Q: Most of our back yard is dry red clay with very little grass. It’s in heavy shade in spring and summer and then covered in leaves in the fall and winter. We would really like to have grass. Can you point us toward some resources?
A: Start by understanding that no grass will thrive in the conditions you describe. Even fescue, which is our most shade-tolerant grass, needs thorough soil tilling and six hours of sunshine to look okay and keep weeds at bay. You could consider planting lots of shade-tolerant mondo grass. But your best resource is a local garden center expert, on a non-busy day. Ask their help in choosing shade-tolerant plants you can enjoy.