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  • Writer's pictureWayne

February kikuyu

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

It's been another hot and relatively dry summer (normal), but our kikuyu is coming along quite nicely on the dribs and drabs of rain we've received so far. The very useful thing for me is that I can see where I need to spread some more lime to help it get going but will be testing those areas to see just how much more lime I will need. I'm expecting most of the farm will need another 4t/ha of lime and those weaker areas to receive perhaps double that.

Unfortunately, since 2nd November, we have not received enough rain to be able to spread some ammonium sulphate out. I was hoping I would get at least one chance this summer to help the kikuyu run more and fill in the gaps, but there has been no opportunity yet. However, as you can see in the photo's below, it is going quite well. It will improve each year as the lime continues to do its work.

I am not concerned about the soil surface pH anymore. It is the pH in the 20-100cm region that I am now focussing on. We have a very acidic farm and only one soil sample taken so far at depth had an OK pH (ie >4.8 in CaCl2). Every other sample showed the sub-soil pH is <4.0. This is very detrimental to all species, including kikuyu. If you drive around our region, you will spot the paddocks and areas of paddocks where the sub-soil is still too acidic - there won't be any green kikuyu there.

When low pH is not a problem, kikuyu can stay green here all summer, as you can see on our farm as it ticks along on dribbles of rain. And of course nutrition has to be good for the kikuyu to be happy. It can get its roots down several metres if there are no pH or nutrition limitations.

Alpha paddock in foreground about to have the ewes with lambs come into it. Sheep at the back are our 1300 green tag ewes soon to be joined by the rams. Neighbour on the left.

Alpha paddock in foreground. Bravo, Charlie and Delta in between and then Echo paddock is where you can see the ewes with lambs. I brought them into Alpha after taking these photos.

Charlie paddock looking back towards Alpha and the sheds. It'll be ~12 days before the sheep come into Charlie paddock.

Charlie paddock. Sheep on the right are in Echo paddock and are the ewes with lambs. Sheep on the left are in Foxtrot paddock and are the 1300 green tag ewe lambs.

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1 Comment

Julien Fradin
Julien Fradin
Feb 27, 2020

How much rain did you get between end of december pictures and that one ?

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