The Q&A Archives: How Much Fill Dirt Over Grass

Question: How much fill dirt can I put on the grass to level the yard without killing/smothering the yard? Should I do this in the summer, winter, fall, or spring.

Answer: Bermuda grass can come through several inches of fill soil. Some zoysia cultivars, such as JaMur will come through a few inches while others may only tolerate being covered by an inch or two. St. Augustine and centipede will not grow through more than an inch or two at the very most. If you need to add fill to a St. Augustine lawn, it is best to add it 1/2 inch at a time. Then give the grass time to recover and fill in before adding more.

Another option is to lift the grass, level the area, and then reset the grass. The best time for adding fill or lifting and resetting is after about mid April when the turf is actively growing and will quickly fill back in. Once you reach early fall, there is not much time for the turf to recover.

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