I Need Help Selecting the Right Grass and Grass Seed
I'm fairly new to this forum and have a lawn question.
Here's some background on what I'm dealing with. I purchased a new home in the Clayton/Garner, NC (10/15 mins south of Raleigh) area in November 2013. I believe the builder only put down perennial ryegrass, the yard has a gradual slope and I have about 1/2 acre of lawn area. My lawn is fairly patchy throughout. My front yard gets all-day sun, while the back gets a good deal of sun in the morning , but is partially shaded after mid-afternoon. There are a lot of people in my neighborhood that have bermuda, one guy with what I think is zoysia and a couple with what appears to be some type of fescue or fescue/kbg blend.
I've done some research, but I still need some help with grass selection. I want to establish a nice thick lawn that's not going to require an extreme amount of care to keep looking its best (I generally enjoy yard work, but I do have other hobbies). I also need something with good wear tolerance. I don't want to spend thousands of $$$ sodding my yard, and have pretty much limited myself to seeding. Based on what I've researched bermuda, zoysia, tall fescue, or a tall fescue/kbg blend would work in my area. I don't know how realistic it is to seed zoysia, as I want something that's going to grow a little faster and not take years and years to look established (correct me if I'm wrong with any of this). I like the hardiness and quick spreading ability of bermuda. I know it's going to lie dormant (brown) for several months, but I figure after this initial season I can overseed with ryegrass to get year round green. Is bermuda the right choice for me????
If I go with Bermuda what is a decent seed that I can get. I hear Princess and Yukon are good. However, I don't know if I can find those this time of year. I have thought about some other options: La Prima, Riviera, Blackjack, and the Pennington "triangle" blend that the big box store has. What seed should I use? I think I'm fine with using a more middle of the road type seed rather than shelling out $700/800 on Yukon or Princess.
Finally, as far as prep goes (assuming I go with bermuda), in late May/early June I am thinking of simply - cutting the ryegrass as low as I can get it, broadcasting a thin layer of topsoil over the entire yard, broadcast the seed, then another then layer of topsoil, netless grass seed mat for the slopes, water etc. Assuming I provide adequate water, etc. will this work? I've heard some horror stories about tilling, and I don't think I need to aerate.
Thanks in advance for the help!