1 Nutrition


The most important nutrient for managing Village Green is nitrogen. Critical application times for nitrogen-based fertilisers are September/October and April/May.

The best way to determine if nitrogen is required is by leaf analysis. As a guide, maintain leaf levels between 2–2.5% during the warmer months (test in September) and above 3% during the cooler months (test in April). It is advised to seek professional advice on interpreting results.

Adherence to this regime will keep the turf actively growing and green all year round, even in areas prone to frost.

On newly established sites, nitrogen fertiliser should be applied more frequently at lighter rates, especially during winter and early spring.

Avoid applying excessive amounts of nitrogen during the warmer months unless the site is high-profile and frequent mowing is planned. Nitrogen promotes vigorous growth, which leads to thatch build-up. On sporting fields, close monitoring of nitrogen, iron and manganese is required to maintain a dense and active growing surface.

Other Nutrients

Decisions on nutrient type and rate of application should be based on leaf and soil analyses.

2 Irrigation

It is ideal to keep Village Green turf moist year- round, however, Village Green is drought tolerant and will recover quickly with rainfall or irrigation.

To achieve an optimum surface, apply a wetting agent at least twice during the warmer months at a rate of 50 L/ha to avoid dry patch.

Ensure the irrigation system is working properly and delivers an even coverage of water. Poor sprinkler maintenance leads to patchy turf.

Use a corer or a handheld moisture probe to test the soil moisture levels. Ideally, install a soil moisture probe to enable continuous soil moisture monitoring in real time.

3 Mowing


Mow more frequently if required. It is important not to allow excessive growth. Regular low mowing is beneficial for reducing the risk of thatch development.

As a rule, lower mowing heights require greater frequency of mowing and result in a denser sward.

To reduce mowing frequency, apply a growth retardant such as Clipless or Primo at 2.5–5 L/ha in early December, repeat in February if required (see results from trial below).

Over the five week trial period the two highest rates of Clipless resulted in a 43% reduction in the total amount of clippings.

Village Green turf (and kikuyu in general), mown

at heights above 30 mm can become stemmy and prone to scalping. Frequent and lower mowing on sports fields and high profile public spaces helps avoid this.

Rugby fields and racetracks require a longer sward, and the turf can be allowed to grow to heights of 40–100 mm. However, at the end of the season it is important the turf is renovated and mown down to soil level. Village Green turf will recover quickly from renovation.

Mower type

Using the correct mower can also impact turf quality and performance. A heavy deck rotary mower, such as the Pegasus, is ideal for most situations. For a first-class finish where a tight, low mown surface is required (i.e. small ball sports), a cylinder mower is recommended.


4 Renovation

Thatch build up and renovation needs can be reduced by regular low mowing and avoidance of excessive nitrogen applications. Adherence to a site specific maintenance schedule will assist
in controlling turf during the rapid growth season. If renovation is required then it should occur during the warmer months.

Frequent mowing regime will provide an exceptional playing surface with minimal need for weed control and reduced renovation requirements.

Should thatch build up, the following renovation measures should be undertaken:

1. Vertimow or scarify to remove surface thatch.

2. Mow to near ground level (10 mm).

3. If a mat layer is present, core to a 100 mm depth. Use hollow tynes in sandy soils and solid tynes for heavy soils.

4. Topdress turf with 5–10 mm sand and brush or run in. Ensure topdress material matches the original profile.

5 Weed control and over-seeding

Weed control

Village Green kikuyu will have very few weed and pest issues if it is kept healthy and mown low all year round, as it will naturally smother weeds.
If pest problems occur, consult a specialist.


In highly frost prone areas, over-seeding may be necessary for aesthetic and wear reasons.

Over-seeding should not be undertaken too early. Seeding rates should not be so high so as to compete with Village Green. Rye grass should
be removed as early as possible.

Should rye grass be left to persist, competition for light and warmth will impact Village Green vigour. Repetitive over-seeding can lead to a gradual weakening of Village Green and permanent loss of cover.


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