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The Lawn Guide
Council Kikuyu Park
One Council park using common Kikuyu

Time To Switch Our Parks To Zoysia

We're going to take a look at a typical Council park in suburban Australia. The park is planted with common Kikuyu, it has some shaded areas from some beautiful trees in the park, as well as a nice kids playground area. The park receives only minimal usage.

So we're going to examine the troubles presented by the use of Kikuyu in this park, as well as looking at the cost savings, and savings in environmentally damaging practices that both the council and residents would benefit from if the council used Zoysia in place of common Kikuyu.


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See for yourself just how many weeds, poisons, destroyed lawns, wasted space, and poor park health comes from planting common Kikuyu in our parks

Kikuyu dies in shade

Gardens to hide dead Kikuyu

Large dead patches

Poison you can see

More poison and weeds

Invading neighbouring lawns

Ivy and dead Kikuyu

Kikuyu dead from shade

Now trying Dichondra


Problems With Common Kikuyu in Parks


Dead patches under trees
This council has done a wonderful job of hiding the dead patches underneath the beautiful trees in this park, but the fact remains that Kikuyu is just not good in shade, and anytime there are trees, Kikuyu will die underneath. The gardens are nice but they aren't there for beauty - they are in this park to cover for the shortcomings of Kikuyu, and they add more costs to maintaining this park.


Pesticide Usage
This park uses a lot of pesticides. Common Kikuyu is vigorous in growth rates and is susceptible to weeds. Herbicides are used here to kill weeds in the turf, as well as on the edges to stop the Kikuyu spreading onto paths.


Kikuyu Invading Neighbouring Lawns
I visited one of the lawns directly opposite this park, it's a Buffalo - well it was a Buffalo… these days the lawn is 50/50 Buffalo and Kikuyu. The Kikuyu seed from the Council park blew across onto this lawn or was carried by birds or pets, embedded itself and now the Buffalo lawn is no longer. The same is true of all verges surrounding this park - all overcome with common Kikuyu from this one park.


Lawn Mowing
Common Kikuyu requires more lawn mowing. Amounting to higher maintenance and upkeep costs for the council in staff wages and equipment costs, not to mention all the extra pollution created by having to use mower tractors more frequently. Then there's the issue of more waste material from lawn mowing that needs to be disposed of.


Vertimowing
This Kikuyu park requires regular vertimowing to de-thatch this grass. Vertimowing on this scale is energy intensive, using very large vertimowing tractors and creating masses of waste material…. and this is only a small park!


Watering and Fertilising
Again, this Kikuyu turfed park will need a regular program of fertilising and watering. Perhaps no more than a Couch lawn, but on this scale, that's a lot of water and a lot of fertiliser.


Switching This Park To Zoysia

Now lets look at the instant benefits this council, its neighbouring residents and the environment will all receive if this park was to be re-turfed with Zoysia.


Dead Patches Under Trees
Almost all dead patches due to shade under trees will be eliminated because Zoysia is more shade tolerant than common Kikuyu or Couch. The council instantly saves maintenance costs for the garden areas they were forced to plant due to the shade intolerance of Kikuyu.


Pesticide Usage
The use of weed killers will be decreased because Zoysia is more resistant to weeds due to its thick sward. Weed killers that are used to stop Kikuyu spreading onto paths and into surrounding areas may be greatly reduced.

Even better, Zoysia is naturally resistant to lawn disease and pests, so the use of chemicals to treat such problems in common Kikuyu will be far less so with Zoysia.

And here we have many savings in both costs and reduction in the use of chemicals used to treat lawn problems.


Invasion Of Neighbouring Lawns
Zoysia will never invade and takeover any neighbouring lawns… ever. It just cannot spread in the way that Kikuyu can.


Lawn Mowing
Lawn mowing requirements of Zoysia are a less than those for Kikuyu. By planting Zoysia, the council could instantly begin saving on all costs associated with lawn mowing of parks, including equipment purchase and maintenance costs, staff costs, fuel costs, as well as savings in the emission of pollution from tractor lawn mowers.


Vertimowing
We can't say that Zoysia will never need vertimowing, and we would be interested in seeing studies and trials of large scale Zoysia usage in Australia to determine the exact cost saving from this de-thatching process.


Watering and Fertilising
Zoysia requires less fertiliser and less water than either Kikuyu or Couch. This fact also leads to reductions in the use of water, and chemically derived fertilisers which can be damaging to the environment.



NOW LETS LOOK AT ZOYSIA

Empire photos courtesy of:
Empire Zoysia
Heres Empire Zoysia
Heres Empire Again

Compadre photos courtesy of:
Above Capricorn (Compadre)
Heres Compadre Zoysia
Heres Compadre Again


Please Convert Our Parks To Zoysia

This Council park is a perfect candidate for conversion to Zoysia, it's a low usage park which means it has no reason to use Kikuyu at all. Zoysia is equally well suited to all other low, medium and moderately heavy wear parks in all warmer regions across the entire country.

When we think about the numbers and scales of parks across Australia, we can see how all these enormous savings from just one single small park can convert to almost incomprehensibly enormous savings across the entire country if they only converted their parks to Zoysia.

Including savings in costs and environmental benefits such as:


  • machinery purchase costs
  • machinery maintenance costs
  • machinery operation costs

  • staff reductions
  • water reduction
  • machinery use reduction

  • fertiliser use reduction
  • pesticide use reduction
  • herbicide use reduction
  • fungicide use reduction




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