart from the pack.
By definition, most grass variants usually fall under the Poaceae plant family. With jointed stems, long and narrow leaves and seed-like fruit, it includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and all of the many grasses found in both natural grassland landscapes as well as species cultivated specifically for lawns and pasture.
However, many homeowners often fail to realise just how many different grass varieties there are to choose from, and in turn make the mistake of approaching the task with a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Thankfully, one of the more popular species on offer in Australia is kikuyu grass, but what’s all the fuss about?
Your Guide To Working With Kikuyu Grass
Although once native to the highlands of East Africa, kikuyu grass is now naturalised in many coastal and inland regions of Australia. With stout stolons and rhizomes, it’s regarded as one of the most strong and vigorous grass types found both in the wild, as well as in commercial settings.
As somewhat of a sun lover, kikuyu grass is a common choice for football fields and ovals thanks to its ability to thrive even in very poor soil types. Visually, this variety has a ‘pointier’ leaf tip and medium width size when compared to other options like buffalo grass. It’s also known to stay greener in winter than other warm-season grasses and tolerates partial shade, growing well to the base of trees. When compared to other species such as couch grass, kikuyu generally revels in warm weather and tolerates dry spells, but much like many other grass types, it does need extra watering in very hot conditions.
However, some homeowners have been known to shy away from using kikuyu grass due to its vigorous nature. The invasive aspect of this grass variety has green thumbs creating strong borders between their lawn and garden as it can easily grow into garden beds and can be stubborn to remove. While it’s thick and strong root system helps to prevent soil erosion and maintain the shape of a lawn, it’s also responsible for kickstarting the rapid growth patterns that kikuyu grass is known for, which can result in the species rapidly growing outside of it’s designated bounds.
As such, overgrown kikuyu grass can make a lawn look unkempt, so mow the grass regularly and as low two to five centimetres above the roots. In order to get clean, even cuts throughout your lawn, homeowners must use a bladed mower to properly maintain this variety. The upside of using kikuyu grass in domestic lawn settings is that it’s one of the toughest species on offer, and can easily cope with kids, pets and other forms of high foot traffic. To keep it in tip top shape, a few common practices generally include the following –
- Cut kikuyu grass short and often during wet months, as this is peak growth time
- To keep it hydrated, let the grass grow higher and mow less often during summer
- Rake and collect the clippings after mowing, as they can block air and sunlight
- Weed the seeds if the grass is already thick enough to avoid an overgrown lawn
- Wait until the grass is dry to mow, and avoid scalping as this can damage the lawn
Before you start shopping for new turf varieties, it’s also worth measuring the soil pH levels of your lawn or garden. Some species are much more sensitive to others, and the quality of your soil has quite the impact on the overall health of any plant variety you introduce to it, including turf. However, if this practice goes slightly over your head, then it’s always worth speaking to the professionals – but where do you find them?
How To Optimise Your Lawn Soil With Nutrients
Do your lawn, your plants – and yourself – a favour, and give them a head start by optimising your soil prior to planting. By adding a natural plant food like Biotic Booster, this will help your garden to:
- Provide essential nutrients and microbes
- Act as a liquid fertiliser to unlock your soil’s potential
- Drought proof your plants and lower water consumption
- Increase and speed up the germination process
- Assist in protecting your plants from pests and diseases
- Provide a natural solution that’s safe to use around your herbs, fruit and veggies
If you’re ready to take the leap into improving the health of your plants while minimising the use of chemical based fertilisers, then it may be time to try plant food and plant probiotics. Our Ultimate Garden Health Pack includes our Biotic Booster, FP-60 Probiotic Spray, RE-250 Soil Energiser. In each concentrated bottle, millions of natural bacterias are waiting to find a new home in your garden.
Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, plant food and plant probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your garden, get in touch with us today.