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How to care for your Kikuyu grass this Autumn

Autumn is a great time to spend in the garden and a fantastic time to care for your Kikuyu lawn. It is commonly thought that fertilising and mowing lawns in the cooler months will not lead to lush green grass in summer. However, with Kikuyu grass the opposite is true. Here are a few tips to keep in mind this autumn.Kikuyu in Autumn

Fertilising

A recent study conducted by Ozbreed has shown that there are optimal fertilisation practices for Kikuyu grasses in autumn. These practices will help keep the grass green all year round. The study recommends fertilising Kikuyu at the beginning of April and again in mid-June.

The recommendation is to use a slow release fertiliser, but apply at a heavy rate. It is important to note that the fertiliser used in the autumn months should be high in iron to promote health and repair the grass before winter. It should also be high in potassium, as that will help the grass withstand frosty winter nights. Potassium also promotes deep root growth that will make your Kikuyu grass stronger.

One handy reminder is to hose all paths after using fertilisers, especially ones high in iron. These fertilisers, when mixed with water, can create rust stains. So it’s best to thoroughly clean any nearby bricks or pavers.

Mowing

After fertilisation, Kikuyu tends to brown off at the tips. A light mow can help the grass look greener throughout autumn and winter. It is best to keep Kikuyu at a moderate length all year round, so plan to let the grass get a bit longer before you fertilise in autumn.

Watering

In autumn, you can cut back to watering two times a week for around 20 minutes on each section, if there hasn’t been significant rainfall.  It is best to water early in the morning or late at night after the sun has gone down, as the sun can still be strong in autumn and burn the wet blades. You don’t want to burn the blades as that contributes to the browning of the lawn through the winter months, even on a tough grass like Kikuyu.

Maintaining your Kikuyu turf is not challenging but a good fertilisation, a trim and maintaining the watering will see your lawn stay green and healthy through the colder months.