Kikuyu is an invasive grass that looks great in yards but can quickly invade garden beds. To stop kikuyu from invading garden bed, a below ground barrier made from hardened plastic or steel will stop the runners from growing through to the beds. Garden edging or bricks with mortar will also stop the grass from growing through to the beds.
Top ways to stop kikuyu from invading garden beds
Here are the best ways to stop kikuyu from getting into garden beds, taking over and stealing nutrients from your plants. Kikuyu is an invasive grass that looks great but needs to be contained. This is easy so here are some options for you to consider for your own home.
1.Below ground grass barriers
Grass barriers for kikuyu can be laid above and below the ground. It is important that a barrier is placed below the ground as the tough roots can spread and send up new shoots. Kikuyu can send up new grass stems from each node on their roots so a physical barrier is the best way to stop them from invading garden beds.
2. Above ground grass barriers
Grass barriers that are placed above the ground are also important as they will form a hard barrier where a line trimmer can be used to trim off escaping runners. This will help to form a nice, neat edge and keep the grass in its place.
Deep barriers can be perfect as they can go both above and below the ground. Garden beds can be filled with soil and then topped up with mulch to separate the areas. The above ground grass barrier will help to contain the soil and keep mulch off of the lawn.
In summary, the garden bed grass barriers work:
Above ground: This will help to create a clear line for where the grass stops and the garden bed begins. It will hold in mulch and soil.
Below ground: The barrier will stop the invading roots of the grass from growing under the soil into the garden beds.
Digging in garden edging under the ground will help to stop grass from growing into beds. A line trimmer can easily cut the grass down for a neat edge and stop ground level runners from escaping into the beds.
3. Steel edging
Steel edging is a great choice to keep kikuyu in its place. A good quality garden edging is worth the investment and can last for many years. Steel edging looks great and will naturally form a rust which protects the steel and looks great.
These edgings work well with black mulch as if forms a modern contrast against the lawn and mulch color. They can also be sealed to keep them a bright, clean steel color and will withstand a beating from a line trimmer.
4. Bricks laid with mortar
Bricks can form a fantastic garden edging to stop kikuyu from escaping into your garden beds. A buried brick will stop kikuyu roots from growing through to garden beds and can be laid neatly for a neat edge.
I have used a brick edging over part of my lawn area with the bricks buried 90% in the ground. A line trimmer is then run over the top of the bricks to trim off any grass runners that are trying to escape over the top.
A spade can also be used to create a sharp edge and to cut the grass runners of above and below the ground at the garden bed edge.
The best results come from using a solid brick as those with holes can provide a space for kikuyu grass roots to grow through. This grass is so invasive that it will find any hole or gap left to head to the rich soils of garden beds.
Bricks can be recycled or new and both look great. Old fashioned recycled clay-look bricks give a traditional country feel while new gray bricks match a modern yard.
5. Garden edging (with mortar)
Garden edging is another great way to stop kikuyu from getting into garden beds and works well when paired with underground barriers. Without an underground barrier the kikuyu can still be stopped by using a sharp spade to cut down below the edging. This will form a barrier and cut off any escaping roots.
The key to successfully stopping kikuyu with garden edging is to make sure the gaps are mortared as any holes above ground will allow runners to make their way through.
In my own garden I have noticed those few edging bricks without mortar will let grass escape and growth through. Prevent this problem by laying mortar between the edging or place plastic or steel edging on the inside of the pavers. This will form a double barrier and help to hold the soil in.
6. Hand pulling lawn runners
Once a good barrier has been installed there should be no need to hand pull kikuyu grass from your garden beds. Any small gaps however will likely lead to you needing to deal with the escaping roots or stems by hand.
Cut the stem back to the lawn area limits and remove the rest of the lawn that has escaped into the garden beds. Make sure all of the roots have been removed from the garden beds as even a small piece can re-grow if it has developed roots.
How to stop kikuyu invading garden beds | Summary
Kikuyu is a beautiful looking lawn but is highly invasive so needs a barrier to stop it from invading garden beds. Both an underground and above ground barrier will form the barrier will stop the kikuyu from growing its way through to your beds.
A neat spade edge dug down at the barrier will keep the lawn neatly in its place with the ultimate barrier being a physical metal, brick or plastic edging. This keeps my lawn under control combined with bricks and garden edging.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.