North Dakota Grass Types

Looking for the optimal grass varieties for lawns in North Dakota? Below is a comparison table and accompanying data that will give you information about what grasses are best suited for North Dakota and its inner counties.

Note: Cold, heat, drought, and saturation tolerance are measured on a score of 0-5 with 0 being the least tolerant and 5 being the most.

Fine Fescue

Most suitable grass (on average)

Annual Ryegrass

Ideal for drought-prone areas


Optimal for colder areas

Perennial Ryegrass

4th most suitable (on average)

Kentucky Bluegrass

5th most suitable (on average)

Lawn Visual
Seasonal Type Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool
Cold Tolerance 5.0 4.0 4.5 4.5 4.0
Heat Tolerance 2.0 2.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
Drought Tolerance 2.5 2.5 1.5 2.0 3.0
Saturation Tolerance 3.5 4.0 4.0 3.5 3.0
USDA Zone(s) 1-5 1-7 1-5 1-5 1-7
Sun Exposure Partial Sun, Full Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Partial Shade
Low, Slow Moderate, Rapid Low, Moderate Moderate, Rapid Moderate, Moderate
Weekly, 1 inch Weekly, 1-1.5 inches 2-3 times weekly, 0.25 inches per watering Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches
Every 7-10 days, 1.5-3 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 3-5 days (or less), 0.25-1 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 2.5-3.5 inches
Soil Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 5.5-7.0
pH: 5.5-7.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 5.5-6.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
Texture Fine Fine Fine Fine Fine to Medium
Color Dark Green Bright Green Light Green Bright Green Rich Green

North Dakota Zones

The interactive map below shows the USDA plant hardiness zones specific to North Dakota. Each zone in the map represents a certain temperature range that is critical for plant survival and growth, divided based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Click on the map to see the optimial grass types for each county.

Zone No. 3 4
Map Color
Lowest Avg. Winter Temperature -40° to -30°F -30° to -20°F

The chart and table below shows the average monthly precipitation and minimum/maximum temperatures in North Dakota over the last 5 years.

Month Min Temp (°F) Max Temp (°F) Prep (in)
Jan3.5 °F22.22 °F0.35"
Feb-3.28 °F17.58 °F0.41"
Mar17 °F38.12 °F0.49"
Apr25.7 °F49.02 °F1.36"
May40.68 °F66.54 °F2.36"
Jun53.3 °F79.58 °F2.99"
Jul58.02 °F83.34 °F2.85"
Aug54.7 °F81.56 °F2.1"
Sep45.68 °F71.7 °F1.99"
Oct31.18 °F52.5 °F1.68"
Nov17.96 °F36.66 °F0.53"
Dec7.14 °F25.28 °F0.8"

The chart below shows the optimal months for seeding or sodding new grass in North Dakota. Suitability for each month is based on the average monthly temperature in North Dakota.

June, July and August are the most optimal months for planting cool-season grasses in North Dakota.

July and June are the most optimal months for planting warm-season grasses in North Dakota.

Grass Types by County in North Dakota

Below is a list of counties in North Dakota. Click on any county to get a more detailed analysis.

Data source and citation

Raw data for the grass characteristics was sourced from the USDA's PLANTS Database.

Data for climate zones in North Dakota was gathered from the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map as well as GIS datasets from the Oregon State University PRISM Climate Group.

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation data for North Dakota was sourced from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental information.

Please use the citation tool below to reference any information found on this page.

  • "North Dakota Grass Types". Accessed on July 20, 2024.

  • "North Dakota Grass Types"., Accessed July 20, 2024

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