I pulled most of this ugly grass, turns out to be an old sod layer with very shallow roots. I then used a shavel to cut into the ground one slice at a time and turned it up. I did every square ft.. not a big area but it took all day. Then I broke it up with a rake and cultivator. Keeping the area very wet and muddy was the only way it seemed to work. I raked it back down to grade. The ground was very fluffy and muddy, while wet, my shoe would sink and making deep imprints.
Then applied the seed with a spreader. This is the seed I used because I am planning on heavy usage: (rye and blue grass mix)
I then applied a lawn soil mix on top and try to mix the seed and the old soil a bit.
The ground was still wet and overly soggy and I tried to compact it down by stepping on a big metal pan. Helped a little but I ended up avoid stepping on it afterwards.
So then my questions are: 1) Will the ground stiffen up..? Will it be muddy again after the lawn is established during rain and watering?
2) I am not sure if I did the best job with spreading the seed and the raking process.. also I might not have used enough seeds, would it be ok to overseed on top one more time and rake it in lightly? Would too much seed in different depths cause any problems?
3) I did more reading about Rye grass and it seems to be a very strong growing grass, I have a flower bed adjacent to the lawn only divided by a concrete strip. The soil on both sides are the same level. How do I protect the grass from getting over? Can I use a piece of aluminum flashing and drive it into the ground as a divider?
4) I read I should put some straws on top of my bare soil, but is it really necessary for a fast germinating grass seed? Where do I find straws? I didn't see it at Lowes? Alternatives? Should I buy compost and spread it on top?
Thanks in advance