If you’re looking for low-maintenance grass that can grow thick and lush on your entire lawn with minimal tending, here’s a quick answer for you: kikuyu grass. It is a favourite among homeowners and property developers. If you aspire to have a front lawn or backyard that will look right at home in Architectural Digest, this is the grass you need to check out.
Getting to Know Kikuyu Grass
What makes kikuyu grass perfect for lawns? It is a warm-season grass, which means it resembles runners that can quickly grow and cover the ground (literally!). It’s low-maintenance, so it doesn’t need much watering. These qualities alone can entice property owners with vast lawns to beautify.
Here are other characteristics of kikuyu that explain why it is a top choice for residential, commercial, and civic lawn installations:
- Kikuyu has a thick and strong root system – If you try and weed a few visible stems thriving kikuyu turf, you’ll find that it won’t be as easy as uprooting single-stem grasses like perennial ryegrass. Kikuyu has a network of thick, brown roots that add volume to your turf, making it look extra lush and healthy. These “clingy” roots help prevent soil erosion and maintain the shape of the lawn. The roots are also responsible for the softness of the turf and the satisfying crunching sound you hear when you step on the grass.
- It has a high drought tolerance – As a low-maintenance turf, kikuyu can be watered once a week. It will thrive and look like it’s been pampered by professional gardeners all this time.
- It grows rapidly and expansively – If you let it, kikuyu can cover every inch of your lawn. As a runner type of grass, it spreads later.
Growing and Maintenance Tips for Kikuyu Grass
Keeping in mind the key characteristics of this turf, here are the answers to some common questions about the care and maintenance of a kikuyu lawn:
How often should you water kikuyu grass?
Watering schedules can be once every seven or 10 days during the summer months. You can do longer intervals or let the rain do its thing during the rainy season.
How do I fix my kikuyu lawn?
If you see brown, dry, or bald patches on your lawn, you have to discover the reason first. One common reason is soil compaction. While it’s necessary to pack the soil lightly while growing the grass, you have to ensure that the soil is aerated properly. Use a gardening fork (push the entire length into the ground) to let more air and water penetrate the ground below the roots.
If the problem is bare patches, focus on improving the soil quality in the bare areas. Aerate and fertilise the area before seeding, but not during the rainy season. Kikuyu needs plenty of sunlight to grow properly, which is why bare patches usually happen in the shaded areas of your lawn.
How do I keep my lawn looking neat?
Overgrown kikuyu can make a lawn look unkempt, so mow the grass regularly and as low as about 1-2 inches (or 2-5 centimeters) above the roots. You must, however, use a bladed mower. It’s the only way to get even, clean cuts throughout your lawn.
How can I thicken my kikuyu grass?
Left to its own devices and if grown under ideal circumstances (i.e., well-fertilised soil, good aeration, sunny location), kikuyu can grow thick with minimal care. It can even grow too thick when fussed over more than necessary. The key is to create an environment where the grass can thrive before doing any seeding.
Here are more best practices in kikuyu lawn maintenance:
- Cut the grass short and often during the wet months (the grass grows faster during this period).
- Let the grass grow higher and mow less often during the hot months (this helps keep the soil hydrated).
- Rake and collect the clippings after mowing. Kikuyu tends to grow thick; if you leave the cut grass behind, they could form huge lumps that block sunlight and air.
- Weed the seeds if the grass is already thick enough (if you allow them to germinate, your lawn could become overgrown and messy).
- Avoid mowing too low and scalping the grass. Wait until the grass is dry, too, and keep your blades sharp. Otherwise, you’ll end up tearing and damaging the grass.
- Seed during the summer when the temperature is between 60 to 100oF to promote faster growth and healthier turf.
Get Professional Lawn Care Services for Your Property
Use the tips above to make your lawn lush and healthy. If you need assistance, our professional lawn care team is just a phone call away.