4 Best Grass Types for Milwaukee

Selecting one of the best grass types for Milwaukee is the quickest way to add value to your home. A lush, green lawn adds to your curb appeal. That’s why we’ve selected the four best grass types for Milwaukee.

  • Bermudagrass
  • Seashore Paspalum
  • St. Augustinegrass
  • Zoysiagrass

1. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is known for its dark green color, blue-tipped seedheads, rounded blades, and dense carpet. This makes it the best grass type for Milwaukee and most popular choice for local homeowners.

Classification: Cool-season grass.
Spreads by: Underground stems or rhizomes.
Shade tolerance: Kentucky bluegrass has a low shade tolerance, preferring full sun.
Drought tolerance: Goes dormant in drought conditions, but bounces back with watering. 
Foot traffic tolerance: Thanks to its fast-growing rhizomes, Kentucky bluegrass can hold up well under heavy foot traffic.
Maintenance needs: Fertilize in spring and early fall using a slow-release formula. Proper watering (about 1 to 2 inches per week) is necessary to maintain this lawn’s color. Watch for thatch buildup, which can lead to disease and pests problems. 
Recommended mowing height: Mow to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches.

2. Perennial Ryegrass

Recommended by the University of Wisconsin Extension, perennial ryegrass works best if you mix it with other grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass. Perennial ryegrass boasts broad blades, a wet shine, and dark green color.

Classification: Cool-season grass.
Spreads by: Vertical shoots called “tillers.”
Shade tolerance: High. Perennial ryegrass can survive in shaded areas for years.
Drought tolerance: Perennial ryegrass does not do well with drought and needs supplemental irrigation.
Foot traffic tolerance: Holds up well to traffic from kids and pets.
Maintenance needs: Mixing it with other grass types provides perennial ryegrass protection from disease, weeds, and pests. When rainfall is scarce, frequent watering is necessary to maintain this grass’s dark green hue.
Recommended mowing height: Mow to a height of 1.5 to 2.5 inches.

3. Fine Fescues

Fine fescues come in a variety of types, including creeping red, chewing, and hard fescue — the ones that grow best in our climate zone. Fescues are known for their fine-textured leaves that stay green all year long, under proper care.
Classification: Cool-season grass
Spreads by: Rhizomes
Shade tolerance: These grasses flourish in all sorts of environments, including shaded ones.
Drought tolerance: Fine fescues stand up well to drought conditions.
Foot traffic tolerance: Poor. You may find yourself constantly yelling at the kids to “Get off my lawn!”
Maintenance needs: Low. Fine fescue doesn’t need much water, and since it can thrive in poor-nutrient soil, constant fertilization isn’t necessary.
Recommended mowing height: Mow to a height of 1.5 to 3 inches.

4. Tall Fescue

Commonly used in lawns across Milwaukee, tall fescue is recognized by its coarse texture and light green color.

Classification: Cool-season grass
Spreads by: Unlike the bunch-growing style of standard tall fescue, tall fescue spreads via rhizomes.
Shade tolerance: This variety can grow well in partial shade and full sun.
Drought tolerance: Because of its deep roots, turf-type tall fescue can withstand short periods of drought. Longer dry periods require supplemental irrigation.
Foot traffic tolerance: Heavy foot traffic is no trouble for tall fescue.
Maintenance needs: A low-maintenance option, turf-type tall fescue needs little water and can be fertilized just once per year in the fall.
Recommended mowing height: With its high growth rate, tall fescue will need mowing every five to six days at a height of 2 to 4 inches.

Before planting any grass type, you need to consider your soil type, the amount of foot traffic in your yard, and the work you’re willing to put into your lawn.

FAQs about Grass Types in Milwaukee

1. Which of these four grass types is the easiest to care for?

Fine and tall fescues are the easiest grasses to maintain which makes them the best grass types for Milwaukee. They need little water or fertilizer to survive.

2. What is the most common grass type in Wisconsin?

Kentucky bluegrass is a Wisconsin favorite, producing a thick carpet of grass.

3. When is the best time to overseed my lawn with one of these grass types?

Late Summer to early fall is best for overseeding. The soil temperatures are still warm enough for the seed to germinate. The grass needs the fall cooler temperatures to begin its growth spurt. germination, and cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth.

Not up to mowing, edging, and fertilizing your yard? We’ll help you find a local lawn care professional in your area.

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!