How To Remove Kikuyu Grass From Garden Beds And Pathways

How To Remove Kikuyu Grass From Garden Beds And Pathways

Our guide to Controlling Invasive Grasses

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 grows 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 while protecting the surrounding vegetation. Kikuyu is tough, perennial and fast-spreading (by both seeds and runners), all of which make it challenging to beat!


About Kikuyu Grass

Kikuyu is a perennial, warm-season grass, native to East Africa. It’s a common choice for sporting ovals and other high-traffic community turf areas due to its 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.


When does Kikuyu become a problem?

Because of its aggressive spreading nature, Kikuyu causes havoc by:

  • 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!


How to remove kikuyu grass


How to remove Kikuyu Grass

There are several methods of removing Kikuyu grass. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you may need to combine methods to truly combat the 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. Unfortunately, this broad-spectrum chemical 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 altogether.  Ask your local turf supplier or hardware store for advice on which product is best to use.


How can I prevent a Kikuyu Invasion?

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 growth of this fast-spreading turf, you should consider having 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.



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