We’ve been considering options to replace a lawn that died over the summer this year. Seems we have too much clay just south of DC in my area, and the tall fescues do not have enough root power to go deep enough to survive the sun on our west facing lawn (especially at 95+ degrees). The ground is compacted, and even 6′ digging picks bounce off it in the heat of summer.
The lawn area gets approx 4-6 hours of direct sun a day, with the rest of day being filtered through the trees. I’m planning on roto-tilling the whole area down to 6 inches, then adding compost before installing grass.
My research indicates El Toro Zoysia may be the best option for shade, cold tolerance, drought, and self repair. Its roots would also be strong enough to attack the remaining clay below 6″. Curious if anyone else has experience with it in Northern VA (especially winter performance), and where I can buy it from.