What Is the Best Organic Soil for Lawn Leveling? 

You’ve got your lawn leveling rake, but before you can level your yard, you also need organic soil. What is the best type of organic soil for the job?

The best organic soil for lawn leveling is topsoil. You should use this with a mixture of sand and compost. This mixture, known as topdressing, can level your lawn on a minor scale. Add compacted organic soil for deeper divots in the yard and reseed it.

In today’s article, we’ll explain further the best organic soil mixture for lawn leveling and how to use topdressing to fix slopes and slight divots in the lawn. There’s plenty of great information to come, so make sure you check it out! 

This Is The Best Organic Soil Mixture for Lawn Leveling

To level your lawn, we recommend topdressing, which is a combination of organic material that you spread thinly over the lawn (we’ll get more into that in the next sections).

Topdressing requires three ingredients: sand, compost, and organic soil. Let’s go over each of these ingredients in more detail now so you can buy precisely what you need.

Organic Soil

We’ll start with organic soil, as we know this is the ingredient that you’re the most curious about. 

Organic soil is made with carbo-based ingredients and is usually free of pesticides and chemicals. 

However, the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, does not require any organic soil labeling regulations.

That means that a company could say that their soil is organic even though it necessarily isn’t. Being a savvy shopper will ensure you get only the type of soil you want. 

Topsoil, such as Scott’s premium topsoil, is one such product you could try when topdressing your uneven, bumpy lawn.

High-quality topsoil, such as organic topsoil, has a lot of organic matter that lends it a dark color (that’s a good way to confirm the product is truly organic). 

Topsoil will retain more nutrients and water, so your lawn may someday be the source of fresh greenery. 

Besides topsoil, another type of organic soil to use for topdressing is traditional lawn soil like Scotts Turf Builder lawn soil

The topdressing should include 40 percent soil regardless of which organic soil you select. 


Although sand might seem like a strange ingredient for your topdressing, it’s anything but. Sand can fill in holes in the compost and organic soil. 

If left in the soil for long enough, it’s even possible for the sand to influence the soil structure. This can help more healthy grass sprout from the ground.

When it comes to the sand you use for topdressing, you need only play sand like that that fills a child’s sandbox. 

You can buy play sand in huge bags at any home improvement store as well as online. 

The topdressing mixture should include up to 40 percent sand. 


The last ingredient in the topdressing is compost. 

Compost is full of organic materials, maybe even more so than organic soil. 

Including compost in the topdressing will lessen the rate of pests, reduce the risk of plant diseases, and improve soil moisture retention.

You will use the least amount of compost compared to the other two ingredients, 20 percent versus 40 percent. 

Treating Minor Lawn Unevenness with Topdressing

As we discussed in the intro, topdressing is most effective for minor lawn unevenness, such as small slopes or semi-deep divots. 

Let’s go over the steps for lawn leveling with topdressing.

Step 1 – Prepare the Topdressing

Fill a tub or wheelbarrow with the organic soil, sand, and compost using a shovel. 

You don’t want to stack ingredients on top of ingredients like a three-bean dip. 

Rather, the sand should be blended with the compost and the organic soil, as this will make all the ingredients more effective when applied to the uneven parts of your lawn.

Step 2 – Apply the Topdressing

Remember, the point of topdressing is applying the leveling mix thinly over the lawn. If you dump it on too thick or plentifully, you could end up drowning the grass with topdressing.

Your lawn might look more even, but the grass in every patch of yard that you leveled will be dying or dead. 

Only apply the topdressing a half-inch at a time.

Step 3 – Spread with the Leveling Rake

Now it’s time to pull out your lawn leveling rake. Use the rake to spread the topdressing across the uneven patch of lawn. 

Next, switch to a brushing technique where you go back and forth with the tines on the same grass area. This will yank up the blades of grass while pushing the topdressing deeper into the soil.

Step 4 – Water the Grass

Even though the blades of grass are sprouting up, they still underwent a bit of an ordeal with you applying the topdressing and all.

Watering the grass until the soil is moist will ensure the grass doesn’t become too dry.

Please don’t oversaturate the grass, as it’s not starving for water (or it shouldn’t be, anyway!).

Step 5 – Check Your Progress

If you did everything correctly, then the areas of the lawn that you leveled with the topdressing should still be full and lush, while the levelness of those areas is about commensurate with the rest of your lawn.

Perhaps you’re not quite happy with the results. That’s okay! You can always add another half-inch layer of topdressing and repeat the above steps until the lawn is more level.

Treating Deeper Lawn Unevenness

What if your lawn has even deeper divots, depressions, and holes? 

You’d have your work cut out for you if topdressing. 

You can only add to the depressions in the soil a half-inch at a time. If the holes or divots are one to two inches deep, then think of how many applications of leveling mix that would take. 

Not only would the process be extremely time-consuming but quite expensive as well. You’d be mixing a lot of organic soil, play sand, and compost. 

Once the holes measure at least an inch deep, and certainly if the depressions are more than two inches deep, the only suitable solution is to use organic soil. 

Here’s how.

Step 1 – Compact the Organic Soil

Compacted soil will hold its shape better and more easily fill in the divots in your lawn. 

You needn’t a heavy-duty gardening tool for soil compaction, only a gardening hose.

Moisten the organic soil with the hose until the soil is soaking, and you can see the water begin to pool on the soil’s surface. 

Then wait an hour for the soil to absorb some of the water and do it again. 

After a few times, the soil composition should change. To confirm as much, take a trowel and make a six-inch hole in the organic soil. 

If you can feel balls of soil when you go that deep, then congratulations, you’ve compacted the organic soil!

Step 2 – Fill in Holes with the Compacted Organic Soil

Now take that soil that you’ve compacted and use it to fill in the depressions, divots, and holes throughout your yard. 

Step 3 – Water the Compacted Organic Soil Again

Once the holes in the yard are filled in, water the organic soil in the holes. This will help the soil settle. 

Step 4 – Plant Anew

Apply grass seed and follow the care instructions over the days and weeks to come. 

The new grass will begin to come in, your yard will be leveler, and it will become impossible to tell the old areas of the yard apart from the new. 

Can You Put Soil on Top of Grass to Level the Yard?

What if you merely took some organic soil and tossed that across the grass in the uneven spots? Would that make your yard more level?

Maybe in the interim, but not permanently. All it takes is a strong wind or heavy rain, and your soil has been washed away.

On top of that, dousing the grass in the soil can suffocate it or damage it due to the heavy weight of the soil. 

You’re much better off following the methods we’ve discussed in this article instead. 

Final Thoughts

The best organic soil for leveling a lawn is organic topsoil. 

You should combine that with play sand and compost to make topdressing a suitable means of treating minor lawn unevenness in your backyard or front yard.

If you have deep holes and pits in the yard, compact the organic soil and use that to fill them in. Good luck! 


Geoff Southworth is the creator of RealEstateInfoGuide.com, the site that helps new homeowners, investors, and homeowners-to-be successfully navigate the complex world of property ownership. Geoff is a real estate investor of 8 years has had experience as a manager of a debt-free, private real estate equity fund, as well as a Registered Nurse in Emergency Trauma and Cardiac Cath Lab Care. As a result, he has developed a unique “people first, business second” approach to real estate.

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