How to Fill Holes in the Lawn With Soil

Written by emily patterson
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How to Fill Holes in the Lawn With Soil
Fill lawn holes with plugs from the established lawn so they blend in perfectly. (front lawn image by Tracy Horning from

Holes in a lawn can have different sources, such as dogs with paws or children with a shovel digging for treasures. They may also be caused by tunnelling rodents like moles where the ground has sunk to fill old tunnels. Of course, each reason results in a different depth of hole in the lawn, but the process to fill them in for the perfect lawn is close to the same for all holes in the lawn.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soil
  • Shovel
  • Tamper (for deep holes)
  • Sod plug tool
  • Garden hose

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  1. 1

    Remove the top layer of sod, if the hole is an old one. Dig down 10 cm (4 inches) into the soil around the hole and lift the sod out of the area. If the hole was created by a collapsing rodent nest, dig out the surface until you locate the nest so you can fill in the tunnels around it.

  2. 2

    Fill the hole with soil until it is approximately 10 cm (4 inches) from level with the surface. Use a tamper or a 1.8 m (6 foot), 10 cm by 10 cm (4 inch by 4 inch) board on end to compact the soil at the base of the hole. Refill after tamping until the final layer is approximately 10 cm (4 inches) from level with the surface of the surrounding lawn.

  3. 3

    Replace sod over the hole if the hole had been caused by rodents or was old enough to have a layer of sod cover it. If the hole was caused by children, pets or a construction project, fill the hole with soil until level with the top of the surrounding soil and gently tamp to push into the hole.

  4. 4

    Place sod plugs gathered from the surrounding lawn at 15 cm (6 inch) intervals across the soil in the hole. Press a sod plug tool at a variety of spots in the existing lawn to gather as many as needed for the hole. Using existing lawn to reseed the hole after the repair will blend it in perfectly with the existing lawn.

  5. 5

    Water thoroughly and keep moist until the sod plugs are established.

Tips and warnings

  • A can with both ends cut off or a 15 cm (6 inch) section of 7.5 cm (3 inch) pipe can be used instead of a sod plug tool.
  • Be sure to note the possibility of electric, gas, sewer or plumbing lines when digging. It is not likely that the hole you are filling will be deep enough to reach any of these utilities, but if the hole is deeper 60 cm (24 inches), dig slowly and pay attention to avoid serious injury.

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