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How Kikuyu became one of Australia’s favourite grasses

Kikuyu

Kikuyu has been one of Australia’s favourite grasses since most of us can remember. It has lined the nation’s backyards for decades, with many of us growing up running and rolling in its deep green blades.

But where did this wondergrass come from? And how did it become the Australian backyard staple that we know and love today? To get to the bottom of these questions we’ll need to go back almost a century, to when the Australian turf industry first started.

Kikuyu comes from Africa, and is named after the Kenyan tribe whose lands it originated on. The Kenyan climate is eerily similar to that of Australia, so when Kikuyu first made its way to Australian shores in the 1920s it was ready to cope with the tough conditions, and did surprisingly well.

Up until this point Australians who wanted a grassed yard had to do their best with European varieties, all of which weren’t particularly suited to the Australian summer. Grasses would explode into life in autumn and look beautiful during winter, but as soon as the warm weather came back they’d wither and die.

Kikuyu was imported by the Hawkesbury agricultural college, and the original intention was to use it as a pasture for dairy cows. But because of its success in the tough Australian climate and its beautiful deep green look, the college soon saw that the potential applications of Kikuyu stretched far beyond simply feeding livestock. Within a decade or two Kikuyu had singlehandedly kick-started the Australian instant lawn industry, with front and backyards nationwide proudly showing off this gorgeous turf.

Over the following decades, other varieties such as Couch and Buffalo would join the fold, but thanks to constant improvements of the turf through breeding, Kikuyu has remained one of Australia’s favourite grasses ever since.
From humble beginnings on the plains of Africa, Kikuyu has become an Australian institution. And as an Australian home owner, it still represents one of your very best turf choices.

To find out more, call the leading Kikuyu turf grower in Sydney on 1800 458 859.