grass/groundcover for acidic soil zone 7

I'm in central Va and have an acidic read clay soil (Davidson clay). My back yard has some sort of spongy soft grass that dies back right about now and doesnt reappear until April. What can I overseed with to either fill in during the mud season or eradicate it entirely? I've tried the fescue that is recommended for this area with very limited success. I am almost thinking that winter rye would get me by and at least fill it in with *something*, but this is obviously not a permanent solution. I do not want to lime my lawn, and I am open to low growing ground covers that may or may not require mowing. My yard is surrounded by woods but this part gets good sun. I do not need it to look manicured, my yard is a semi-wild setting as it is, with me barely succeeding in beating back the china grass. Any suggestions appreciated. (Oh, I have 2 dogs who will be walking/playing on it as well as a yardful of moles that the cats are dispatching with admirable frequency)
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Is there a reason you do not wish to lime your lawn? Few turf grasses will succeed in very acidic conditions - the mosses usually win out - and liming is pretty much the solution (temporarily) to that situation.
For groundcovers, you might want to consider Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos), Contoneaster damerii, Rubus calcynoides, or St John's Wort. All will tolerate acidic soil conditions, sun and are pretty darn hardy, although they will need time to become established before the dogs run rampant :-)) If this is an area you need to walk through regularly, I'd suggest putting in pavers or stepping stones - these are not exactly low growing "stepable" types of groundcovers (at least for us clumsy humans).
pam - gardengal
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Pam - gardengal wrote:

I'm looking for a low maintenance solution. (Besides being both cheap and lazy) :^) The ground cover doesnt need to be grassy.

I've got about an acre to deal with, and much of it is on a slope (over the septic field which also needs to be kept relatively accessable), so pavers won't work for me, but thanks a bunch for the groundcover suggestions!
-Peg
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wrote:

Fescue should grow well in the conditions you mentioned. This is the best time of year to do it. Why are you against applying lime? I do this every year if the pH is under 6. If there is less than 5 hours of daily sun, then forget growing grass. Moss grows in my shady areas, and I never planted it. Actually the moss needs no maintenance at all. The moles inidcate you may have a grub issue.
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