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Wisconsin Planting Zones

Wisconsin planting zones

While portions of Wisconsin in the south and southwest regions of the state are a hot summer humid continental climate, the majority of the state is warm summer humid continental. Wisconsin as a whole sees distinct seasons with wide variations in precipitation and temperature, often with short time periods between change. The average temperature annually is 55 degrees, but the most northern part of the state averages just under 40 degrees. In certain regions, Lake Michigan is responsible for much of the changing conditions. The Urban heat island effect is another factor, which largely keeps certain areas like Milwaukee cooler in spring and summer months while protecting them from extreme cold during winter. Wisconsin can see anywhere from 40 to 160 inches of snowfall annually and the state averages right around 35 inches of rain, depending on location. There are more than 120 days of precipitation each year, however the higher elevations will see the most. 

Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map is a quick and easy way to find out what Wisconsin planting zone you are in. Zones in the state range from 3b to 5b, and it is important to know which you are in before planning a garden. Wisconsin planting zones help determine which plants grow best and when to plant them. Growing zones are based on first and last frost dates. If you are not sure which of the Wisconsin growing zones you are in, ask a local nursery for help. Always be sure to select plants in your zone or lower. For example, if you live in zone 3b, plants rated zone 1 through 3 should do fine throughout the year and these are the plants most likely to survive winter. 

A great number of plants, flowers and vegetables grow in Wisconsin. Poppies, blanket flower, hosta, peony, allium, yarrow and daylily are all excellent choices. Vegetables that will thrive in the area include beets, lettuce, peas, radish, chard and carrots.

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