I decided to try to make a couple "puppy patches" of grass--one in the fenced in area that I am assuming was a garden at one point (but it gets way too much shade so I'm not entirely sure what would grow well in there), and one abutting our patio for Maya to lay in and to help buffer the mud.
First I tried to just put down some Scott Patch Master near the patio to see what would happen. I know it's technically to patch existing grass, but I thought, "Well, what if I just want a patch?" Well, nothing happens, that's what.
All I did in the fenced in area was put down the same Dense Shade mix (no top soil because the dirt is better in there). That started to grow quickly with some regular watering, however, it too is spotty, probably due to the lack of sun.
At least it looks a heck of a lot better than when we got here! (Did I mention how many leaves we raked!?) And from far away, it certainly looks green, you just can't look up close.
I recently mixed in some Scott EZ Seed to see if it helps fill in the gaps. I got all my seeds on clearance at Target or 50% off at Lowes so I'm not loosing lots of loot even if my little yard patches never fully catch. Hopefully over time the grass keeps getting greener.