Kenda - a new male sterile kikuyu
photo courtesy of Kenda Kikuyu
Kenda Kikuyu - A New Male Sterile Kikuyu
Kenda is another worthwhile addition to the growing family of Male Sterile Kikuyu turf grasses. This Australian bred MSK grass is showing in common usage that it appears to holds good green winter colour, including in areas where frosts and cold winters can cause many lawns to brown off.
Kenda Is A Male Sterile Kikuyu
The importance of all people planting Kikuyu as a lawn to try to use a Male Sterile Kikuyu is explained in our article Male Sterile Kikuyu.
The principle behind Male Sterile Kikuyu is that the turf produces almost no viable seed, and therefore when these fine seeds do escape into the open environment as all Kikuyu seed naturally does, or into our neighbours lawns, the seed cannot propagate into new grass plants, and so much of the environmental nuisance of common Kikuyu is thereby eliminated.
Sward, Stolon, Rhizome and Root Density
Compared to common Kikuyu, Kenda Kikuyu was selectively bred to grow with a superior density in sward - which is the mat of the lawn, as well as a denser and deeper root system, and improved density of rhizomes and stolons.
So what does all this mean for the homeowner?
Denser lawn mat (sward) helps keep weeds out of the lawn, while the denser underground runners (rhizomes) and deep root system reduce water usage and make Kenda more tolerant to drought conditions.
The denser above ground runners (stolons) combine with the density of the mat (sward) to keep weeds out of the lawn. Combined together, these new traits also present Kenda to be a better lawn for beauty, softness and usability over the old common Kikuyu.
Kenda Shade Tolerance and Lawn Mowing Requirements
We are not aware of any available independent data that proves any difference between Common Kikuyu and Kenda Kikuyu or any other MSK when it comes to lawn mowing requirements or shade tolerance improvements with Kenda. So it appears that all forms of Kikuyu will need the same mowing requirements.
All Kikuyu, including common Kikuyu and the Male Sterile variants such as Kenda and Village Green have faster growth rates than many other grasses, and therefore require frequent lawn mowing. The same is true of all Kikuyu when it comes to shade tolerance - Kikuyu tolerates shade poorly and equally alongside Couch - at around 10% shade tolerance. Which makes this lawn best suited for full sun to mild part shade.
Kenda Kikuyu Summary
Kenda is another valuable and worthwhile addition to the choices of Male Sterile Kikuyu available to Australian homeowners today. The added stolon density and its winter colour are also two worthwhile features of this grass.