Sterile Seed Head on MSK
Male Sterile Kikuyu
As the name suggests, Male Sterile Kikuyu is a sterile form of Kikuyu grass which cannot produce functional anthers and pollen, and therefore cannot produce viable seed. Male Sterile Kikuyu (MSK) was bred to remove one of the self seeding traits of Kikuyu which had oftentimes led to this grass spreading into unwanted areas like our neighbours lawns or into the open environment.
Which is due to the aggressive and easy seed and spread nature of common Kikuyu Grass, most often spreading from home lawns. The male sterile Kikuyu does not produce viable seeds on its own and therefore the chances of seed dispersion are almost eliminated.
Note: MSK may still produce viable seed if there is a normal Kikuyu lawn close by to pollenate the grass.
Two variants of MSK include Kenda and Village Green.
Kikuyu does have great benefits as a lawn which other grass types simply cannot match, and Male Sterile Kikuyu (MSK) was bred to provide all of these benefits, but in a sterile grass form which would produce little to no viable seed. As a result, the easy spreading nature of Kikuyu would then be greatly diminished.
Male Sterile Kikuyu will look and behave almost the same as common Kikuyu, however some of these new varieties have been bred to have greater Winter colour and a greater density of rhizomes which aids in its drought tolerance.
Best Lawn For Large Dogs
Let's face it, large dogs can destroy a yard and a home lawn like a cyclone that never ends. If this is the case in your yard, and you love your dogs but hate the damage, then Male Sterile Kikuyu is probably the best choice of grass available. While the lawn and yard will still become damaged from activity from the dogs, Kikuyu will be able to keep up and repair the damage faster than any other lawn types during the warmer months.
Male Sterile Kikuyu is the best lawn for large dogs.
Sporting Fields and Ovals
Once again, the grasses on many sporting fields and ovals are subject to intensive wear and tear, and will need to be able to repair from damage very quickly. In these situations, Male Sterile Kikuyu will still be the very best choice of lawn, as there is simply no other grass which can withstand wear and tear, and have the ability to repair quickly from the rigorous damage inflicted on sporting grounds like Kikuyu can.
Lawn Mowing Requirements
All those great traits which allow Kikuyu to so quickly and effectively repair from heavy damage does come with a trade-off.
This quick repair of Kikuyu is due almost entirely to the very fast growth rates of this grass type…
And this equates to some more lawn mowing.
All healthy Kikuyu lawns, including Male Sterile Kikuyu will need frequent mowing to keep it under control and looking good.
But the good news for those people who want an Male Sterile Kikuyu lawn but don't want to mow the lawn so often is that the grass is almost indestructible. It can be left for a period of time, get very long, and then get cut short, and it will still survive and re-establish. A trait which is almost unheard of in other grass types.
Maintenance of Kikuyu Lawn
Kikuyu will not tolerate all weed sprays well, always check the product labels of these lawn products to ensure it is safe for use on Kikuyu.
Apart from perhaps some extra lawn mowing, Kikuyu will also require some more pulling of runners from surrounding garden beds as it can invade quickly. The healthier the lawn - the more vigorous it will become.
MSK lawns thrive in full sun, and shade tolerance of Male Sterile Kikuyu is poor to average, so ensure to mow the lawn higher in lightly shaded areas to keep it in good health.
And finally, Male Sterile Kikuyu can thrive in almost all soil types no matter how poor, it loves the hot weather, and the grass can be totally neglected and still survive. But remember, no matter how tough Male Sterile Kikuyu is, if you want a really nice looking lawn, then always follow good lawn care practices.