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How to Fill Holes in the Lawn With Soil

fox hole image by marilyn barbone from

Digging dogs, uneven soil settling, poorly done grading and roots can cause depressions and holes in a lawn. Removing trees or shrubs from the area also will create a hole. The hole requires filling with soil for the area to be level with the remainder of the lawn. Leaving the hole open will not harm the lawn and grass will grow to cover it, but the area can be dangerous. Children or others walking across the area can trip on an uncovered hole and injure themselves. Using topsoil is a relatively inexpensive fix for filling lawn holes and depressions.

Walk across the area checking for hidden depressions covered with grass, as well as any obvious holes in the lawn.

Mark the depressed areas and holes with spray paint so you can easily locate them when you start the filling process.

Remove any weeds growing around and inside open holes in the lawn before filling them with top soil. Leaving the weeds in place and applying the nutrient-rich topsoil promotes vigorous growth of the unwanted vegetation as well as the grass.

Fill the hole with enough topsoil to make it level with the existing lawn. Pack the soil down with your foot and water the area. Add more topsoil to the hole and pack down again if the soil sinks lower than the lawn when watered.

Lift depressed areas that are at least 3 inches deeper than the remainder of the lawn with a spade shovel. Dig under a 2-foot-by-2-foot section of sod, lifting it up with the shovel exposing the area underneath.

Place enough topsoil underneath the section of sod to make the area the same height as the remainder of the lawn. Water the soil before placing the sod back in place on the lawn.

Lay the sod back in place onto of the topsoil and tap down with your foot. Water the area again. Keep the grass in the repaired depressed areas moist for approximately two weeks while the grass roots reestablish themselves in the soil.


One cubic yard of topsoil spread at a rate of 2 to 3 inches is enough to cover an area of approximately 100 square feet.

Top dressing the entire lawn with a 1- to 2-inch layer of topsoil spread evenly across it in spring replenishes the soil’s nutrients and promotes healthier grass. Water the topsoil into the grass after applying.

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