Whether you have holes in your yard from a dog constantly digging, stump removal, or just uneven ground, you’re going to want to fill them in.

Holes can be unsightly and dangerous. It’s easy for kids playing in the backyard or even an adult mowing the lawn to seriously injure their ankle.

If you’ve got some holes that need filling, here’s a quick guide on different types of fill you can use and the best way to patch that hole up.

Different Types Of Fill Dirt For Holes

When it comes to dirt, you’d be surprised to learn that there are many different varieties. Depending on where the hole is, you might opt to use one type over another.

Here are seven different types of fill dirt you can use for lawn repair.

Clay Soil Mix

We’re not talking about modeling clay. Clay soil is any soil that contains more than 40% clay.

Depending on your location, your soil might contain lots of clay, and your lawn would benefit from matching that type of soil.

Clay mixes can be bought at stores, or you can take soil from another part of your property and use it to fill the hole.

Fill Dirt

Fill dirt is often sold for cheap or even given away for free, depending on where you are.

Fill dirt is basically the dirt removed from locations like construction sites. This dirt is usually filled with sand, rocks, small stones, and debris.

It typically lacks any nutrients found in topsoil, and if you plan on having grass grow where the hole is, you might benefit from mixing organic matter like compost, leaves, or wood chips into it.

You can usually find a company in your area that will deliver free fill dirt, but they often only deliver large amounts. If you’re filling small holes, you may have to go and pick it up yourself.

Peaty Soil Mixture

Peat Moss Soil Mixture

Peaty soil has great water retention and can even help with aeration and drainage.

Most plants in gardens benefit from a peaty soil mixture, so your lawn should too. The slight acidity of this soil is great for plant growth.

You can make your own peaty soil by mixing peat moss into the soil, or you can buy it at the store by the bag.


Sand Soil Mixture

Sand is often readily available and cheap to buy. If you are thinking of filling holes with sand, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Sand has no nutrients or organic matter, meaning that grass will be impossible to grow on sand or even a layer of topsoil on the sand.

You should fill the bottom of the hole with sand, then mix sand and soil before ultimately laying down a final layer of topsoil.

This way, roots can grow downward into the soil and not meet a sand barrier that will lead to poor plant growth.

Silty Soil

Silty soil is extremely fertile and promotes healthy growth of vegetable gardens and is often considered the best soil.

Technically, silty soil is any soil with 80 percent or more silt. It’s commonly found around rivers and lakes as silt is made from eroded rocks.

Silty soil is a great choice for filling holes as it will definitely help the grass grow.

Depending on how large your hole is, you may not want to use silt since it can be expensive in large qualities, and you won’t see any benefits from it five feet underground.



Using topsoil to fill holes is usually everyone’s first thought, and it’s an okay idea.

The only problem is that topsoil really only benefits the top layer of your yard.

You should try and use another type of soil to fill holes and use topsoil for the final layer.

Potting Soil

Potting Soil

Potting soils can be readily bought at any garden center and are great for filling holes.

Potting soil, or garden soil, is a soil mix of organic materials and dirt. Potting mix, on the other hand, is just organic matter and nutrients, but no dirt.

Potting soil can improve water retention or drainage, depending on which style you purchase.

How To Fill Holes In Your Yard?

Filling holes in your yard is an easy process and takes almost no skill at all.

Depending on the size of your hole, you may opt to get a truck of fill dirt dumped on your property. Small holes can be filled with regular garden soil or an alternative.

Begin by shoveling your fill dirt into the hole and tamping it down as you go along. You can use the end of a 2×4 or your own feet to pack the dirt solid.

Keep adding dirt and packing it tightly until there are about 6 inches left of the hole. If the hole is in your yard and you want to put down grass seeds, this is the time to use quality soil with nutrients.

Continue to add more topsoil and pack it down until the hole is no longer noticeable in your lawn.

Place down grass seed, water it, and wait for it to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can I use potting soil for filling holes in my yard?

You can use potting soil to fill holes in your yard.

We suggest using something like sand or fill dirt on the bottom of the hole and saving potting soil for the top layer of the hole.

Can you put new soil on top of the existing soil?

You can definitely put new soil on top of the existing soil.

It might be beneficial to till the new soil into the existing soil to mix new organic material into the old soil.

Can topsoil be used as fill dirt?

Topsoil can be used as fill dirt, but it will be more expensive than using fill dirt.

Topsoil only benefits the final layer of soil, so there's no reason to fill the entire hole with it. If you have a small hole, it's fine.

It's more cost-effective to use fill dirt for larger holes on your property.

How do you fill big holes with dirt?

In order to fill big holes, you should use a combination of fill dirt and topsoil or another nutrient-rich soil.

Begin by placing fill dirt in the bottom of the hole and constantly packing it down with a tamper or your own feet.

Once there are only 6 or so inches left of the hole, fill it with topsoil and pack it down so that there are no divots or visible dips in your lawn.


I am very passionate about lawns and mowers and offer my unbiased review towards everything that goes on this site. I research several pages, specs, videos, forums and other reviews of each mower before I post about it so you don't have to.