Although kikuyu grass possesses a reputation for aggressively taking over residential lawns and park areas, managers at many sports facilities opt to cultivate this warm-season turf grass to provide a better playing surface for athletes. According to Patrick Gross, director of the southwest region of the US Golf Association's Green Section, kikiyu grass is the preferred turf grass at multiple well-known PGA golf courses, including Torrey Pines. Regardless of the growth stage of your kikuyu grass, making your own inexpensive compost can help establish the grass by creating the moist soil conditions the plant prefers.
Collect a wide variety of different carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich organic waste to produce a rich compost. Include high-nitrogen waste, such as fresh kikuyu grass clippings, cow or horse manure, vegetable scraps, fruit peels and coffee grounds, to provide ¼ to ½ of the volume of organic waste in your compost heap. Find dry, high-carbon waste, such as dead leaves, straw and sawdust to provide the remainder of your compost pile materials. Avoid using grass clippings from other turf grasses to minimize your chances of introducing the seeds of other species of turf grass to your spread of kikuyu grass.
Peel back a 4-by-4 foot area of sod from a well-draining, sunny location. Spread a 4-to-5 inch layer of high-carbon organic waste across the exposed soil, misting it down lightly with water from your garden hose. Scoop a 2-to-3 inch layer of high-nitrogen organic waste over the layer of carbon-based material. Toss several handfuls of plain topsoil across the double layers of organic waste to introduce millions of additional decomposing bacteria to your kikuyu grass compost.
Dampen the layers of compost with a light spray of water from your garden hose, misting the compost until it's about as wet as a wrung-out sponge. Alternate additional layers of high-carbon and high-nitrogen materials until your compost heap is at least 4 feet tall. Allow the compost for your kikuyu grass to sit and heat up for three to five weeks before mixing the layers with a manure fork to introduce additional oxygen for the decomposing microorganisms.
Maintain your heap of composting, turning the layers every two to four weeks until the compost acquires a dark brown color, crumbly texture and slightly earthy odor, which typically takes place within about six to nine months.
Sprinkle a light layer of your finished compost on kikuyu grass at all stages of growth. Press freshly-cut shoots (stolons) of kikuyu grass into compost-enriched topsoil to establish new areas of kikuyu grass growth. Top dress freshly seeded and newly started kikuyu grass with no more than ¼ inch of compost to provide valuable nutrients for adequate growth and to help maintain necessary moisture levels in the soil.