Filling Out Your Landscaping: Fill Dirt At A Glance

Focusing on your home’s landscape is not only going to make your property more aesthetically-pleasing, but also more valuable. When you spend as little as 5% of your home’s value on landscaping, you can get a return of investment of up to 150%. Start that landscaping process by knowing the different types of fill dirt.

What Exactly Is Fill Dirt?

As the name implies, fill dirt is dirt that is used to fill empty spaces in the soil. It does not contain any organic matter and instead is primarily composed of sand, clay, gravel, or a combination of the three. People use fill dirt for stability in their landscaping. Dirt containing organic matter tends to shift and settle over time and is more vulnerable to natural elements. Fill dirt doesn’t face these issues because it doesn’t have void spaces and will not shift or move over time. In this way, fill dirt becomes the ideal tool for filling in your yard’s low points, building up landscapes for a desired hilly look, and for a solid foundation in construction projects.

Types of Fill Dirt


  • Sand. Sand-based fill dirt is perfect for filling areas intended for plants. It allows the passage of roots, water, and nutrients. In a sloped yard, sandy fill dirt is suited to filling the area to make it leveler, while in low-lying areas it can raise the grade to improve drainage.


  • Clay. Using a fill dirt that is more than 50% clay is ideal as a base for garden structures like gazebos and sheds or as a foundation for pathways. It works well in these ways because clay can be compacted and becomes more solid as that happens. Avoid using clay-based fill dirt for planting areas, as it tends to limit water drainage and plant root growth. If you must use it, place at least two feet of well-drained topsoil on top of it.


  • Gravel. Fill dirt can also contain broken down rocks or crushed concrete, often like the gravel we use for basic paths and roads. Although rocks seem like a harsh element to add underneath topsoil, gravel can be effectively compacted and provides an extremely solid foundation for various structures. Be sure to look out for rock chucks that are too large so that it doesn’t interfere with drainage.

After discovering the different types of fill dirt, you’ll want to ensure that the kind you purchase has been cleaned of any chemicals, toxins, or manufactured byproducts. Look for a supplier with certified clean fill dirt and get started on your landscaping dreams today.