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I have been unable to grow any kind of grass in my backyard. I even had one of those “lawn experts” come and treat it with lyme and spread seed out – nothing but mud now that they killed the weeds. Very wet and soil is actually sandy from when the house was built years ago. Would it be better for me to have soil delivered and plant grass seed or have sod layed out? Again, very wet and shady. Or should I give up and just have stone spread and work with planter boxes?

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  1. Shady and wet do not make for good growing conditions for a healthy lawn. If you do want to establish a lawn you need to first find out the reason for the wet soil. Is it due to runoff from a slope, poor-draining soil, or an underwater pipe that is leaking? If the soil is simply wet but not soggy, then having soil delivered might remedy the situation if it's raised about 6 inches from the addition. Whether you bring in soil and seed or simply have sod laid out, I would only have that done in the sunnier areas and then create either planter boxes, paths with container plantings, or growing beds in the wet areas with plants that tolerate moisture and shade. A few suggestions are sweet flag (Acorus), carex elata 'Aurea', yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus), blue flag (Iris versicolor) Louisiana iris, umbrella plant (Darmera peltata), meadowsweet (Filipendula), gunnera, ligularia, lysimachia, bleeding heart (Dicentra), and various ferns. Hope this helps!

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