Wisconsin Grass Types

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

Annual Ryegrass

Most suitable grass (on average)

Fine Fescue

Best suited for shaded areas

Perennial Ryegrass

3rd most suitable (on average)

Bentgrass

Optimal for colder areas

Kentucky Bluegrass

Ideal for drought-prone areas

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

Wisconsin Zones

The interactive map below shows the USDA plant hardiness zones specific to Wisconsin. 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 5
Map Color
Lowest Avg. Winter Temperature -40° to -30°F -30° to -20°F -20° to -10°F

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

Month Min Temp (°F) Max Temp (°F) Prep (in)
Jan7.44 °F24.34 °F1.06"
Feb4.42 °F25.34 °F1.37"
Mar21.14 °F41.32 °F2.07"
Apr29.62 °F50.62 °F2.85"
May44.56 °F67.36 °F4.22"
Jun54.6 °F77.98 °F4.26"
Jul59.18 °F81.56 °F4.39"
Aug56.88 °F78.76 °F4.66"
Sep50 °F70.82 °F4.1"
Oct36.68 °F55.56 °F3.26"
Nov24.72 °F40.62 °F2.07"
Dec15.98 °F30.82 °F1.8"

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

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

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

Grass Types by County in Wisconsin

Below is a list of counties in Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin was sourced from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental information.

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

  • "Wisconsin Grass Types". LawnVariety.com. Accessed on July 19, 2024. https://lawnvariety.com/wisconsin.

  • "Wisconsin Grass Types". LawnVariety.com, https://lawnvariety.com/wisconsin. Accessed July 19, 2024

  • Wisconsin Grass Types. LawnVariety.com. Retrieved from https://lawnvariety.com/wisconsin.