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Kikuyu is the perfect grass for sowing a lawn if you live in a region with hot, dry summers and mild winters. It is resistant to trampling, requires little watering and even less mowing. Let's get acquainted with this lawn which will make you store mower and hoses!

Kikuyu, a Mediterranean turf

Kikuyu, a Mediterranean turf

Kikuyu, a grass of subtropical origin

Like all lawns, kikuyu belongs to the big Poaceae family (formerly grasses). It answers the scholarly name of Pennisetum clandestinum. Of subtropical origin, it supports very well the heat and the drought. He forms a dense, soft and green turf even at the height of summer. On the other hand, it asks exclusively a sunny situation and it turns yellow in winter.
Rusticthanks to its powerful rhizomes, it is very resistant to trampling. And from the moment it has adequate heat (Mediterranean climate), it adapts to many types of soil.
Naturally it is only 5 to 10 cm high and it does not like frequent or low mowing.

The advantages of kikuyu

Kikuyu has many advantages:

  • It is very resistant to heat and drought. It stays green in the summer.
  • His maintenance is limited: Little or no mowing and little watering (except the first year of planting)
  • It even adapts to the seashores and the constraints of salt.
  • He grows quickly and does not fear being trampled.
  • Very dense, it is a good protection against weeds.

The disadvantages of kikuyu

The disadvantages of kikuyu are the pendant of its advantages...

  • It does not support cold or frost.
  • It turns yellow in the winter.
  • It is slow to settle.
  • Once in place, it can become invasive.

How to plant kikuyu?

Kikuyu can either be sown or cut down.

  • The sowing of kikuyu: It settles like a conventional turf but requires a good preparation of the soil before sowing. Be careful not to sow too early in the season because it needs heat to germinate. Do not start until the month of April, see the beginning of May.

The recommended seed doses are 10 to 12 g per m².
Kikuyu is slow to settle. So we must weed it often during the first year.
Likewise, he needs water in the first weeks of his life. As it develops, watering must be spaced out.

  • The cutting of kikuyu: Its hardy rhizomes are easy to kill. Simply break them up and put in place the new seedlings.

As with sowing, cuttings need heat and water to thrive.
Avoid sowing or cutting the kikuyu in autumn.
The following spring bring a potash fertilizer and little nitrogen.

True and false kikuyu

Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) should not be confused with false kikuyu (Stenotaphrum secundatun) or Buffalo Grass or Saint Augustin Grass. This grass has finer foliageless hardy and less resistant to drought.

Did you knowKikuyu is also the name of an ethnic group living in the highlands of Kenya. Traditionally, farmers and livestock keepers live on family farms. Kikuyu, also refers to their language which belongs to the Bantu language family.

Video Instruction: Protection Against Kikuyu