Thanks for the advice, everyone! We're pretty "green" here and the idea of using a lot of chemicals doesn't appeal to me. I'll try some of those ideas!
Depends on the weeds. Take samples to a local garden center and ask them to help you identify. Then take them to one more garden center and see what they say, just to make sure they agree. If you have weeds that come back from seed each year, you can pull as many as possible and over seed the area now. Fall is the best time to plant new grass seed as it's not competing with a lot of other seeds. Once the new grass is established, the weed seeds will not have as much space next spring. I personally live somewhere between the "use the chemicals" "don't use the chemicals" ideas. I would probably use a weed and feed next spring to control the weeds that come back from seed and then apply a vinegar solution to any weeds that do pop up. If, on the other had, your discover that you have weeds that come back year to year from the roots, you may be better off killing everything and starting over. Again, this is the right time of year.
Just be sure to get advice from a couple different places and let them know you want to use as few chemical applications as reasonably possible. Even if it weren't for the sake of the environment, that stuff is expensive!
My own feeling is that I would mow around the edges for a neat border, but then let a prairie take over inside the square, and put native wildflower seeds in. Your county extension agent will tell you how to get in touch with people selling native species. What could be more easy-care and lovely than swaying grasses and flowers? After the hard freezes set in and before the snows, mow and top with compost, like four inches, for the winter. And hey, how about some tiny bulbs for early spring? They won't be mown, so that would be something to look forward to.
If the blue flower blooms in early spring, enjoy it! It may be a Star of Bethlehem, which can be mowed down after blooming and will multiply by bulb.
It depends on what you want. Personally, I like the natural looking lawn. One of our neighbors fertilizes, sprays and just generally chemicals their lawn to death--if they ever stopped nothing would grow because the soil is dead. There are green ways to remove unwanted weeds and crab grass from your lawn, and I'd encourage you to go that way rather than use weed and grass killers which harm the environment, and the soil. Try googling natural lawn care for starters. Good luck!
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