Someday all the digging in the backyard will be done and we will want to put grass back in. I checked with the City and they recommend
"Palisades Zoysia, buffalo, and native seed blends like Habiturf or Thunderturf. Palisades Zoysia will do better in the shade, while the other grasses do better in sun. You will have to find out what turf grass is best for you."
Since the hope is to make the back yard more shady, it seems like the Palisades Zoysia is the recommended type. A brochure I found about it said
"Palisades is a medium textured, dark green Turfgrass best suited for residential lawns and commercial sites when a non-traditional lawn is desired. Developed by Texas A&M, Palisades Zoysia grass scores high in shade, cold, and drought tolerance making it the perfect lawn for all areas of Texas."
In our case, the shade and drought tolerance will be useful.
But will it work in our yard? To test it, I went and bought two pieces of it and put it down in the backyard, over near the fence where the digging should be done.
Zoysia comes as sod which is cut into pieces. Each piece is about 16 inches by 24 inches, so putting them down like this gives me an area 16 inches by 48 inches. (Actually they seem to have cut them short, so it's about 16 inches by 46 inches). After putting the pieces down, I walked on them to press them down to the dirt, and then watered them well. This weekend is supposed to be wet, so they should be well watered for the next two or three days.
I bought the two pieces from King Ranch Turfgrass, for $5.41.
The plant on the left is from the raised garden and should go back once that is rebuilt.