I want to put down some grass seed now but our soil is basically mud. I'm wondering if this is a waste of time or if the seed can grow in this. Will adding a bit of top soil help?
Sounds like your soil is way to soggy--you will not get good germination (or even a healthy lawn) under those conditions. Sounds like your turf is not properly graded. I would have a professional look at it and decide if adding soil is needed or just a proper grading.
I would just throw the seed down and rake it in. Maybe you could add some more top soil then do it. At least the seed would be moist... How wet is it? Too wet obviously isnt good.
If it's really mud, the seeds would probably rot instead of sprouting. Seeds need to be moist, but there's a difference between getting moist and drowning.
We just had our second oversized french drain installed. We definitely are working on our drainage issues. We have also had alot of rain. The area where I'd be planting is over the french drain and has fresh soil.
I could try to wait until it dries out more but I'm anxious to get something started. I'm sick of our mud pit backyard!
I'd seed over it.
Many people use a yard roller to lightly press the seed in to good contact with the soil which is what it needs to germinate. Depending on soil type pressing it in to already moist soils can be a problem. On a small area you can use something besides a roller. Also, if the soil is wet enough to be sticky, I have used a light coating of peat moss to help the seeds stay moist during the germination period. Be careful, too deep an application of a top coat, whether peat moss, compost, soil, etc, can smoother grass seeds. How much depends on the consistency of what you use to cover.
From that point on the ideal you are shooting for, as alluded to above is moist not saturated. Certainly not underwater if you can help it. Rains don't always cooperater. But, since you've installed drainage, you probably won't have a problem with being underwatered/saturated for long enough to hurt the seed.
Then its just a matter of keeping the top moist long enough to get germination and get the seedlings established.
This is very dependent on soil type, sun, rain, drainage SO the best thing to be is like a mother hen. Check it. Sometimes I have had to sprinkle it lightly several times a day, and sometimes when I have seeded the weahter cooperated and I hardly had to water at all for weeks.
Its like porridge, it needs to be kept "just right" and that requires "mothering" most times.