Bare Spot in Backyard

I live in Cincinnati Ohio, and roughly speaking, my reasonably large backyard is surrounded by trees. The parts that get at least partial shade grow well, but there is a sunny spot in the middle of the backyard (roughly 8 by 10 feet) that grows very poorly. In every 7 inch square space (roughly speaking again), there is only one clump of brownish looking grass with barespots in between the clumps. It seems like the barespot grows slightly more every year. Can anyone tell me what the problem is so that I can fix it this year?
Thanks,
JD
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

Hard to say, could be a number of things...can be as simple as someone dumping out the rock salt several years ago after making home made ice cream, to weed killers used to control something, or maybe someone once parked an old car in that spot dripping oil. Maybe start with getting soil samples analyzed to make sure it's not an environmental issue.
Lar
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Are there any tiny little holes in the bare spots and japanese beetles in the neighborhood? If so ..... Aaahhhhhh.... Ruuunnnnn :)
Enjoy Life ......... Dan
--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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Haven't noticed much in the way of little holes or Japanese beetles in the 6 years that I have lived in this house, but I will look closer. Also, it is possible that someone dumped something harmful on the land, but I doubt it because the previous owner of the house was a federal marshall who was very fussy. (For instance, he has left notes in the house about the exact length of a pipe, required maintenance etc.)
JD
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wrote:

Put some of the soil in a container (not used for food), and see if you can sprout some grass seed in it. Mist lightly with a spray bottle and cover with plastic wrap, leaving a bit of ventilation. Buy a small bag of grass seed. Don't use some ancient seed that's been laying around the garage forever, or the experiment will be meaningless. And, while you're digging up some soil, look carefully for grubs. If you *do* find grubs, don't go nuts with chemicals until you read about alternative methods that also work, albeit slower.
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/beetlelifestages
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10x8 is a manageable size. If all else fails with grass, consider turning this little plot into a raised bed or island for whatever accent plants you might want to highlight.
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have you tried watering on a timer yet? we gave up in our little back yard because the soil was too compacted from use. we had nice weeds, but little else so we did away with the grass/weed combo http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/gravel/gravel.htm Ingrid
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" snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com"

It could be that they seeded the lawn to make sure the partial shade areas grew well and used the wrong seed for the sunny spot.
Does that spot get a lot of traffic? Maybe it's not turf grass.
Does it green up in the summer? It could be hot weather grass which instantly turns brown after the first frost.
You probably can overseed and get some coverage for this summer but if you're planning on a major renovation of this area, do it over the Labor Day weekend. Grass seed germinates and grows best when planted at that time of the year.
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