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How to Use Gravel Instead of Concrete to Set Fence Posts

Is gravel where it is at when it comes to setting fence posts? While it’s not the traditional method of choice, it certainly has its benefits. Pea gravel can be just as sturdy as concrete, especially when the two are combined. Furthermore, it also improves drainage on your property when it rains. 

In this blog post, we give you the basics on how to set fence posts in your garden using these small, but mighty commodity stones.

1. Time to get hands-on

As with any fence post, you’ll want to start off the same way, wearing gloves to keep your hands baby-soft and grabbing hold of some pole diggers. You’ll want to dig a hole that’s half the length of the fence post that will be exposed above the ground. The hole needs to be twice as wide as the pole.

2. Go pea gravel or go home

For this project, it might be worthwhile to buy bulk gravel, depending on how long your fence will be. If you’re covering a large area with many posts, buying bulk can prove to be more cost-effective.

Fill the bottom of each freshly dug hole with 3-5 inches of pea gravel. Set the post in the center and wiggle it back and forth to set it securely.

Add another six to eight inches of pea gravel and tamp it down, leveling the post on all sides when complete. 

3. Reinforcing with concrete

Finally, you’ll want to dampen the gravel by filling the hole with water from your house. This will prep it for pouring in quick-setting concrete. You’ll want to factor in about a gallon of water per 50-gallon bag of concrete. Fill the hole completely until it’s level with the ground, then moisten it once more with water before leaving it to set overnight.

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