The Trick to Growing Grass & Porch Update

If you are a homeowner or ever will be a homeowner in the future there is a good chance that at some point in time you will need to grow grass. We have only lived in our home for a little over 3 years and have already had to grow grass on two separate occasions.

When I mentioned to my husband I was writing a post on growing grass he chuckled. Yes, chuckled! I asked him why he found that funny and he explained that it seemed like a no brainer topic, just read the directions on the bag!

I kindly reminded him of the two bags of grass seed we wasted our time and money on (grass seed is not inexpensive) before finding our successful method and how I would like to help others in a balding lawn situation get the help they need right away instead of fiddling around with unprofitable methods.

Because lets face it, when you plant grass seeds you have to invest time in watering them and there is nothing more frustrating then spending time watering seeds that never grow (believe me I know)!!

The first time we needed to grow grass was right after we moved in.  There was a large dead ash tree that we had to have cut down.

Front of House Before

We decided not to replace it which left us with a nice 4ft. diameter dirt circle smack in the middle of our front lawn. The lawn stayed that way for a few months because of my unsuccessful attempts at growing grass. It was an eye sore and I was tempted to tell visitors coming to see our new house for the first time that a UFO had landed there causing the bald spot and that we were waiting for the tabloids to come photograph it before we fixed it (believable, right?).:-)

Thankfully, on our third purchase of grass seed we found a winner!!! It is Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed (shown below).  We got it from Home Depot but I’m sure Lowes probably has it too.  And just so you know this isn’t a sponsored post in any way just sharing what finally worked for us!

How to Grow Grass


As part of the DIY landscaping I’ve been doing this Spring I decided to get rid of the little flower bed right in front of our front door.

curb appeal

The kids always walk through it to get to the neighbors and I’ve decided to pick my battles and just get rid of it.

I, again, used our winner grass seed and here is the week by week progress photos of the new grass! (affiliate links used for your convenience).

Scotts Turf Builder Growing Grass

I know what you are thinking–some people mark the progression of their babies growth by weeks, others the growth of their grass!:-)

Looks good though , doesn’t it?? As you can see from the first photo the seed is blue which I liked because you can easily see where you have it and people can see that you are trying to do something about your problem area (and  it reminds the kids not to walk on it).:-)

So here are the 3 Steps:

1.  Level out the area where you are going to grow the grass.

2.  Put the seed down all over the spot you want it to grow.

3.  Water it twice a day for the first couple of weeks.

I can’t stress enough the importance of the 3rd step (well and the 2nd one too, you can’t grow grass without planting the seed) 🙂 because unless it rains that day you’ve got to water it.

And here is a recent photo of our home.  You can’t even tell the two areas where there use to be no grass!

How to Grow Grass Tutorial

And for my readers did you notice the new porch planters??  A week after the porch makeover I decided the DIY Large Planters were  bit too large and moved them to the back patio.  I made smaller white ones using the same tutorial as before.  What do you think?

DIY Planters

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial on growing grass!  I can picture my ex-boyfriends reading this and laughing, “Honey, she’s telling them how to grow grass now”!  That’s okay, as long as I’ve helped someone in the process.:-)

Have a great weekend!


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How to Grow Thick, Healthy Grass

I Love Hearing from You!

  1. Great tips Tamara! We are in a major drought here in California and have massive watering restrictions. It is so sad to watch our lawn die. I will have to tuck this away for when we attempt to re grow it.

      • Hi Tamara, nice to see your new yard. it’s so ‘green’ 🙂 . do you think this kind of grass is suitable for tropical area? thanks

        • Hi Dianda! Although tall fescue grass is very hardy and thrives in a majority of the US it unfortunately does not do well in tropical areas. Here is a list of grasses that does well in your area, bahiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass. Scotts sells a zoysiagrass you could look into. Thanks for your question!!

    • Hi Jennifer, that stinks! Still, this drought doesn’t seem to be an isolated occurrence. I hear that if you switch to a dry landscape with plantings of succulents, cacti, etc. in lieu of a lawn, some counties in California will reimburse you $2 a square foot for your new drought-friendly landscaping.

    • Thank you so much for this post. My grass has looked horrible for a year now and nothing was working. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you again. God Bless.

  2. I live in Florida and my yard is very sandy. Do you think this would work in it? I feel like when I mow, I’m mowing weeds in a sand dune, not grass in a yard 🙁

    • Hi Jackie. I looked into it and I found the following review on the Scott’s website, “I live really close to a lake and my soil is very sandy, mostly sand actually. I was concerned about getting grass to grow but this product, along with a lot of watering, worked great!”. Based on this it looks promising.:-)

  3. This might be a dumb question …but how long must you water the seeded area? Like a full soaking …or a half hour ? Are there any guidelines for that ? Thanks so much

    • That’s a great question, Helen! Our spray nozzle has a few different settings. I used the “shower” setting which mimics a rain shower. I watered my approx. 2.5 x 5 ft. bald area for about 3 minutes, twice a day.

  4. So crazy to come upon this post! I saw it on Pinterest, so I clicked on it. We are trying to regrow grass in certain areas of our backyard. Funny thing is, my hubs bought the exact same product last week, and within a week, it was already growing! Good to know in a couple more weeks, it’s prob gonna look like yours. 🙂 We live out in West TX, so different climate, but it still works great!

  5. I bought the same seed and got spotty results, I hi I I didn’t water enough so I’m going to try again and be more diligent! The instructions say to rake in the seed, did you do that or just leave it on top of the soil?

  6. This may seem like a dumb question. I have a tiny postage stamp of a yard and I think the whole thing needs to be re-seeded since I have a large dog and live in the Central Valley of CA (others have mentioned the drought… it’s ugly) so my little yard looks awful! There’s also a weird slimy substance in some areas when it gets wet that I think may be some kind of fungus or algae. What would you use to remove what grass remains and the dead grass/scum so I have a blank canvas? I wouldn’t think a rake would be able to pull out the patches of live grass. Thanks in advance if you have any ideas! 🙂

    • Hi Danielle, sorry to hear about the condition of your yard. No fun! When I have removed unwanted grass I have used a shovel. Just go into the unwanted grass on an angle, step on the head of the shovel to get in deep and then leverage the shovel up. That should do it! Best wishes!!!

  7. I appreciate the post but I will *never* buy from Scott’s again after I bought several bags of Turf Builder that contained dozens of glass shards. When I complained to Scott’s, they seemed entirely unsurprised. Although they refunded my money, I am still finding glass shards in my lawn (and I have dogs).

  8. Please.. Please- Preface this by adding Fescue grasses only grow in cooler type climates. Do NOT try this in Zones 8-10 or desert arid humid heat zones. Call Scott’s for alternative

  9. No Scotts grass seed has not worked for us. We had better results with Pennington, even a Scotts rep who was at Lowes admitted they meaning Scotts use weed seed as filler seed in their bags of grass seed.

  10. I found this post from Pinterest so tell your hubby that us widowed women who no longer have a hubby to do all the yard work needs this kind of info!! Thanks so much and hopefully my balding lawn will be thanking both of us real soon!

    • Great question, Anne Marie! I didn’t use any hay over my seeds and it grew wonderfully so it isn’t necessary. Some people use it as an extra precautionary step to keep the seed in place and keep the seeds moist. I didn’t have any problem with wind or birds moving the seeds and kept the seed properly moist by watering them briefly twice a day. Thanks for your question!

  11. Thanks going to try this brand.I live in Louisiana and my yard needs help, lol might be my fur babies walking the grass away or all the rain we been having.

  12. This is great! Thank you! I just used the Scott’s turf builder weed control which worked great on all of the dandelions and clover and now we’re left with bald spots on our yard. My question to you is, how do you level the ground you are going to reseed?

    • Hi there! Spring and early Fall are the best times to plant grass seed! It can be planted in the Summer but may require more watering to keep the soil moist. Thanks for your question!

  13. How about local and/or native grass seeds that are not treated? I will never ever support Monsanto, therefore will never ever buy Scotts or any of Monsanto’s products. Not good for the environment, not good for us.

  14. Did your children walk where you planted the seeds? I know it’s best to avoid walking on it, but just wondering if anyone *forgot* daily what you were trying to achieve, and if it still worked out. I have a similar situation, where the grass has stopped growing because of too much traffic and I would like to eventually put stones but will be happy for now with grass if it grows!

    • Hi Stacy! I think it got walked on a few times but not often. I was kind of anal with my kids about not walking on it and I was outside a lot with them so they knew mom was on watch. They got in the habit of going around it (I like that it was blue because it helped them remember not to go on it). I would try putting some more seed down (and maybe even have your kids watch and make it kind of like “an experiment” to see if it a month it will turn into grass). If they feel involved and excited about it maybe they will be more motivated to stay off of it not wanting to ruin the experiment.:-) Best wishes!!

  15. What time of year did you plant the seed? I live in Southeast Texas and every year from the last week of July to September we go under water restrictions, and my attempt to regrow my grass fails. I just want to make sure I plant grass at a time when it can really take root. Thanks! Lauren

  16. Great pin, question, comments and feedback. I’ll be getting new topsoil to regrade/level our yard and using the same Scotts grass seed. my challenge is keeping our dogs from stampeding it. I bought the green decomposing covering that works like hay. Any thoughts on that?
    Seth in Minneapolis

    • That’s a tough one, Seth! I’ve never had a dog so I’m not sure what you can expect from them as far as teaching them to stay out of a certain area of the yard or what would deter them. If any readers have any ideas please feel free to chime in!!

  17. I mixed infant diaper beads (soak diaper in water, continue to add more water every 10-15 min until it absorbs no more water), and potting soil 50/50 and sprinkled it all over my back yard lawn last summer. It stayed green well into fall and is already lush this spring. I’m doing the front lawn this year!!!! Those beads hold every drop of water available to them and the grass can “drink” as it needs to.

  18. I’ve failed twice now to get my front path grass to grow! No kidding I bet you its my seed too! Loved this share and pics, I think you may have saved my lawn too 🙂 THANKS! Off to Lowes again lol

  19. Thanks, I’m desperate. We had to have 2 trees cut down in front and paid a fortune to have it reseed ed but they did it on a day that ithe stormed and I think it was washed away so I’ve been debating on what to do but I’m going to try this in September. It gets full sun and I don’t like yard work especially when it’s hot out. Have a great year. Can you post a picture of your house next year, we have very similar homes color is identical and I would love to see how the plants you have done. I call my house the vanilla house and all the neighbors automatically know it’s so embarrassing but everyone out here don’t plant flowers. Thanks.

  20. Thank you!!! We recently moved into a home that has a lawn no one maintained previously and now it’s pretty much dirt. We have tried everything! We really appreciate your post!

  21. A trick my dad taught me was to soak your grass seed (not the 3rd kind you got) in a pillow case for three hours then spread out on garage floor to dry; about 2 days or less. Keep sweeping the seed to dry it out. Immediately plant your seed and water twice a day as you did. You will have grass in 2-3 days.

  22. We just moved to Oklahoma from California and have the ugliest grass I have ever seen. What time of year did you plant this grass and in what state? I would live to plant now but it’s still winter and I’m not sure that I will be successful.

    • Hi Ashley! I wouldn’t plant yet! I live in Ohio and I’m pretty sure I planted it in the beginning of May. The grass grows best between temperatures of 60- 80 degrees. So as soon as you start regularly getting temps over 60 you are good to go!:-)

  23. Thank you Tamara I’m from Compton California & most ppl here don’t care much for there lawns but I do & I’m in the process now, just like you I’ve wasted my money & lots of time trying to grow my grass & im definitely gonna give this a try..

    Thank you!

  24. Thank you for an entertaining article! I planted myou grass yesterday (for the 3rd time). But I bought squares of grass instead of planting the seeds. Yes, I agree – infuriating! Watering them every day and nothing happens. I’m in South Africa. Yes I’ve left it a bit late by planting as we head into winter but the weather forecast is still decent for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully it’s enough time for the roots to grab.

    • Hi Jane! Crossing my fingers for you that your grass grows this time and that you will have grass before the winter hits.:-) They say Fall is a great time to plant grass so hoping it works for you this time!!!

  25. Thanks…I really need this and plan on trying it soon…I live in NH…still quite cold…do I need to wait for certain weather or temperature ???

  26. What a blessing you are! My front yard is sad looking.Im certainly going to try this.I love how you detailed and showed photos of your day by day progress.That was very helpful indeed.Thank you so very much.I want to join up because I know I will benefit greatly from your projects.Can’t wait o see your next one!!one happy lady Here!!

  27. I’ve also found that hand-spreading a medium-thick coating of straw or hay over the sprouting seed helps to keep the moisture in and the animals away (you water right on top of the material). Then when your grass is mow-able just mow the straw or hay right in as mulch material. I live in south central Pennsylvania (near the Maryland border).

  28. I have used all kind of seeds without any luck. This will be my last attempt with seeds. I have nothing to lose. I you lie here, nothing will happen, i just will never buy it again end of story. I live in Florida, i hope it will work here.

  29. Do you think this would work on “bulking” the grass in the yard??? We have a “sparce”, “cruncy” back yard!!!@ I’d love to have some softer green grass!!!!

  30. I tried Scott’s sun and shade mix for many years with not a whole lot of luck. Switched to a local garden store’s grass seed and that worked a lot better. I don’t know what kind of grass seed it was though. It could have been tall fescue. Did you ever try the Sun and Shade mix and did you have any success with it?

  31. I tried several of the “fancy” name-brand grass seed and none of it worked where I live (Southern Ontario, Canada). Then, I noticed my neighbour had a big, ugly bare patch of his lawn that was ruined by having a tent there all summer long last year. He put some “mystery seed” down and within a week started showing a decent amount of new grass. About a month later, I had a conversation with him and asked him what was his secret to growing grass.

    He said he just went into Wal-Mart and bought the cheapest house-brand they had. I don’t think it was even $5.00 a bag. So I bought it and tried it out. Wow. Perfect results.

  32. I live on the east coast in Virginia, and I’ve been using Kentucky 31 every year, and it seems I have to start over EVERY year. It’s frustrating. I might try this seed this coming spring. My front yard gets mostly direct sunlight during the day with some shade in the evening, back yard is mostly shade. I’m also trying to sell our house this coming spring, so this helps a ton. Thanks for sharing!