Rykuyu has been developed to address the issue of frost burning of turf during winter. Frost burning is where turf varieties such as couch, kikuyu and buffalo lose their colour when exposed to repeated winter frosts. This burning is cosmetic and the turf will always recover however that recovery period doesn’t start till the weather warms up in spring. The Adelaide metropolitan area does not typically receive high amounts of frost, however the turf growing regions do which results in frost burning of the turf. In the past, if you ordered turf during winter, the chances of the delivered product being discoloured due to frost was high. Sure, the turf will always recover but if you have a winter project and you need to have green grass right from the get go, then Rykuyu is the right lawn for you.
Rykuyu combines kikuyu with fine leaf rye grass. Unlike kikuyu, fine leaf rye is a cool season grass and does not discolour, even under the heaviest frosts meaning you can be assured that your winter delivery of turf will be green from the moment you un-roll it. More than that, because Rykuyu has an element of winter active or cool season grasses in it, it will begin to establish straight away, giving it even more capacity to endure the rigours of winter.
As the season changes from winter to spring, the kikuyu element of Rykuyu will come alive and take over the rye turf, which is the desired outcome. As previously mentioned, frost is of little concern in the Adelaide metro area meaning winter discolouration due to frost will be unlikely to occur again. In that sense, the rye grass element of this turf is only intended to be a short term solution to the frost problem and once it has done its job, it is no longer needed, leaving behind the super strong and drought tolerant kikuyu. Remnants of rye grass may persist in some circumstances however these can be chemically removed if desired.
As there are 2 layers to this grass (kikuyu and rye grass) the specifications are different for each. The following information will be based from spring onward, when the kikuyu has become dominant. In that way, kikuyu is named in the details rather than Rykuyu.
|Drought Tolerance||Kikuyu is an extremely drought tolerant grass, much more so than fine leaf rye. When kikuyu is under drought stress, it simply goes into dormancy rather than dying meaning as soon as water is available again, it comes alive and begins the recovery process. This makes it a truly drought tolerant variety. Rye, by itself is not drought tolerant, however the ryegrass is not intended to be present past the middle of spring meaning its drought tolerance is not an important factor.|
|Hot Weather Tolerance||Excellent.|
|Cold Tolerance||Kikuyu is ideally suited to Adelaide’s climate and has excellent capacity to deal with Adelaide’s mild winters.|
|Salt Tolerance||Kikuyu has a good level of salt tolerance (you can irrigate with water with a salt content of up to 3500 parts per million).|
|Mowing Height||Kikuyu should be mowed at approximately 20mm high during spring, summer and Autumn, and 30mm tall during winter.|
|Recovery from Injury||Kikuyu has both above ground and underground runners giving it an excellent ability to recover from damage.|
|Use||Ideal for full sun, winter installations of turf, where a dark green colour is required.|
|Texture||Fine to medium blade width.|
Once installed, Rykuyu turf will need to be kept watered sufficiently enough so that it does not dry out during winter. This can range from daily waterings in dry winter conditions through to much less when it is raining. Once established (early to mid-spring), Rykuyu will mature into an incredibly drought tolerant lawn. In extreme circumstances, Rykuyu can survive long periods without water.
Year round colour holding capacity
When planted in the Adelaide metropolitan area, Rykuyu will retain its colour year round (when watered and fertilised adequately).
Rykuyu is a self-repairing lawn. In the event that it is damaged, Rykuyu will repair itself quickly without having to replace sections of the lawn.
There are two layers to Rykuyu’s pet resistance. The rye grass element has minimal protection from pet urine however the underlying kikuyu has one of the best pet resistance levels available in a turf. Since Kikuyu will be the dominant species, then the level of pet resistance in this variety is excellent.
Preferred growing environment
Rykuyu is rated as a full sun variety and will need a minimum of five hours per day of direct sunlight.
Kikuyu is rated as the most hard wearing turf variety available in South Australia. Because Kikuyu forms the base of Rykuyu, the same can be said of this outstanding new variety.
Rykuyu is a highly invasive lawn. Yes, that does mean it will spread to areas where it was not planted, but that same invasive nature is what gives it its incredible drought tolerance and durability.
Once Rykuyu has been established (into mid spring), it only requires minimal water to maintain it. Being predominantly a warm season grass, it thrives in warm, dry conditions and has the capacity to store water in its rhizomes (root system) meaning the soil can dry out with out the lawn dying.
Rykuyu should be mowed at approximately 20mm high during spring, summer and Autumn, and 30mm tall during winter.
We have a specialised fertiliser program available for all of our lawns. Click here to access our program.
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