Need some lawn help, please

Asked June 4, 2019, 12:04 PM EDT

Hi, I recently had a soil test done on my lawn and the recommendation was for nitrogen application only (3 to 4 pounds per year). Is there a recommended product for Nitrogen only? Should I tackle any of the weed problems at the same time? Some other notes/questions: Lawn Test Results: What kind of grass do I have? Main weed problem: Minor weed problem: Back yard has a lot of this grass: The back yard has a lot of grass with wider blades mixed in. Not sure if I should be treating? Thank you for any and all help!

Summit County Ohio

1 Response


Choose a lawn fertilizer with the lowest third number in the analysis you can find. The soil test states: “Although your soil test indicates potassium is adequate, it is likely that the lawn fertilizer you choose will have a small amount of potassium in the analysis. Even when the soil test level is adequate, applying small amounts of potassium may still benefit the lawn and do not have negative environmental implications. “

Examples of common analyses are “28-0-3”, “25-0-4”, 30-0-4”. The first number is the Nitrogen percentage. The third number- the “3” in the first example, means 3% of the product by weight is potassium. This is fine to use. You may find a few products that have “0” for the third number, such as 20-0-0, which means the fertilizer is only Nitrogen. You will find many “weed and feed” products with a third number around 3-5, but the best time to kill weeds is in the fall, because roots are more easily killed then.

I can’t identify what grasses you have in your lawn from a picture. You are likely to have a cool-season type of turf which is a mix of Kentucky Blue Grass, turf-type fine fescues, and perennial rye. These are desirable for northern states, since they green up earliest in spring and stay green well into fall. If you want to try grass ID yourself, here is a primer- For a fee, MSU Plant Diagnostic lab will identify grasses when you send a freshly dug 6 x 6 inch section of sod to them. Note the out-of-state instructions on the “Submit Samples” page. See their website for details-

In the msuturfweeds website, linked below, there is a section on “grassy weeds” that shows pictures, descriptions, and control options for weedy or less desirable grasses like tall fescue( has a wider blade).

The major weed appears to be Black Medic. This is a difficult to control weed, and you should look for a weed killer or weed and feed product whose label lists it as one of the weeds controlled. It is best to apply a weed killer for black medic in the early fall. You may get some success if you apply a herbicide for black medic now, since it is flowering.

The minor weed picture is blurry on my computer. It may be corn speedwell or common chickweed. The weed killers in popular weed and feed products will control these weeds. Again, fall will be the best time to control them, or when they are still flowering in spring.

For weed ID, this is a nice site that has pictures and control options. To see chemical controls you will be asked to sign in using an email ID and your zipcode as your password.

If you don’t mind the wider bladed grass in the backyard then keep it. There are no herbicides available to the homeowner that kill just one type of grass. So, options are to spot treat it with a nonselective herbicide or dig it out. I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for using our service.