Best Grass Seed for Michigan – 2021 Reviews & Overseeding Guide

Looking for the best grass seed for Michigan? Here comes the perfect guide on cool-season grass seeds for Michigan.

Cool-season grasses are the perfect match for cold-weather states like Michigan. The weather conditions support lawn growth, health, and life. But the ultimate thing is throwing the best grass seed for the cool season.

Michigan lies in the midwestern regions of the United States where the weather conditions are mostly cold. Cool-season grasses withstand the climate of Michigan and grow at their best during the spring and fall. During these seasons, the temperature is between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit along with plentiful rainfall. 

Grass seed is the main thing that measures grass health and growth. If the grass seed is compatible with the weather of a particular region, it results in a form of thriving grass. 

Not all the cool-season grasses are best for Michigan yards but there is some particular type that thrives best in Michigan. Finding the best grass seed for a new lawn or overseeded lawns in Michigan is not easy without proper guidance.

Therefore, I built this guide to go over top-quality grass seed for Michigan. All the grass types that are compatible with Michigan state are listed along with their products from top quality companies.

Let’s get started.

Best Grass seed types for Michigan

Kentucky Bluegrass

kentucky bluegrass for michigan lawns

Kentucky Bluegrass is the fastest-growing grass in Michigan. It is a widely grown grass in Michigan. This turfgrass can last for years through proper management. Kentucky bluegrass and Michigan are a perfect match.

Bluegrass grows best in moist and cool weather while slower growth in hot, dry weather. 

Kentucky bluegrass has the best growth in cold-weather regions due to the aggressive sod-forming feature. But a proper watering plan is a necessary need for maintaining the high quality of grass.

The optimal mowing height of Kentucky bluegrass is 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches to get the freshly green colored grass and proper utilization of resources.

A lot of cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass are present in the market and new cultivars are introduced day by day. These cultivars differ from each other by the disease resistance, maintenance requirement, color, and vigor of grass blades. 

All of these cultivars are introduced for the cool season areas and have no special priority for any region. As the disease resistance or color may vary in many regions due to the weather fluctuations.

What I Use:

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Kentucky Bluegrass Mix-7 lb, Use in Full Sun, Light Shade, Fine Bladed...
  • Scotts Turf Builder grass seed Kentucky Bluegrass mix continuously...
  • Kentucky Bluegrass seed mix designed for full sun and light shade,...
  • Exclusive 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating absorbs more water, feeds...
  • Seeds up to 4,725 sq. ft.
  • Not available in LA

Fine Fescues

fine fescue for Michigan lawns

Fine Fescues or Fine-leaved Fescues are the best performing turfgrass in cool-season or cold regions like Michigan. This grass is superior to Kentucky bluegrass in some aspects of shade tolerance, infertility, and drought tolerance.

Fine leaved fescues are the perfect choice for you if you have dry soils in cold regions. It has overwhelming performance in shady sites but does not tolerate wet and poorly drained soils. 

When it comes to the important factor of maintenance of lawn, fine fescues also win the race with low maintenance requirements. Additionally, fertilizer and water requirements of fine fescues are also minimal.

The premium feature of fine fescues is excellent shade tolerance as compared to Kentucky bluegrass. 

The only care needed while growing the fine fescues is the watering amount. Fine fescues are not good at excessive fertilization and irrigation and it results in the severe thinning of fine-leaved fescue.

Experts, growers, and professionals recommend growing fine fescues in a mixture with any bluegrass. This recommendation is for the safety of grass from leaf spot diseases as the fine fescues are more prone to leaf spot diseases.

Fine fescue too has many cultivars. All of them have a unique growth pattern and performance. Hard Fescue, Chewing Fescue, and Red Fescue are the three perfect choices for growing fine leaf fescue in Michigan.

Red Fescue is sod-forming turfgrass while the hard and chewing fescues have the bunch type growth pattern. 

What I Use:

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix, 3 lbs. (6-Pack)
  • Designed for full sun and dense shade, fine-bladed texture and medium...
  • 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating absorbs more water than uncoated seed,...
  • Helps protect seedlings against disease, keeps seed moist 2x longer...
  • Scotts most versatile mix; stays green even in extreme conditions of...
  • Aggressively spreads to repair bare and thin spots

Perennial Ryegrasses

Perennial Ryegrass for Michigan Lawns

Perennial Ryegrass is the best grass for the Michigan regions having medium fertility levels and well-drained soils. Perennial ryegrass has a very unique growth habit i.e. erect bunch type growth.

Perennial grasses have many advancements in cultivars and provide options to the user in choosing the perfect match for a lawn. Improved cultivars have many advancements in resistance to diseases and drought conditions.

Perennial ryegrass is the fastest growing grass and the perfect choice for getting a rapid cover and wear tolerance. The improved cultivars of ryegrass have greater winter hardiness and better mowing characters.

The unimproved cultivars or old ones have coarse turf and tough fiber or grass blades along with a short life. These common perennial ryegrasses have a coarse appearance and lack of winter hardiness.

Ryegrass is a premium choice for growing the rapid cover of grass on the sloped areas. This grass is recommended for the areas having slopes and terrains as it can withstand erosion.

Perennial ryegrass is considered best to grow on the lawn in a mixture of bluegrass.

What I Use:

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Perennial Ryegrass Mix, - Full Sun and Light Shade - Quickly...
  • Designed for full sun and light shade, fine bladed texture & low...
  • 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating absorbs more water than uncoated seed,...
  • Includes Scotts best seed, helps protect seedlings against disease,...
  • Ideal for quick growth, erosion control and high traffic areas
  • Seeds up to 2,900 sq. ft

Tall Fescues

Tall Fescue seed for Michigan Lawns

Tall fescues are an updated generation of fine-textured fescues. It is a turf-type grass having fast covering and soft turf.

Tall fescues are the best grass in Michigan regions for drought tolerance. It wears the ground cover fast and grows in turf. 

It is a bunch type of grass so it should never be used for overseeding or mixing with other grass species.

The premium benefit of this grass type for Michigan lawns is the tolerance to disease and insect problems. 

The best performance in the dry and sandy soils makes it the best grass for the dry regions in Michigan regions with warmer climates. 

Tall fescue is the best choice for growing new lawns in both sun and shady lawns. 

What I Use:

WaterSaver Grass Mixture with Turf-Type Tall Fescue Used to Seed New Lawn and Patch Up Jobs - Grows...
  • THE ONLY SEED YOU WILL EVER NEED: Water Saver is low maintenance and...
  • GROWS GREAT IN SUN OR SHADE: Excellent in the transition climate zone...
  • PATENT RTF FESCUE: Creates strong root system for your lawn with less...
  • EXCELLENT COLOR AND DISEASE RESISTANT: Withstands stressful weather...
  • DECREASE LAWN MAINTENANCE: Water Saver allows you to mow close to the...

Reviews: Best grass seed types for Michigan Lawns

1. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Kentucky Bluegrass Mix

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Scotts Turf builder Kentucky bluegrass seed mix is the premium quality grade bluegrass seed. Scotts is a famous brand for manufacturing high-quality grass seeds for years.

Kentucky bluegrass seed by Scotts has the all advanced features of self-repairing to the smooth wearing of ground.

This fine-bladed grass is specially manufactured for all types of lawns from full sun to light shades.

The plus point of this grass seed is that it has drought tolerance to some extent.

The premium feature of this bluegrass by Scotts is the 4 in 1 WaterSmart Plus coating that provides more absorbance of water in seed and feeding the initial nutrients to seed.

A single pack of bluegrass seed is enough to cover up to 4725 sq. ft.

2. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun and Shade Mix – Fine Fescue grass seed

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Scotts turf builder fine fescue grass seed is designed for the dense shade areas of Michigan. It is famous for its fine texture along with medium to high tolerance to drought.

Fine fescue grass seed has the built-in feature to resist the disease attacks on the seed and grass. 

The ultimate feature of 4 in 1 WaterSmart Plus coating provides more absorbance of moisture in seed and keeps it moistened for 2X more time.

Fine fescue grass seed is the best grass seed for overseeding Michigan lawns if applied in a mixture with bluegrass.

3. Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Perennial Ryegrass Mix

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Perennial ryegrass seed mix by Scotts is the premium quality grass seed by Scotts. It does to have 4 in 1 WaterSmart Plus coating to ensure more germination and water absorbance.

The coating on the seeds protects the seed from disease and pests attacks and keeps the seed moistened for 2X more time than uncoated seeds.

Perennial ryegrass is the best match for growing grass in high-traffic areas and rough terrains. It helps to control soil erosion by providing the quick covering of ground by grass.

A single pack of ryegrass seed by Scotts is enough to cover up to 2900 sq. ft.

4. WaterSaver Grass Mixture with Turf-Type Tall Fescue

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Tall fescue is a well-known grass type for its low maintenance and self-repairing nature. This grass seed by WaterSaver is the highest quality grass seed that you will ever need for your lawn in Michigan.

It has the best ground covering through a strong system and builds a strong network that minimizes the needs of again and again overseeding. It provides a thick turf in sun and shaded areas.

The shiny feature of this grass by WaterSaver is that it withstands the stresses of weather and keeps itself rich green color. 

A 10lb of tall fescue grass seed is enough to cover a 1000 sq. ft. area of lawn.

When to Plant Grass Seed in Michigan

The best time for planting grass seed in the Michigan region is from late August to mid to late September. It is not advised to plant during the summer days full of heat as they will die off the seeds.

Cool-weather with warmer soil temperature is the perfect time for growing these types of grasses. The dewdrops and rains also assist the growth of grass seeds.

The best practice for getting maximum growth is controlling the weeds and insects to a minimum in the early days.

If the grass seed is planted before the onset of winter harsh weather, the grass has ample time to establish. Kentucky bluegrass is the most grown grass in Michigan and it takes more time to establish so you should be more careful to adjust the plating date before winters.

Planting the grass seeds in the spring season can also be done but the major problem during these days is the weeds battling over resources with grass. And you have no solution to control the weeds in the early days through chemicals so the only time left is fall. 

If you find any disease attacks on the lawn then apply the lawn fungicides immediately to save the lawn from complete damage.

When to overseed lawn in michigan

If you really want to get the thick grassy lawn along with a lush green look. The first and major step to achieve the lush green lawn is overseeding at the perfect time.

Before overseeding any lawn, the primary step is aerating the lawn through lawn aerators followed by overseeding to thicken the grass. The holes created by aerators provide the space to seeds for perfect germination.

The optimal time to overseed a lawn in Michigan is in the early fall season. During this time the soil temperature is warmer and the environmental temperature is cooler. The other benefit of this time for overseeding is the fewer weeds grow.

Effect of temperature fluctuation on Michigan grasses

High Temperature badly impacts the cool-season grasses in Michigan. It stops the growth and turns the green grass to brown.

In some parts of Michigan, the temperature sometimes goes up and the climate changes to warmer conditions. During these fluctuations, these cool-season grasses go dormant and turn brown until not watered again properly. 

The dormant cool-season grass if not watered in dormancy, dies in 3-4 weeks. Make sure to water the grass during the dormancy to prevent it from dying. This act will not immediately make the grass green but save it from dying.

Final words

Cool-season grasses are the best grass for Michigan state laws. Kentucky bluegrass is the most grown grass in Michigan state due to its better establishment and drought and disease tolerance.

Perennial ryegrass is the other grass seed that grows best in Michigan but it is advised to apply by mixing with other species. 

All the grass seed types are reviewed in my experience. Hope that you have to find the best grass seed for Michigan.

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