Weed Identification and Lawn Revival for a newbie - Richmond, VA

ryanhaubJuly 29, 2013

My wife and I just purchased our first home. We have a large front and back yard that both need some TLC. The grass is thinning and the weeds are pretty bad. I am a complete newbie when it comes to lawn maintenance but I'm determined to revive my lawn.

We're on a very tight budget though, and I can't afford to have anything professionally done. I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks in this forum can help me out, so I can tackle this project myself!

There are 3 main weeds that I see showing up in the lawn...

Unknown Weed 1 that shows up in patches all over my back and front yard...
Unknown Weed 1 Closeup
Unknown Weed 1

Unknown Weed 2 that has taken over a small corner of my back yard...
Unknown Weed 2
Unknown Weed 2 Closeup

Unknown Weed 3 that is taking over the front yard. I think this is either crabgrass or bermuda grass, but I'm not sure...
Unknown Weed 3
Unknown Weed 3 (pic 2)

How do I kill these things and what would be the next steps to take to reclaim my lawn. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

We need to know where you live. Certain weeds can be eliminated from consideration depending on where you live.

Also can you retake all those pictures on a cloudy day or in the shade? The contrast is pretty high. And if you can take the close ups at 3 inches instead of 2 feet that would help.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 1:09AM
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I put the location in the title, but I should have included it in the post itself. We live in Richmond, Virginia.

The closeups are at about 3 inches, not 2 feet. I tried to take one VERY close up (2 to 3 inches), and one from about 2-3 feet above. I think you should be able to see the picture a little better if you click the "100%" button in the upper left.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:02PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Sorry...I made all the noob mistakes. Didn't read well and didn't comment well.

Okay, so Richmond, VA. Shoulda seen that. This forum is notorious for making us ask where you live. Anyway your location rules in all weed possibilities. Lucky you!

Your pix of the first two are perfect - I just don't recognize them. Picture of the 3rd weed is too contrasty. Bermuda and crabgrass have seed heads that look like that but so does bluestem. What makes me say bluestem is the length of the stem. But bluestem seeds won't pop up in a week after mowing, so we're left with bermuda or crabgrass. Crabgrass has a very coarse blade and is not frilly or crinkled. Bermuda is much finer. I'm going with bermuda even though in the background of your last picture it looks like crabgrass lurking at the border of the asphalt.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Well, after some more research, I've made some progress on identifying the weeds, and figured I'd share...

I'm almost positive #1 is Virginia Buttonweed

I think #2 might be nutsedge. Can someone confirm that?

As far as #3 goes, I think it is bermuda grass. But I think I actually have some bermuda and crabgrass, particularly where the lawn meets the street.

And now begins the long process of trying to revive my lawn. My current plan is...

1. Try to control the weeds as best I can for now by spraying them with weed control for lawns and/or picking them by hand. Already started and it seems to be slowly killing the weeds and leaving the grass intact.
2. Come early-September, I'm going to fill in some depressed areas of the lawn with topsoil
3. Top dress the rest of the lawn with a thin layer of top soil.

4. Add some milorganite (unless someone has a better suggestion)
5. Seed entire yard with tall fescue, or maybe a mix of tall fescue and kentucky bluegrass
6. Water daily until grass starts to grow, then only twice a week for a few weeks, then only once a week.
7. Pray that tons of grass grows and chokes out the weeds
8. Come early spring, spread pre-emergent herbicide on the lawn


This post was edited by ryanhaub on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 0:40

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:34AM
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