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Salvage or Start Over? Centipede sod laid on compacted clay/sand

5 years ago

My husband and I bought our first house last May and seem to be learning everything the hard way! It was a new construction home in the FL panhandle (Zone 8b) with a compacted clay/sand base, lots of heavy equipment traffic over the lot during construction. Wouldn't you know they didn't lay anything down on top of the clay fill (let alone actual topisoil) before they laid about 8,000sf of what was at first some decent centipede sod. With the compacted under layer, the sod never really took root. Now that it's run through the small amount of soil that was attached to the sod and the compaction causes the water to run off and never soak through to the roots, our yard is struggling this year. We've also added the stress of our new 90lb full-of-energy German Shepherd to the yard, which is a consideration. Our entire yard has full sun - no shade.

So, do we completely start from scratch (kill the lawn, till it up to loosen everything, amend the soil, and re-sod or seed) or try to salvage it? If we were to salvage it, how should we go about it? If we restart, we're considering a switch to Zoysia since we've heard it will hold up better to our pet and foot traffic. What would you do??

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