What Should I Set My Fence Posts in?

Recently, we had a brand new dog fence constructed over our entire one acre of land. all of the posts made of wood were buried directly in the dirt, even the ones at the corners that were taking the tension. 

The posts could have been placed in concrete, gravel, or crushed rock too, however, this was the cheapest and the fastest. So, what are the comparative benefits of each?

Concrete is a solid base for fence posts made of wood However, it is also prone to rotting faster. Installing them in the soil is a mix of gravel or crushed rock based on the soil type you choose will help your posts keep their lifespan longer, before becoming rotten. 

You could also consider using post anchors made of steel to ensure their longevity.

Let’s take a look at these ways to set fence posts made of wood in more depth…

Do Fence Posts Have To be poured in concrete?

Fence posts do not need to be set in concrete and there are many alternatives to repair your fence posts if they feel too permanent.

If you’re using wood posts, concrete could be the most unsuitable alternative. This is because sure, concrete will be the most secure method to fix posts?

It may seem like it at first however the issue is that wood posts eventually start to decay. The problem is evident in the present that the post is decayed but it’s trapped in a concrete-filled pit. When you finally get it out of the decaying wood, you’ll be left with plenty of concrete holes empty on your property.

Concrete is a great material to speed up the process of rotting, too. Since concrete and wood expand and expand and contract in different ways, a little “collar” will eventually form around the post’s base. 

This allows water to get in, but it won’t be able to escape through the concrete. This can lead to humid wood and eventually the post becoming rotten.

What are the solutions? 

Some gardeners swear that caulking around the posts is the best way to stop this tiny gap from growing in the initial place. Make sure to treat the wood properly first, and after all, is in place seal the post’s base with caulk. of the posts. 

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Try to place the concrete in a way that creates a low mound, with the post on the top so that water gradually drains downwards.

Of course, you don’t need to build your own fence posts. If you’re looking for the security of a fence that is concrete-fixed, with no risk of rot, opt for the rust-proof aluminum or stainless steel, or choose low-maintenance vinyl posts.

There are many other methods to put up fence posts with wood We’ll explore the various options one at a.

Can Fence Posts be Installed in Dirt?

Yes, they can. It’s a simple solution, but If you follow the right procedure, you can put the fence posts directly into the soil.

The first step is to dig the hole. The rule of thumb is to dig to the depth of one-third of the height of the post. For instance, if you want a fence that is six feet high you should purchase a nine-foot post and dig it down to three feet. 

The post’s hole must be at least as close to the diameter of the fence as it is.

Begin in the process of loosening up soil using a trowel, and then use the Clamdigger. It is possible to possess a reciprocating saw on be on hand in the event that you find difficult roots. 

You can slash rocks by using a bar and remove them using the digger clam. If you’re working on clay-based soils You may have to clean or wipe the digger to avoid the digger from clogging.

A hole has been dug. Pop the flat rock, some gravel, or a bit of broken concrete into the bottom to serve as a footing. Place the post in the hole, and verify using a level to ensure it’s level. There will be someone else to hold the post as you backfill it and continue to check its level.

Backfill the hole with a mixture of sharp gravel and soil as you continue to tamp it down using something thin and long. 

Once you’ve reached the highest point of the hole, dump a substantial amount of the soil around the bottom of the post, creating the shape of a mound, and letting the water run through.

Repeat for each post. The process of putting dirt on fence posts is a fantastic exercise.

Do you think it’s a good idea to set fence Posts on Gravel?

Gravel is an excellent alternative to concrete. It does eliminate drainage issues in the underground area and around the foundation.

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But, the efficacy of using gravel for post-setting is contingent on the soil. It isn’t suitable for sandy or loose soils, but it’s ideal for hard clay-based dirt. It’s an excellent option for those who reside in an area that is prone to heavy frosts because it will make your fence less vulnerable to frosty heaves.

It’s like setting an outdoor fence in the dirt. You’ll need to dig that one-third-deep hole using your clam digger and lay a layer of gravel at the base. 

Install the post in the hole, ensure it’s straight (again the ideal is a two-person job) then backfill the hole with more gravel. Every couple of inches, you should tampon the dirt.

As opposed to concrete, you are able to continue to install the rails or chain immediately which makes it a much faster task. 

Also, you can achieve a pleasing look by growing grass all the way to the bottom of the posts. If you’d like to achieve this, stop about two inches from the ground and then switch to the soil. It is then possible to grow grass on top of it.

Can I put up Fence Posts in Crushed Rock?

It is also possible to use crushed rock for setting the fence posts. If you’re a DIY enthusiast then you’ve likely utilized crushed rock at least in one landscaping project in the past, for example, placing slabs on your driveway or patio.

If you’ve ever used it and already purchased it, you’ll understand the reasons why it’s an ideal material to install fence posts. Similar to gravel, it allows drainage around your fence post, reducing the possibility of rapid decay.

However, the crushed pieces of rock also bind quicker than the large gravel fragments. The interlocking particles create an extremely solid foundation that is closer to concrete but has drainage. In reality, it’s the second-best material after concrete, in regards to strength in terms of backfilling your posts.

If you want to use crushed rock use the same procedure as you would with bigger pieces of dirt. Dig, set the gravel, fill it, tamp; then, fill, repeat until you are at the ground at a level. If you’re planning to build posts using concrete, crushed rock could be a great drainage layer to support the foundation.

Are Fence Post Anchors Needed?

What exactly is an anchoring point for your fence post? It’s a simple bracket with spiked ends which could help make your life a lot simpler when it comes to building the fence post. An anchor for your fence posts isn’t necessary, but they can certainly make the process more simple.

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What is the process for ensuring that fence post anchors function? The pointed end of the post is driven into the ground, and the post is inserted into the bracket. It is that simple. It will save you time and effort that is spent digging holes and provides an excellent anchor for your posts.

Then, you need to mark the location you’d like your posts to be. Set the edge of the anchor to your mark, and then verify that it’s straight by using the aid of a level. Hit the anchor using a sledgehammer, to hit it directly to the earth. After a few hits make sure to stop and examine the level.

Once the anchor is fully driven, place it into its bracket, and make sure the screws are tightened. This is much less difficult than drilling a three-foot hole. Repeat this process until all of your posts are up.

The good thing is that, now that they’re in there their position for quite a while. A high-quality galvanized anchor for your post will last for years, perhaps even years. It is also possible to purchase anchors with circular brackets for those who prefer a round post.

Final Words

It is often believed it’s the most suitable material to set fence posts made of wood. But, this isn’t necessarily the case. It depends on the kind of soil you’re using.

If you don’t wish to have to laboriously dig rotting wood from cement-filled holes in the years into the future, burying your fence posts into dirt might be the easiest and most effective alternative. In the end, fence posts are likely to begin to rot in the course of time (concrete accelerates this process) and it’s much simpler to pull out straight from the ground once they begin to rot.

Other alternatives like crushed and gravel are also good options since they enhance the drainage around the posts’ base, thereby making them last longer.

If you’re not sure which option to choose, the best advice is to place them in the appropriate dimensions for the diameter of your fence and then lower them to the proper depth straight into the earth. This is what we did and they’re doing it just perfectly.

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