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We have heavy clay soils - should I mix in some #57 with the native soil during fence post backfill, use #57 for most of it, or just use and tamp the native soil (no rock)? I have read where it is recommended to at least put a few inches of rock in the bottom of the fence post hole, but then varying opinions of whether or not to use rock in the backfill mix. Should gravel be used for fence posts, specifically western red cedar split rail posts?

Applicable Products:
Wood Fence/ Split Rail Fence

Thank you for your interest in our site and products. Most professional fence installers/ contractors do not use gravel when backfilling and tamping western red cedar posts (split rail fences and traditional picket fences) in place. I believe this is typically due to it not being readily available on the job site. For those wanting a better installation, we do recommend gravel at least under the post as this will allow a place for water to drain to, away from your post which causes them to rot prematurely. Some soil compositions are not fence post friendly, or are extremely wet. We have often needed to truck in gravel to tamp under, and around fence posts. Gravel can serve two purposes, drainage and stability.


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Updated 10/16/09