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How to Dig a Post Hole the Fast & Easy Way

Updated April 17, 2017

The most difficult task in building a fence is digging the holes for the posts. This can be backbreaking labour. A typical post will be 4 feet by 4 feet and 8 feet high. At least 1/3 of post should be underground. The hole should be twice the diameter of the post, which requires digging a hole 2 feet deep and 1 foot around. This is no easy task, but there are few things to do that will make the job easier and faster.

Avoid digging in hard rocky soil and sandy soil. Hard rocky soil is just difficult to move, and sandy soil will keep refilling the hole as you try to dig it. If the purpose is to dig post holes quickly and easily the soil makes all the difference.

Soak the ground with water. Drive a hole into the ground about a foot deep with a galvanised pipe. Then fill the hole with water. Let the water soak overnight.

Loosen the ground with the post hole digger. Keeping the blades apart chop the ground around the hole. Move around the hole using a rotating movement. Scoop out the loose dirt.

Hold the post hole digger with both hands and thrust it into the ground. Spread the handles out so that the jaws can capture the soil. Pull out the digger and empty the soil to the side. Repeat the process until you have reached the desired depth.

Warning

Make sure that it is safe to dig. You need to know exactly where the power lines and underground pipes are before you dig. This is the law in some states. Call the local utility company to check about power lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Galvanised pipe
  • Hose
  • Post hole digger
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About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.