I have a problem with Kikuyu which feels like its "too hard" for me to deal with, and I'd be grateful for any advice, thoughts or productive comments. My property is in Auckland, New Zealand (approximate equivalent to US hardiness zone 9B I believe)
Kikuyu has taken over my property (I was blind to just how badly until recently - but in hind site this has been a problem in the making for longer then the 5 years I've been at the property). I have Kikuyu for lawn - which can be mowed and I expect I will have to live with, I also have a steep drop down to a very large pond which, when I refer to pictures, used to have native flaxes and other plants and is now overrun by Kikuyu. There is no way I can get a lawnmower down there - let alone my ride-on. When I started on it with a brush cutter there is a huge amount of runners acting like a mat which goes so far down (down as in layers - not down as in to the pond) I can't actually work out where it ends.
If I can weed-wack the green layers as well as say the top 10cm of runners , can I cover this mat of kikuyu with weed-mat and will it over time be able to turn into compost/soil? If this is doable, am I after some months (eg 6 months) able to cut holes in the weed-mat and replant? How long will a layer of weed-mat likely hold the kikuyu at bay, assuming I can keep the edge of the weed-matted area under control?
In addition to and/or in place of the above - and in the expectation that there is a clay soil underneath the kikuyu - are there any plants (particularly Native NZ trees and shrubs and fruit trees) and how big do they need to be to out-compete the Kikuyu around the bank/lake without a lot of regular maintenance - My goals here are too -
- Provide a shade and privacy to the pond area (so ideally stuff which is evergreen).
- Act as a carbon sink towards offsetting my CO2 emissions (for my own piece of mind, not commercially)
- If I can get fruit which I (and or the ducks and other wildlife) can eat that would be an excellent bonus.