I don't know where to start - Weed and Bare Spots

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Hello all!

I'd like to get my lawn in shape but I'm at a loss. I've watched videos about killing weeds with something like tenacity, aerating and then over-seeding. The thing is I don't know what type of grass I have. It's like my lawn is 3 or 4 different grasses - and seems to be a big portion of crabgrass.

I guess I just don't know where to start. I thought about trying to get a crabgrass killer but then it seems like most of my lawn would be killed off : (

Any advice for first steps is really appreciated. This is in North East Florida. I'm attaching some pictures to try to give an idea of what I'm up against but if more are needed let me know! Thank you in advance for your time and knowledge. Take care!
 

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Lawn care isn't really my specialty, but with all the commercially taken care of lawns around me when they have bare spots like that they just put a bunch of seed down, cover it with straw and water frequently. Personally, I would just focus on getting the bare spots covered, rather than trying to get a single, uniform species of grass. If you really want to do that you should probably just till the whole yard and then cover it in sod. I definitely wouldn't go the herbicide route. Those chemicals are not as precise as their marketing teams want to you believe and you'll cause all kinds of collateral damage to flora and fauna around your house.
 
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It's like my lawn is 3 or 4 different grasses - and seems to be a big portion of crabgrass.
This is not a bad thing at all, but it does require a paradigm shift. Trying to maintain a rigid monoculture (single species) system will always be an uphill battle. This is largely why lawns or so laborious, resource-intensive and hard on the environment.

The idea of multi-species or tapestry lawns is growing (no pun intended). The plant the might do best on those bare spots may not even have been introduced to your lawn yet... and it might not even be a grass. .. and yes, multi-species lawns can still be mowed to any desired height. Not having to fuss about most lawn 'weeds' may be the biggest benefit. You might want to still take out seedling trees and shrubs, but even the much-maligned Crabgrasses (Digitaria spp.) aren't that bad. They are coarse grasses, but not inherently unattractive ones.

No need to start with a radical shift, pick seed of an available lawn grass known to grow well in your climate. Most grass seed is sold as a blend anyway. Treat each bare spot like a planting bed by removing thatch, cultivating the soil, and applying a fine mulch.
 
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Thank you both. I'm up for just letting there be multiple species of grass and filling in the bare spots. I do agree that it's more 'natural' or...well survival of the fittest in a sense to leave it like it is. May try to get rid of at least the little sticker/spur things. Thank you again!
 
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When I was unemployed for a bit I bought a mower and went round cutting. My experience is that most lawns are a mix, after all most grass seed comes as a mix, and that given a year or two most adjust to what suits them, no matter what was planted. The only exception I can think of was a beautiful lawn of fine grass which the elderly owner insisted I cut with his cylinder mower. My experience is that the quickest and surest way to get rid of those bare spots is to cut them out and insert a bit of turf. If you are going to seed them you will need to rough up the surface thoroughly, and it wouldn't hurt to introduce a bit of compost as well as grass seed, let the seed sprout and make about four inches before you cut it first time, with the mower on the highest setting.
 
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It is also good to think about both cool and warm season grasses. At this time of year the warm-season grasses may begin to die back and cool-season grasses will grow more vigorously and fill in. Cool season grass seed is also more likely to germinate at this time of year. Some lawns are intentionally bimodal, with both types represented. That might be the case with yours.

Also, I notice there is a broad-leaved trailing plant partly covering the bare spots. You might want to keep some of that. I'm not sure which plant it is. If you post a close-up of the leaves I might be able to determine that.
 

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