Fence post gravel or cement Indiana Sandy soil


Old 08-04-08, 07:13 AM
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Fence post gravel or cement Indiana Sandy soil

The house is close to Lake Michigan, so the soil is sandy.

I am looking to install a 6 foot picket fence on the front of the property.

I am planning on doing this all my self.

I will have a powered post hole digger.

I am not sure what to put in the post holes. I have looked this up online and have seen conflicting methods.
Cement causes rot problems?
Gravel works fine?
Soil is not strong enough?

Any suggestions?
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Old 08-06-08, 04:16 PM
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I don't know how it is in Indiana but if it's as sandy as you say it is, then I would use the cement.
Old 08-11-08, 04:00 AM
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What about in regular/ moist topsoil/clay? Middle IL. Use gravel and no cement for the wooden 4x4 posts?
Old 08-31-08, 06:20 PM
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I just put up a fence in central PA. The soil was somewhat clay about 10" down or so. I dug the holes w/ an easy auger!! SAVED HOURS!! I painted the bottom 30 inches of my 4x4 posts with roofing tar to help slow down/prevent rot and put cement in the holes. Only filled them about 3/4 full. Worked great. I had 30 holes to do. I also toyed w/ the idea to put some gravel in the bottom of the hole for drainage but no matter what you do moisture is going to get to the post. If you do everything to prevent rot on the post that is buried, the post will just rot right where it comes out of the soil. Good Luck
Old 09-16-08, 04:41 AM
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Smile fence post

no doubt with this one, i recently carriedout the same job, concrete is definately the material to use, you can now get rapid drying concrete, the recommended depth of the post hole is 1/4 of the length of the post. good luck, from england.

p.s i live on the west coast of uk, the ground is very sandy, defo, concrete.

Last edited by KNOWALL; 09-16-08 at 04:44 AM. Reason: an omission
Old 09-22-08, 11:02 PM
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If the soil is sandy in your area you will not need an auger to dig the holes. Using one may assist in digging, but it may also make the holes reamed out larger than neccesary for a post. If using cement, which I would reccomend, having larger holes will result in a lot more cement use and double the tamping area.
Lake Michigan will as you know have frost in the winter months.. This may cause the posts to heave up. I would suggest using the gravel base in addition to the cement.
The suggested use of tar at the base is an old time method.... envoirmentally it is not the best thing to do... But tar does manage to resist rot on wood posts in wet areas.

Good Luck
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