New Lawn

I have about 800 sq. feet of lawn which is patchy and full of weeds.
The soil has a high phosphorus content and not much else. I have
heard that a good way to prepare for reseeding is to shovel out the
mess and then cover the ground with landscape cloth to kill everything
before adding some new topsoil, fertilizer, and seeding in the Fall.
The area gets a mix of about 4 hours of sun to just about none on the
other side.
How long should an area be covered to ensure that everything is dead?
Any suggestions about how to plant a new lawn and keep it healthy are
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You have several problems. High phosphorus keeps plants from absorbing many nutrients from the soil. It is very hard to correct and often means removing the soil & bringing in new. If you don't want to do that, use a fertilizer without phosphorus (15-0-15 for example). Also, you don't have enough light for many common grasses - you need to select one that grows in the shade. If starting completely over, spray the yard with Roundup, wait 2 weeks, till, fertilize, seed/resod, water well & often.
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