ARGH! Mad at my grass.
I've done my research, and I'm ticked at my grass and don't know what to do with it!
***Here's what I've got:***
1) Small townhome yard. Trampoline for the kiddies (can't really move it around to rotate the area that it covers). I understand that that portion will probably never grow grass...although I really wish it would. Maybe you know how I can.
2) The rest of the yard has poor drainage. The neighbors property to the right sends all the water to my yard, which is at the bottom of the slope. I put in a square foot garden in the worst area so I don't have to worry about the mud...but...
3) It's shaded...a lot. Most of the yard feels like a mud pit some of the year, if not most of the year. And last year we had a dry summer!
4) I live in Northern VA just outside of D.C. Zone 7A
***Here's what I did:***
1) Roto-tilled the entire yard,
2)Put down fast-acting calcium since the yard is surrounded by many trees whose leaves get into the soil, especially in the fall. I had the extension do testing on the soil, and that's what they recommended post-testing.
3) Cut back branches so the yard isn't SO shaded
4) Planted a shade-blend of seeds. Don't remember what brand, but it had about 15% creeping red fescue. Looking back I should have done more research on my seed mix purchase.
5) I kept the kids off of it during the lovely spring season, and the grass grew, looked like it was going to work...then DIED! I avoided mowing it at first because the ground was too soft and wet, and I was afraid of ruining the sprouts. Maybe I should have mowed it...it got to be about a foot long. I know I know...probably should have mowed it, but the ground was too wet. I KNOW the mower wheels would just have pulled out the grass roots. Felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and didn't know if I should mow or not (err I guess I was actually stuck between grass and a mud place. Ha.)
***Here's what I MAY do...and hopefully this is where you come in with your advice:***
1) Look at doing some Grading...I can't spend too much energy on this, especially since my home is built on a descending hill (where my home is at the bottom). I may create a SWALE on the side that has higher ground (Right side) to redirect the soil away from the yard. Then the swale will lead into a french drain, sending excess water out of the yard. Umm... ???
2) Aerate the lawn
3) Put down a top-soil mix to help with the drainage. This would compose of 30% sand, 30% Compost, and...40 of I HAVE NO IDEA.
4) Lay down shade fescue...creeping red, some hard...I'd love to be directed to a brand that I could buy online.
5) Then I'd PRAY it would work.
Help me O-Bi-Wan-Grass-ownie. You're my only hope!
P.S. And before you laugh at me, in my defense, I have a very prolific vegetable garden and co-op :). But grass is not my thing.