Critique my Renovation Plan
So, my backyard is full of crabgrass and other 'Stuff' that I have no idea what it is. But basically there's hardly and 'grass'. Also, the backyard needs leveling. I've had trees removed a few years ago and now there are large depressions where they once stood. I'm on a 1/4 acre lot. The backyard is about 4000 sq ft. when I factor out the pool and shed.
The grade is OK...I think anyway(I don't have a basement), but it grades toward my house a bit and to the side, but continues like that all the way to the curb in the front of the house.
Right now I am experimenting with my pools Solar Cover. I'm laying it out and seeing if it will kill the grass in a reasonable amount of time, then I'll try moving it to a new area. If this doesn't work, I want to buy some Burnout or the like to kill everything 'Naturally'.
So, once everything is killed, I need to level it out. Now, I have no experience with the big machines or anything.(And I need to be 'frugal' about all of this) I was contemplating renting a power rake, and trying to rake out some areas, and move dirt with a shovel/wheelbarrow, then rake again, etc etc. Is this even possible? I've never seen a power rake in person.
Now, lets say I get the place leveled(either power rake, or hire someone). My next plan is to get a soil test, and amend if necessary. Once the amendments are done, I plan to have compost delivered(about 3-4 yards to cover 1/4") and spread it out back there. I say 3-4 because I may throw some down on my front lawn.(I've sprayed a bunch of roundup on the front to kill bermuda/zoysia that was growing out there that looked hideous).
Then....plant the seed. I want to go with a nice TTTF Blend. So please critique. The only thing is I want to stay as natural as possible(20 month old running round the back yard). My main 'UNKNOWNS' are if a power rake can be used to level out a rough yard, and WHEN the compost should go down... before or after seeding.