We built a house and moved in last August. We barely had time to plant grass before winter and now we really need to work on the yard, as ours is the worst looking in the neighborhood. We live in NC and used grass seed from Lowes and fertilizer. The soil is clay like and we lost a lot of topsoil with the build. Should we aerate, use a lot of manure to build back the soil? Just fertilize and water and wait for it to fill in? We have lots of bare spots. Thanks!
There are many factors that go into choosing how and what to do with your lawn.
You are right to address the clay soil and amending the soil with organic material will help you grow a lawn more successfully.
It would be good to know the grass type that you purchased and seeded with.
Home Improvement centers don't always necessarily stock the appropriate seed to your growing zone.
The content of the seed also is important. Turn over the bags of seed and read the labels.
Nearly all seed mixes contain annual and perennial seed. The annual seed generally comes up right away and gives you grass to look at right away. Perennial seed takes longer to grow. The issue comes next season when the annual seed, doesn't return. You are generally left with bare areas of lawn!
I would urge you to contact your local County Extension Office for a list of recommended seed types for your specific area and soil type.
I have listed a link to help you locate the closest office and some other articles to help you get started.