How to bring life back into this lawn?
Sorry, I'm not familiar with that weed. I would suggest take a sample to your local nursery if you have a good one nearby or your county extension service office. Photos are good but I just don't know it in my area. Just for my learning, I'll try to ID it for you but no promise.
Aeration would not hurt since it's been several years and a lower N fertilizer application. I would see something like a 16-4-8.
PS: I don't like the granular "weed and feed" formulas mainly because I don't see good weed control with post emergent granulars. If you read the label on granular weed killers, it says to apply to wet grass and do not water in. The label on fertilizer says to apply to dry grass and water in. The granules stick to wet foliage. Fertilizer will burn little holes all in the leaves; herbicide has to make contact with and stick to the leaves (without washing off) to be effective. You can see the dichotomy there.
After closing, I'm thinking that this could be the smaller variety of crabgrass. What we have around here grows several feet across but there is another one that is smaller. The hairy stems look like crabgrass, but the internode spacing on yours is much closer than what I have seen here.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. If you wouldn't put your name on it, it ain't done right!
Last edited by downunder; 09-05-2010 at 12:53 PM.