That's what I was going to suggest. I had an area the same way only it was from the previous owner's dog pen being there for years. I tilled the whole area and mixed in some fresh dark top soil and fertilizer to try and bring the dirt back. The first time I put sod down I didn't do that and it died right away.jimsdad said:I think that I am having trouble growing grass there because the area was the site for about half dozen Arborvitae that I had removed. The soil is packed with 20 + years of Arborvitae twigs, roots and dead leaves. So tomorrow I am renting a small cultivator to dig up the whole area, turn the soil over and add in some lime. Then I will let it sit for a week or so and then put on the sod.