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Where Does Kikuyu Grass Come From?


Kikuyu turf has been one of Australia’s favourite grasses for as long as 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 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.

Where is Kikuyu grass from?

Kikuyu is 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.

Until this point, Australians who wanted a grassed yard had to do their best with European varieties, 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.

When Kikuyu grass was imported to Australia

The Hawkesbury agricultural college imported Kikuyu, 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 proudly showing off this gorgeous turf nationwide.

Over the following decades, other varieties like Couch and Buffalo would join the fold. Still, 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. As an Australian homeowner, it still represents one of your best turf choices.

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

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