advice on lawn seeding

Hi all,
I have an older home with several types of grass types growing together. I don't know what the species of the grasses are, but there are at least 4-5 different types growing to make one generally green happy multicultural lawn (each grass in their own little neighborhood- ha). Most of the lawn is in shade throughout the day, except for a few patches getting a couple hours of direct sun around mid-day.
I'd like to start core-aerating and seeding annually with the same type of seed. Any recommendations for seed-type/brand name or other advice? I'd LOVE to pull it all up and start over, but I've got ~12k sq. ft. or so. Definitely doing some groundcover in the dry, shady parts.
Forgot- Chicago, zone 5.
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Merle O'Broham wrote:

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/lawnchallenge/lesson1c.html might be of some help.
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Merle O'Broham wrote:

You wouldn't actually need to pull it up of course. Just wack it with Round-up.
Peter H
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Isn't it getting too late to be seeding now in the Chicago area anyway? I would certainly think it's past optimal for this year now.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Chet Hayes) wrote in message

Yep, probably past optimal. The dog days are definitely over but it's just this past week that day temps are dropping to the 50's and 60's. Throwing some seed down is so cheap that if just a little takes then it's worth it. Worse comes to worse then the birdies get some free lunch. ;-)
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For the seed to germinate properly it requires greater than 50 degrees for at least a week. Even if it does germinate this late in the year, it's too late for it to establish a decent root system which is essential when spring rolls around and you are wondering why your new grass is dying.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Merle O'Broham) wrote in message

With 12000 square feet, good seed really isn't going to be cheap and you have the rental cost of a slice seeder to properly sow it, plus all the labor. This is one of those things you can do right once, or keep doing wrong many times.
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snip

Totally agree. I'd love to scrape it up and put down a nice new suburban lawn- amended soil, roto-tilled..... time and money prohibit.
What I've been doing is occasionally throwing some seed and dirt, sometimes that foamy Scott's lawn patch stuff, into the little gaps in the lawn. Grass fills in during the spring and it does look really lush, but the issue is still the 4 different types of grasses. Squirrels rip the shit out of the grass right about now, bury acorns, looking for grubs, bulbs, whatever, so seeding now is kinda tricky.
The fellas at the local True Value could probably steer me to the right seed type (fescue?), but I'll have to use that same exact type of seed for the next few years. I think I'm kinda stuck doing it this way unless I replace up the lawn a section at a time.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Merle O'Broham) wrote in message

For shade creeping red or chewing fescue are the usual choices. There are shade blends that have several varieties mixed together. I've had good success in shade with Jonathon Green Dense Shade. For really dense shade, their Shady Nook has worked for me. Of course, I'm here in NJ, but I think those would likely work in Chicago too. Check out Seedland.com, they have lots of good choices too.
One thing I'm curious about. You say you have 4 types of grass growing now. That isn't unusual, most lawns have several types of grass. One benefit is that if one gets attacked by a particular disease or insect, the others may not, so it's far less noticeable and quickly recovers. Is there a particular problem with the 4 types of grass that you are having?
As for this year, if I were you, since it's too late to seed now, I'd do other simple things that will help a lot. You could rent a core aerator, which is beneficial. Also, get the PH tested and adjust if needed. Fertilize now if you haven't already. If you fertilized in sept, then early nov give it one more application. IF weeds are a big problem, it's not too late to do some spot weed control or use a weed n feed product. Doing this now will make a big difference it getting it going next spring.
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Just aesthetics. Most lawns in the city are very small (33' wide, and maybe a 10' wide parkway and some more in the back), but I live on a long rounded corner with maybe 150' of street curb. The grass in the shade seems to do quite well, but the grass in the sun burns out in July/August. The city just re-did the curb and now there's a 4' wide strip of plush thick new lawn bordering the street. It's not a major problem, I'd just prefer one type of grass (or at least one for sun, one for shade). The different patches of grass seem to be in random spots.

I aerated this past spring- probably the first time it's ever been done to this lawn. I'll do it again soon. I put down Scott's winterizer and with your suggestion I'll do that again soon as well. Weeds I hand pull in the spring. They're not much of a problem. I hit the lawn a couple of times with weedBgone mid-summer to control the creeping charlie and clover.
Thanks so much for your input. I figure as long as the next year is a little better than the year before, I'm doing OK!
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Merle O'Broham) wrote in message

Sounds like you're doing everything right.
Are those areas watered in summer? In high temps, grass needs water ever 3-5 days or so, or it will go dormant. If it's not watered, I'd do some research and find a seed or mix that has high drought tolerance. I think Loft's makes a summer stress mix. That will probably at least keep it green longer than what you have and also have a better chance of surviving in that area.
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I've discovered an excellent method of re-seeding my lawn. Once a season, I simply let the grass grow all the way to seed. Once the wife gets too vocal and the kids get lost, I get out the big flail mower and whack it all down. I've a lush, thick "lawn" now with only original seeding done. Well, perhaps the birds and critters have dropped in a few other species, but who's worried about that?

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On Tue, 5 Oct 2004 21:58:19 -0700, "Dandelion Acres"

Hi Dandelion,
Are you saying that this will kill off a lawn that is infested with more than 30% dandelions?
Approx. how many inches will the grass be? What time of year is best to do this and will a gardener cry foul or refuse to cut if he sees the length of grass? I don't have a mower and we're talking a BIG lawn.
Thanks
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