The Most Common Grasses In Wisconsin

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Wisconsin is a state known for its breathtaking landscapes, from lush forests to serene lakeshores. Its warm, humid summers and cool, snowy winters make the landscape ripe for many plants and trees to make up the lush landscape, but one of the most underappreciated features of this Midwestern gem is its diverse array of grasses. These common grasses contribute to the state's natural beauty and play essential roles in its ecosystems.

In this article, we will explore and identify some of the most common grasses found all over this beautiful state.


Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass, celebrated for its vibrant, deep blue-green hue and durability, is an excellent option for lawns that endure heavy foot traffic, especially in Washington's cool, moist climate. Maintaining Kentucky bluegrass involves maintaining a mowing height of 2 to 3 inches. Overly short mowing can strain the grass, rendering it more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Regular aeration and consistent fertilization are essential practices to nurture this lush, green, and highly desirable turfgrass, ensuring it thrives effortlessly.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass, recognized for its speedy germination and shade tolerance, stands out as a robust cool-season grass. It's an ideal selection for lawns in shady spots frequented by foot traffic. To transform your lawn into a picturesque addition to Wisconsin's landscape, this sought-after turfgrass thrives with deep, spaced-out watering, consistent fertilization, and fundamental lawn care.

Fine Fescue

Fine fescue is a cool-season turfgrass known for its exceptional shade tolerance. It is often used in combination with other grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, to create shade-tolerant lawns. Fine fescue is less demanding than other cool-season turfs regarding fertilizer and irrigation. However, it is important to note that fine fescue is less resistant to wear and tear than its counterparts. There are three main types of fine fescue: red fescue, sheep fescue, and hard fescue. Regardless of the type of fine fescue you choose, it is important to mow it regularly, every few weeks, to maintain a dense grass stand. If left unmowed, it can reach heights of 12 to 14 inches, which can lead to thinning or eventual decline.

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue, a cool-season grass, stands out for its impressive resistance to pests and diseases. It's an excellent option for low-maintenance lawns and boasts a taller growth profile than the other turfgrasses featured here. Tall fescue, characterized as a bunchgrass, grows in distinctive clumps and doesn't spread as readily as grasses like creeping bentgrass. Its extensive root system enables it to tap into water and nutrients in the soil effectively. This makes it a wise selection for lawns in areas with poor drainage and thrives with straightforward lawn care practices.

Which Grass Is Right For You?

Close up photo of grass with a blurred background

While Wisconsin may be celebrated for its forests, lakes, and natural beauty, it's worth looking at the common grasses that play a significant role in the state's ecosystems. These grasses contribute to Wisconsin's aesthetics, provide habitat, prevent erosion, and support agriculture and conservation efforts. Whether strolling through a prairie, tending to your lawn, or simply admiring the greenery, these common grasses are an integral part of making the Wisconsin landscape a lush, beautiful place.