A Beginner’s Guide to Planting Kikuyu Lawns

A Beginner’s Guide to Planting Kikuyu Lawns

Welcome to the world of Kikuyu grass, a popular choice for lawns due to its robust nature and rapid growth. Ideal for warmer climates, Kikuyu is known for its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, recover quickly from damage, and its lush, green appearance.

This guide is designed for beginners, offering a step-by-step approach to establishing a thriving Kikuyu lawn.

Understanding Kikuyu Grass

Kikuyu grass originates from East Africa and thrives in sunny environments. It’s a hardy, creeping grass that spreads quickly and forms a dense, vigorous turf. Known for its drought tolerance, Kikuyu grass maintains its vibrant green colour even in challenging conditions. Its rapid growth rate makes it a great option for covering bare patches and repairing damaged areas.

Preparation for Planting
The key to a successful Kikuyu lawn starts with preparation:

1. Soil Testing: Begin by testing your soil’s pH. Kikuyu prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH.
2. Clearing the Area: Remove any weeds, stones, and debris. This ensures your grass has the best start possible.
3. Levelling the Ground: Smooth out the surface to prevent water pooling and ensure even grass growth.

Planting Kikuyu Grass
You can establish Kikuyu grass through seeding, sodding, or sprigging:

• Seeding: Scatter the seeds evenly across the prepared soil in late spring or early summer. Gently rake the seeds into the soil and water the area thoroughly.
•Turf: Lay the Kikuyu Turf over the prepared soil. Press down firmly and water generously.
• Sprigging: Plant Kikuyu sprigs (small grass segments) into the soil, ensuring good soil contact. Water the sprigs well.

Initial Care and Maintenance
After planting, your Kikuyu lawn will need special care:

• Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water daily or as needed to maintain moisture.
• Mowing: Once the grass reaches about 3 inches in height, you can begin mowing. Set your mower to a high setting to avoid cutting the grass too short.
• Fertilisation: Apply a balanced fertiliser after about six weeks to encourage healthy growth.

Long-Term Lawn Maintenance
Maintaining your Kikuyu lawn involves:

• Regular Mowing: Mow regularly to keep the grass at an optimal height, encouraging a dense and healthy lawn.
• Seasonal Fertilisation: Fertilise your lawn in spring and autumn to provide necessary nutrients.
• Pest and Disease Management: Keep an eye out for signs of pests or diseases. Early detection and treatment are key to maintaining lawn health.


Planting and maintaining a Kikuyu lawn can be a rewarding experience. With the right preparation, planting techniques, and ongoing care, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful, resilient lawn that’s perfect for family activities and outdoor enjoyment. Embrace the journey, and watch as your Kikuyu lawn transforms your outdoor space.

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