How to stop Kikuyu grass invading my Couch lawn

rocketman_2007February 24, 2007

Hi Everyone...

I have a relatively new couch lawn (about 9 months old), the trouble I have is that Kikuyu grass is slowly invading the lawn and taking over.

I spoke to the man at the local nursery who told me that since Kikuyu is a type of lawn then most of the lawn weed killers will not kill the Kikuyu (because it's a grass not a lawn).

I've tried to remove it by hand, but it's quite a large lawn and it's always beats me (ie it grows faster than I can pull it out).

The other option I have read about is to mow it very low and it will die. Trouble is that this will definitely kill my couch lawn too, which is more delicate than the Kikuyu. And I know from experience it burns badly if cut too low.

Does anyone have any ideas? Ideally I'm after a spray I can use that will kill broadleaf grass like Kikuyu but not kill the couch. I have seen a product advertised in the US called "Turflon Ester" but I'm unsure if it is ok to use on Couch and also unsure about where/if I can get it in Aus.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!


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g'day rod,

mmm yes kikuya is a very hardy grass so makes a very drought tollerant lawn, the only way i have ever combatted it was to dig it our generally after rain when the soil is soft, tedious and hard on the knees yes, and persistance pays off.

you could of course dig those sections out some dirt and all and lay new turf, or zap the wholea area of lawn with a chemical to kill all grass then relay new turf.

before the lawn was laid was there any action taken to remove any other grasses before laying the turf?


Here is a link that might be useful: len's garden page

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 2:48PM
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Rod, there is an arsenical herbicide that picks out paspalum in lawns. I'm not sure if it will kill Kikuyu selectively as well. I think it used to be sold as Passtox. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 3:36PM
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The only way to eliminate Kikuyu from among other grasses is in the context of native grass lands. We generally wait until summer when most of the native grasses go dormant and dry due to the dry conditions while the Kikuyu becomes green and active. We then spot spray it with glyphosate. We may brush cut the area first to reduce the clutter and then wait for the Kikuyu to come back.

The damage to the native grasses is minimized in this way.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 8:23PM
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Why on earth grow couch when Kike is much better?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 5:47AM
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Monument is a commercial chemical so legally you need to be licenced to use it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:20PM
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G'day Rod

Did you ever have any joy - we've the identical dilemma.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:58PM
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Same here, I dont know why a landscape gardener would install cooch knowing that Kikuyu is a more dominant grass. Im just going to let the kikuyu grow through my cooch. seems like a loosing battle and the cooch isnt very hardy.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:58AM
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I had the much maligned common Kikuyu turf laid on both my front & back lawns 28 years ago.It is still superior to all other domestic lawns including the new hybrid buffalo varieties.It's benefits are:It stays green all year round despite severe frosts. It easily self repairs quickly despite the efforts of 2 cattle dogs and 3 very active children.It is soft enough to frolic on. It is easily maintained provided that: You use a mulcher mower.This saves having to water it and stopping to empty the lawnmower catcher.Dont scalp it when you mow it.This will cause it to look nicer than next door's lawn and also shade out weeds.In short,let the kikuyu take over and be the envy of the street during the winter.Also have good edges and a suitable edger.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:21AM
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if your prepared to do some work to keep it out than I can give you alot of tricks. in turn you will have a superior lawn (best in the street). couch will come up alot nicer than kikuyu due to its finer leaf. requires less water. dont listen to people that say its way too hard to look after, they just have no idea and should not bother. If you want let me know and ill give you the ins and outs. Im actually doing a hebicide trial based on this topic.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:12AM
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As rightly pointed out, Monument is a commercial herbicide not available to the general public. It is also listed as a kikuyu suppressant not killer.
In WA kikuyu is NOT recommended for residential lawns. It is very invasive and gets everywhere. It's also not very nice to walk on. It is used on sports fields because it is tough. Couch is better but is also invasive. Personally I would use one of the soft leafed buffalos here unless you have the time and patience to rear a quality couch lawn and keep it out of your flower beds and keep the weeds out of it. Not everyone has the time. Couch is like a putting green if well maintained. I am qualified in turf maintenance & a licenced sprayer....but I don't have an answer for you re killing kikuyu in couch lawn, except to hand weed. It was this question that lead me to this forum in the first place.
This advice only applies to WA where we have warm weather turf. It is winter dormant. I'll get back to you if I find a retail herbicide to do the job.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:37AM
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'Paspalum Killer with MCPA' claims to kill kikuyu in couch. I can't find what the active ingredient is so I don't know if any paspalum killer will do. No commercial paspalum killer I can find is supposed to kill kikuyu too.
Other commercial killers - Drive (quinclorac), Ronstar (oxidiazon).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:42AM
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Keep it cut low. Couch handle a lower mowing height than Kikuyu. Water less frequently as couch is ore drought tolerant... Before hand you might want to do a couple of hits with DSMA... not sure if you can get you hands on it as it a commercial herbicde... it kills the kikuyu but hurts the couch much less.... quite expensive though if you can get your hands on it...monument is more of a suppressant and good to use just as it gets warm,,,,,once again quite hard to get and expensive... both are used at golf course that have ouch fairways/tees

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 12:55AM
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Hello Rod,
I had the same problem, tried several different chemicals, none with success. Either they didn't kill the Kikuyu, or killed part of my lawn. However, eventually I did find a way. Firstly I bought Freezone Tuffweed, which contains a higher concentration of glyphosate than Roundup, which costs less and you only need a smaller quantity.
I purchased a Weeding Brush, several different makes available, filled it with Tuffweed, and went onto the lawn, choosing an area to treat, and began stroking the brush along every Kikuyu runner I could see. As you push on the brush, it allows chemical to flow to the brush head, so you can target where your chemical is going far better than spraying, and you can do it even on a windy day! Once you have done it a few times, you can become quite good, and application gets more precise, so damage to your lawn or other plants becomes negligible.

This kills the whole plant as it's systemic, from runner to root. It's the only way I know of killing Kikuyu permanently.
Hope this is of benefit Rod.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:27PM
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