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How to grow kikuyu grass from seed

Updated February 21, 2017

Kikuyu grass is an aggressive invasive type of ground cover. It is a warm season grass suitable for tropical or semi-tropical climates. It creates excellent pasture forage and tolerates heavy grazing. It was brought into California in the 1920s in an effort to arrest erosion. It now grows all over the warm season states as a weed. It can be found as a turfgrass due to its overbearing nature and extremely rapid growth. A small patch of Kikuyu grass in a lawn will soon develop into an entire area comprised of the grass. Kikuyu seed is hard to harvest but the grass is mostly propagated by seed.

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  1. Call your local extension office or Fish and Wildlife branch to identify whether Kikuyu grass is considered a noxious weed. It is a noxious weed in California, for instance, and is illegal to plant there. Make certain it is legal to plant in your area.

  2. Till the lawn area until the soil is broken up at least 6 inches deep. Top the area with 1 inch of sand and till it in to increase drainage and reduce compaction. Rake the bed until it's even and smooth. Remove rocks and debris from the planting area.

  3. Plant when the soil temperature is 18.3 to 29.4 degrees Celsius. Hand strew the seed or load a push seeder and roll it out onto the bed in even swathes. Kikuyu will spread quickly and can establish just from seed on a shoe or lawnmower. The seed is not picky in its establishment.

  4. Cover the seed with a light coating of sand, then walk the seed into the ground. You can also rent a roller and roll it in if the area is large. This will ensure the seed doesn't blow away before germination. It will germinate within 48 hours of planting. Water the bed for five minutes. Let the grass establish before mowing it for the first time. The turf will usually be ready for mowing within two weeks.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Sand
  • Rake
  • Kikuyu seed
  • Seeder
  • Roller
  • Hose
  • Sprinkler

About the Author

Bonnie Grant

Bonnie Grant began writing professionally in 1990. She has been published on various websites, specializing in garden-related instructional articles. Grant recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management with a hospitality focus from South Seattle Community College.

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