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  • Writer's pictureWayne

Kikuyu does grow in winter

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Kikuyu is my favourite grass. It is the foundation species for our ability to carry the stock numbers needed to get close to what is possible based on rainfall. People think it doesn't grow in winter, but it does when it is happy. Here are some photos taken today (6th July 2020). You will have seen some distance shots in the previous blog entry of the kike looking nice and green. Up close, you will see it is still sending out runners and forming a thatch that I want to happen so that we no longer have exposed non-wetting soil.

Kikuyu in our environment will stop growing in winter, and go brown with every frost and stress. However, we have had more frosts this year than we received all of last year, and yet it is still very green and growing happily. The key is to fix whatever is stressing it. In our case that is acidic and nutrient deficient soil. It is still a work in progress, but we've managed to correct all the big problems in our first year. Just minor tweaking to do perpetually now.

A close up of kikuyu alongside a sheep patch so that it is easy to see the runners are still being produced, even though it is mid-winter. A thatch is also forming, which is wanted. And it is nice and green.

Kikuyu in a raceway showing runners are trying to encroach onto the track. It can be happy in winter if it is not growing in acidic soil, and it is fed.

We lost most of our clover germination in the March false break, but there are good numbers starting to appear even though this area is thick healthy kikuyu.

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