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Kikuyu

Features

Full Sun Full Sun
Pet Friendly Pet Friendly
Trim Edges Trim Edges
  • Hardy and self-repairing
  • Low maintenance
  • Thrives in hot, dry conditions
  • Deep root and runner system
  • Excellent drought tolerance.

Kikuyu is a self-sufficient, drought-tolerant lawn that will thrive in a range of soil types. In summer months Kikuyu is known for its aggressive growth, covering quickly with runners. This aggressive growth enables Kikuyu to withstand repeated use and to repair itself from damage. It is commonly found in parks, schools and home lawns and is the ideal choice with dogs around. Kikuyu is a proven all-round performer in the Victorian market. If ordering in winter please read the ‘Availability’ technical information.

Botanical name

Pennisetum clandestinum

Position

Best grown in full sun. Will tolerate up to 40% shade.

Mowing

Mow every 7-10 days in the hot months; every 3-6 weeks in the cold months.

Mowing height: 20-50mm if grown in full sun, 50-70mm if grown in part shade.

Sharpen mower blades frequently.

Allow to grow to maximum length during the cooler months to maintain colour and vigour.

Watering

It is essential that instant turf is laid on moist soil. Then it’s important to water the turf in soon after laying to prevent it from drying out. Watering should wet the sod and the top 30-50 mm of soil. The turf needs to be kept moist over the first few days after laying.

After the root system is fully established, water thoroughly only when required:

Once every 7-10 days during warm or hot summer weather (more often on sandy soils), and much less in cooler months.

Remember that infrequent, deep watering promotes a healthy lawn by encouraging the knitting of the turf sod to the soil. Over-watering can be a problem because it encourages excessive growth, disease and root rot.

Guide to watering your new lawn

Root initiation and development – typically the first week

The turf may require watering three times a day for the first week, depending on the temperature, relative humidity and wind.

Soil/root system establishment – typically the second week

Water every second day, and every day if hot and dry, to keep the turf moist.

Third and fourth weeks

Water less frequently, reducing to twice a week by the fourth week. Only water more on hot and dry days.

Fertilising

For best results use a slow release fertiliser three times per year (early spring, mid summer and late autumn). In the heat of summer avoid over-fertilising or using manure-based products.

If you need a quick green up, use a liquid fertiliser high in nitrogen to promote a lush green lawn.

Do not use weed-and- feed fertilisers unless otherwise stated on product back panel.

Spraying

Tolerant to many off-the- shelf weed, pest and disease sprays. See manufacturers’ instructions for full details.

Availability

Kikuyu is offered for sale year-round. However, customers must understand that establishment during the winter months ( or un-seasonally cold weather) is not ideal and carries certain risks and challenges such as:

  • The grass will be very slow to establish a new root system.
  • The grass will deteriorate without direct sunlight.
  • The grass will deteriorate if kept saturated.
  • The grass is dormant – it will not be active and will lack green colour.
  • The grass will not sustain or recover from repeated use.
  • The grass will become active when air and soil temperatures rise.

Kikiyu is best installed between September and April.

Leaf structure

Leaf width: 6.4mm average.

Leaf length: 20.2mm average.

Leaf colour: Bright green in summer, pale green to yellow in winter dormancy.

Pale green to yellow dormancy depending on local conditions.

Broad leaf structure, soft to the touch.

Root structure

Extremely deep rooted.

Will tolerate moderate salt levels.

Maintenance

Trim edges as required. Kikuyu will run into garden beds but its vigorous nature also makes it very drought hardy.

Kikuyu can be over-sown with Ryegrass to improve colour and activity during the cooler months of dormancy. Sports fields regularly undertake this practice, over-seeding the Ryegrass in the autumn and renovating it out in the spring. The Ryegrass will protect the underlying warm seasons grass from damage. The Ryegrass will stress in the warmer months unless watered. The underlying drought-tolerant Kikuyu will therefore persist better in the warmer months. Low mowing will also encourage the Kikuyu to out-compete the Ryegrass as it will stress and expose the underlying Kikuyu to sunlight.

Thickness of sod

Approx. 25mm

 

Dog resting on grassKikuyu green lawn