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by Binesh Lodhi
(Brampton, ON)

We recently had to dig up the side of our house for repairs and I’m left with a pile of dirt in my backyard, about a foot high. I don’t have a very big yard so its taking up about half of it, while the other half is completely dead grass. I want to fix up my backyard before winter starts. I’m planning to dig it up and sprinkle grass seeds all over. Can I spread this excess dirt around the yard? Or will it prevent the grass from growing? How do I get rid of this excess dirt?

In most cases when houses are built, the contractor scrapes off all the best topsoil, and sells it for a profit, then you have to buy good new topsoil to plant your lawn and gardens. The worst of the soil will be used to back fill the foundation.

You don’t want this soil on top of your existing lawn. It will most likely be the type of soil that will choke the plants and prevent rainfall from percolating through it – this can be the cause of mud puddles, which isn’t a good thing.

You can however most likely use this for a succulent garden, which like to be raised above the grade for drainage, so if this soil seems to be somewhat sandy or gravely, this might be an option.

Otherwise, put an ad in Kijiji or Craigslist that you have free fill, and someone might be interested in hauling it away for you.

Best of luck whatever you decide!