Help designing a Midwest shady lawn w/ dogs
Recently a client asked about their back lawn. At first inspection, its a 50x60 area that sits directly on top of Saint Louis clay mines. Needless to say, organic matter and drainage is pretty non-existant at this point being mostly soft clay soil and the PH is very acidic. To top that off, the owner has a 30' diameter southern magnolia shading off a majority of the lawn when foliage is present spring-fall. And to make it even better...they have two dogs who play in the entire yard.
The lawn appears to have had several attempts at repair. The unshaded sections are a k-31 that seems to be thriving and relatively un-destroyed by the dogs, while the shaded area under the tree is a tall fescue mix that is almost completely bare. The client claims to be reseeding twice a year, but notes that any good rainfall leaves standing water and the dogs kick up any new (or existing) seedlings running about.
I am scratching my head trying to think of what to do for the client. I am leaning to tilling the shaded area with organics and sand or turface to help drainage and resodding with farmed bluegrass due to the shade, but i cant imagine that will hold up any better to dog paws.
any ideas, short of putting in a pool?