New Construction - 50,000 s.f. Lawn
I am in the process of building a new home north of Montgomery Al that will be completed in April or May of next year. The house is on a 3 acre, partially wooded lot. Once the final grading is complete, I expect somewhere between 1 and 1.5 acres will need to be planted with grass. I have very little experience with planting and (properly) maintaining a lawn, and I'm hoping to find some suggestions as to what I need to do to successfully establish a lawn at my new home.
I've read quite a bit already, but it's difficult to find much information that pertains to a yard this size. There is quite a bit of dirt left from excavation that will need to be spread over the lot. Is there anything I should do to that dirt before/during the grading to help establish my lawn? Should I see if I can find some wood chips from a tree service or something to mix in to introduce some organic matter(this is one suggestion I've read)? Whatever I do will need to be inexpensive due to the size of the project.
Unfortunately, sod is not an option due to the size of the lot, and I'd prefer not to sod just around the house either. I don't plan to put in irrigation, but intend to water initially until the lawn is established. Can anyone offer any suggestions for a low maintenance grass that I can use to seed the entire, unwooded, portion of the lot? Ive read a bit about centipede as it seems to be a low maintenance variety. The majority of the yard will be in direct sunlight, but I do plan to plant a few trees that I hope will get very large over time.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! I'm just starting out with this new hobby, and it's a bit daunting trying to learn everything I need to know all at once.