Right now I am living the nightmare of kikuyu removal. Armed with my trusty bread knife I am making minuscule progress but it is truly a tedious, dreadful chore.
My entire front lawn was ‘landscaped’ with kikuyu about 4 years ago. Two months ago I marked out 8 garden beds and sprayed them with weed killer. I’ve since been slowly chipping away at them by cutting down about 3 inches and then slicing underneath. It’s hard work and so far I’ve put in about 60 hours, removed about 15% of it and at this rate it will take many more months. I’m not sure my back will survive and I may go quite mad!
I’m amazed at how thick and strong these underground runners are. Despite the kikuyu looking sick/dead above ground, the runners are having a party beneath the surface and I can almost hear them laughing at me at I hack and saw through them. They’re so dense that today I concluded that I’m definitely not strong enough for this task.
Initially my aim was to do it all myself, but unless there’s a magic tool out there I may have to concede defeat and hire some muscles with a sharp shovel to dig and remove it.
So I’m after advice please… does anyone have experience with wretched stuff?
I'm so sorry you are having such difficulty with this Kikuyu; it must be tiring and frustrating work. Can I confirm that your plan is for in-ground beds and not raised beds?
You might want to consider a Cyclone Garden Tiller, but it sounds like something like that might even struggle. Ultimately, if you had a Ryobi petrol line trimmer or Ryobi 1200W Line Trimmer with the Expand-It shaft, a Ryobi Expand-It Cultivator Attachment would be excellent for the job. It is sold as a stand-alone unit if the size of the garden beds warrant it.
An alternative method might be using a mattock. Even the smaller Saxon Compact Pick& Mattock would allow you to cut the runners and then hook the pick side under them. With a levering action, you should be able to rip them out of the ground.
It would certainly change your plans, but it could be worth considering raised garden beds. Not only would they solve your issue, but having the added height is convenient for veggie and herbs gardens.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Hi @MitchellMc ,
thanks so much for your suggestions… definitely worth looking in to. I did have a bit of a browse through gardening tools last night but needed more practical advice like yours to hone in on the right ones.
I love the idea of raised garden beds… not sure if they would work in my front yard though but certainly worth considering.
Of the eight garden beds I’m creating: 2 are in front of ground level windows, 2 are to go beneath a front picket fence alongside the footpath, 2 are at right angles to the front fence, running down the side fences and 2 are bordering a central path to the front door. I’m trying to imagine the central path bordering garden beds and the side fence garden beds as raised… 🤔
Anyway, I’m off to browse mattocks!
Dear Brains Trust,
Am wondering if anyone has experience with using Roundup to kill Kikuyu, roots and all…
According to the Roundup FAQ, it is effective in killing grass in preparation for planting new turf. I will have to call our provider tomorrow to find out if it kills the roots as well. As soon as I have the information, I will get back to you.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.
Any of the glyphosate products, such as RoundUp, will, when correctly applied, kill the plants roots.