Getting to the lawn phase of our backyard project was a two-steps-forward-one-step-back process. The tree removals and fencing were critical for massively improving the feeling of the backyard. But they also left us with a grassless, uninviting mud pit.
We opted to have the backyard seeded rather than laying down sod for several reasons. First, seeding is much less expensive. Second, it gave us the flexibility to choose the best varieties of grass for our particular space. Given that we had a sloping mud pit in late fall, we needed a grass mixture that could quickly establish itself and stabilize the ground. We opted to combine the cool-season annual ryegrass—it very quickly germinates to cover and stabilize muddy sites like ours, and thrives in cooler temperatures—with a tall fescue mix, a perennial grass that has a good tolerance for part-shade/sun conditions. We'll also be introducing a micro-clover into the mix. More on that soon!
The lawn team did some additional grading to level and smooth the backyard. They also cleaned up the lingering roots, debris, etc., before putting down a layer of top soil.
The next step was spreading the seed mixture and adding layer of straw to prevent erosion.
Signs of growth! We used the sprinkler every other day to help keep the seed moist enough to sprout.
Not surprisingly, the sunniest spots filled out first.
After three weeks, the mud pit was starting to disappear and the lawn was growing thicker by the day.