One of the greatest enemies of Buffalo grass is Kikuyu grass. Kikuyu invades buffalo grass so easily, so quickly, and often without notice that an entire buffalo lawn can be quickly consumed by kikuyu before we even notice we have a problem.
In fact, most buffalo lawns being planted today will have a kikuyu invasion within the next few years. And if not controlled, the kikuyu in most cases will overrun the buffalo with ease.
So what's the story with Kikuyu and Buffalo?
Buffalo Is Very Susceptible To Kikuyu Invasion
Buffalo is actually a very good grass at naturally keeping out weed invasions due to its thick thatch layer, however it just cannot compete with, nor overtake its arch enemy… Kikuyu.
Kikuyu seeds are very fine and easily move about the natural environment with ease, and as such, that kikuyu lawn down the street or at the council park will most likely be invading other lawns around it just from human traffic, birds, dogs, bikes etc which will pick up the fine kikuyu seeds and disperse them to other places… and lawns.
In fact, you could have brought kikuyu seed onto your own lawn just by visiting your mate's house and walking across his kikuyu grass. Kikuyu seed spreads that easily!
Once the kikuyu seed is in a fine leaf and low growing lawn such as Couch, Queensland Blue or Zoysia, the invader can be easily spotted and removed before it takes a foothold.
But for Buffalo, its wide leaf and thicker thatch layer can often hide the new young kikuyu seedlings which are developing amongst its own leaf.
Kikuyu is very well camouflaged inside Buffalo, especially at its youngest stages while its gaining a foothold and a deep healthy root system.
Eventually the buffalo lawn owner will notice a different grass amongst their lawn which grows much faster than his buffalo lawn, and much higher, and is spreading quickly.
By this time, the Kikuyu is well and truly established and strong and healthy amongst the buffalo and will become very difficult to get rid of.
Kikuyu Must Be Destroyed In Buffalo
Once an invasion of kikuyu has been noticed in a buffalo lawn, it is imperative the lawn owner takes immediate action to kill the kikuyu grass as quickly as possible.
If left without treatment the kikuyu will continue to get stronger, spread further and will eventually take over the entire buffalo lawn, turning it into a kikuyu lawn. I've personally seen this happen many many times, with entire buffalo lawns worth so many thousands of dollars destroyed by common kikuyu.
As we've already noted, the ease at which kikuyu spreads, its rapid growth rates, its ability to hide so well in buffalo, and the fact that most buffalo lawns will become invaded by kikuyu at one time or another, means that all buffalo lawn owners must stay vigilant to this problem at all times.
Kikuyu can be a chore to kill in buffalo grass as there is no selective herbicide available for this purpose. So its best to tackle kikuyu as quickly as possible. Realise there is always a risk of invasion and always be on the look out for any grass which looks a little different than buffalo, grows a little faster and higher, and to pull the invader out whenever its seen, and before it ever gets out of hand.