I'm planning what to do with the former school yard we got along with our new home. The yard is still under snow right now, but when I saw it last summer, it was a pretty scrawnyl looking lawn, sprinkled generously with dandylions and large patches of bare dirt. Trampled down by many little feet over many, many years, I suppose.
Sooooo, my vision is to turn parts of it into a vegetable garden, add fruit trees and some shelterbelt trees and shrubs, as well as berry bushes. As far as the lawn is concerned, I imagine to keep some as regular lawn and other parts I would like to have growing with native grasses and wildflowers, like poppies, etc. to add color and interest. Something that we can mow maybe twice a year and otherwise looks after itself. I should mention that the lot (including buildings) is 160x300 feet, and this area once was original prairie.
I guess that leaves me with the question, how would you go about the lawn and grass parts of this plan? I harldy know where to start, it seems such a gigantic task. We have to keep costs down, and as you can imagine, I'm not looking to make this more work intensive than necessary. Neither right now, nor with future maintenance.
I looked through the search part and couldn't find anything about turning old lawn into native grassland. Do we need to slightly rip the surface and then reseed with grasses and flower seeds? Will they "take over' the former lawn? I can find posts about resurrecting an old lawn, though not specifically about replanting on hard packed clay soil.
Any of your thoughts would be valuable and of interest to me. Thanks.