There’s no doubt about it: Kikuyu is a robust and fast-growing grass that can cause havoc in the domestic garden. Although it’s beautifully green, hardy and spreads vigorously, it can become a problem if it starts spreading into garden beds and invading other turf varieties.
The burning question is how to remove Kikuyu grass from your lawn and garden beds. It’s tough, perennial and fast spreading (by both seeds and runners), all of which make it challenging to beat!
Kikuyu is a perennial, warm-season grass, native to East Africa. It is a common choice for sporting ovals and other high-traffic community turf areas and it has excellent self-repairing qualities and low maintenance requirements. It spreads quickly via a system of underground runners known as rhizomes, and by fine seeds. Kikuyu is highly drought resistant, performing well in areas of total sunlight.
Because of its aggressive spreading nature, Kikuyu causes havoc when it starts invading garden beds, choking ground covers, overrunning other delicate plants causing issues with watering systems. The biggest challenge facing gardeners is that hand pulling Kikuyu is not very successful. Because it spreads via underground runners, what is visible from the surface is a very small portion of the actual plant. Therefore, what’s left underground will simply continue to send shoots to the surface!
There are several methods of removing Kikuyu grass, although admittedly there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem.
Hand Pulling: this will only be moderately successful. While it may remove the unsightly mess from the surface, there’s a very high chance of re-infestation due to runners left underground.
Non-Selective Method: glyphosate (Roundup) is one herbicide that will kill Kikuyu. However, this is a broad-spectrum chemical that will not only affect the invading grass – it’ll kill off pretty much any other plant it meets. Take care to spray or paint it directly onto the offending Kikuyu grass, being careful to avoid contact with surrounding lawn areas or garden plants.
Selective Method: if you are battling with a Kikuyu infestation in your couch lawn, there are some herbicides available that will target the Kikuyu but not the couch. In this situation, you can certainly suppress the Kikuyu, if not get rid of it all together. Ask to your local turf supplier or hardware store for advice on which product is best to use.
If you are going to plant a Kikuyu lawn next to garden beds, now is the time for some careful planning. To help suppress the spread of this fast-spreading turf, you should consider have a physical barrier between the lawn area and the gardens. Installing a garden edging that extends down into the soil will help to prevent the spread of underground runners, while still providing a decorative feature.
The team at Rivers Edge Turf is familiar with the pros and cons of Kikuyu grass and we can help you maintain both beautiful lawns and garden beds. Call us today on (02) 4579 9009 for advice on how to remove Kikuyu grass.