Plant, Grass, and Weed Identification

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by theothertypeofgrass, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. theothertypeofgrass

    theothertypeofgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hello all,

    I went into business this summer and had a relatively decent start, but eventually had to let go of all of my clients as I moved elsewhere. However, I've been trying to get motivated again and put myself in the best position to go into the new year and season.

    One area I noticed I was definitely lacking in was being able to identify different types of plants and grass. I live in the southeast US (Georgia), but if any of you could comment guides or anything of the sort that helped you learn the different types of plants, grasses, and weeds in your area it'd be greatly appreciated. Ultimately I'd like to be able to identify the most common types of vegetation in my area. All help is appreciated, thank you
  2. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,527

    Get the study materials for the pesticide license. Ornamental Turf and Pest will be a good start. I got my books from the University of Missouri.
  3. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,290

    For plant materials visit local nurseries. Don't take much cash with you. May end up with a nice collection of interesting plants that eat up time, space and money only to sit in their pots for years. Since I always follow this rule I don't have this problem.:help:
    Matthews Lawn Care likes this.
  4. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,703

    I carry a small laptop (Lenovo 110S) with me in the field and a cell phone I can hot spot with.

    This key is great for grasses but you'll need to learn and understand the scientific terms for plant parts.

    This site is great for lawn diseases.

    In the beginning I wasn't very good at using the keys but having access to google search was really helpful.

    For weeds I have a few books that have been published by local universities and the dept of ag, and there are also lots of websites to help id them.

    If I still can't figure it out I take several photos and a sample if possible to consult a colleague or post to here. I found shining flatsedge in a lawn with poor drainage this Summer and no one I knew could name it but someone on this forum nailed it quick!

    I've found having a laptop with me helps a lot when I identify a pest or disease on a clients lawn as well. I can fire off an email to them with a few links about it so they can educate themselves and have references.
  5. hal

    hal LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 1,349

    Kind of depends on where in GA, North? South? Go to a sod farm (super sod) and walk the examples area for turf types, go to pikes for plant id or site one. Get Dirrs books on plant id or others at the library. Work for a nursery for a while, lots of plant id.
    theothertypeofgrass and hort101 like this.
  6. OP

    theothertypeofgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Going to get right on that, thank you
    Matthews Lawn Care and hort101 like this.
  7. Digitaria Sanguinalis

    Digitaria Sanguinalis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    You really need a passion for turf management and horticulture to be successful in this business and to become an expert in this field. This can't simply be just a job or a means to make money.

    For example, when I'm out walking my dog if I see a weed I can't identify. I'll take a picture go back home and search the internet for that specific weed. Then I'll figure out what herbicides, cultural practices, ect... will work to eliminate that weed. Similarly when I see a plant in a the field that I like or find interesting I take a pic. And proceed to figure out what it is and how it can work in future landscaping projects. You never stop learning. I'll spend the rest of my life gathering knowledge to keep getting better at my career/ hobby/ passion.
  8. CorgiTurf

    CorgiTurf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I do the same, do you use an app where you can upload the pic and it identifies it , if you can’t find it by other means?
    There have been a few that I was never able to identify with a good search.
    hort101 likes this.
  9. Idlewild

    Idlewild LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    theothertypeofgrass -
    For Georgia, University of Georgia Extension site, under publications, delivers easy
    to find literature on turf, weed id, and anything else you are searching for.
    As Hal mentioned, Michael Dirr for trees, shrubs, Allan Armitage for perennials & annuals.
    Both considered “horticulture bibles” in the industry, both former professors of UGA.
    You could also check Georgia Native Plant Society site for native plant id’s.
    There are endless research possibilities, these would be a good start.
    hort101 and theothertypeofgrass like this.
  10. OP

    theothertypeofgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

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