My next door neighbor had their fence replaced recently. The new fence is further from the property line than the old fence was, so I have either 5 or 6 holes where the old posts were located. I am going to fill these holes with gravel and then add dirt/topsoil and some grass patch quick fix. Is there a recommended amount of topsoil to put down on top of the gravel? I know I will have settling with the gravel fill, so the grass will wait until next year.

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    Was their fence on your property before? This seems like it should be their problem to solve, not yours.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 2:09
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    Yes, really their issue, or at least their contractor. Left a mess. But they are elderly and I can take carer of it, so I am not going to make an issue out of it. Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 4:35
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    Great attitude, @JoePhillips! Love to hear people doing that, thank you.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 11:57
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    How far away is the new fence from the old holes? I would imagine there's some available dirt laying around from the new holes? Before moving forward with doing unrequested work to someone else's property I would stop by the neighbors house and simply say "Hi, I see you've had a new fence put in but it looks like the contractor left the old holes unburied. Would it be alright with you if I filled them in?" Hopefully the neighbor had the new hole dirt placed in a convenient pile that you can transfer to a wheelbarrow.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 12:33
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    I'd fill the gravel up to about 6-8" inches of the top, then the topsoil. And there's no harm in seeding it right away. Yes, you will need more later (and probably more soil), but it helps to get it started.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


Why use any gravel? Fill entirely with soil.

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    Yes, just fill with dirt.+
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 1:36
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    Even if those holes are 4 foot deep I would fill with suitable subsoil then top with grass. Or just topsoil then grass. Expense? surely there is an area of your garden that can provide a bit of soil...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 8:20
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    I'd be worried about the gravel acting as a drain and leaving a semi-permanent patch of yellow grass. Use soil indeed.
    – Olivier
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 14:13
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    Use a tamping iron, plus some water, frequently while filling in order to minimize subsequent settling.
    – Dave Tweed
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 17:03
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    @JoePhillips You could probably get three bags of multi-purpose compost for $15 from the same place that sells gravel. Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 13:40

I would not recommend filling with gravel. Just think about if you ever need to dig at the same spot again, it will just be a hassle. Also gravel costs money and needs to be transported home. I would just use soil from a place in the yard that has to much.

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    The holes are not very big, so I don't need much in the way of fill. I can get a bag (.5 cubic feet) of gravel for under $3, so I am looking at under $50 to fill the holes. Dirt is going to be more expensive and less portable. The new fence the neighbors put up is vinyl, so it should be pretty durable (and not need to get replaced). Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 2:24

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