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  1. #1
    fran's Avatar
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    Default Best tool for digging post holes?

    Evening all! Has anyone any experience in making post holes in clay soil? I want to make a pergola for a couple of grape vines using hop poles. I've used a post hole digger before, but just seen an auger on web, 6 inches diameter, which might be easier. Any comments welcome!

    Thank you, Fran

  2. #2
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
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    A spade and a mallet?

    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  3. #3
    Farmer_Gyles is offline Cropper
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    a pergola will be quite high, so you'll need fairly thick uprights and they'll need good support in the ground, especially if you're growing grapes up them - clay on it's own probably won't give the uprights enough support, so the uprights will need concreting in

    if your uprights will be 7 or 8 feet above ground, you'll need holes 18" to 24" deep and at least 2" to 3" all round the post (4"x4" posts need holes at least 8" x 8") - a 6" auger won't really be enough - use a post hole spade - it's about 7 or 8 inches wide

    put your uprights in, pour in dry post hole cement mix around the uprights
    make sure uprights are properly vertical
    then pour water in on the cement mix and leave for 48 hours to set

  4. #4
    NOG's Avatar
    NOG
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    I agree with the above but would add bung some small size hardcore in the bottom of the hole. Then bang a few nails in to the uprights before you put them in the hole...it adds a bit of draininge so the post is not resting on the soil and stability to the post.
    My phone has more Processing power than the Computers NASA used to fake the Moon Landings

  5. #5
    fran's Avatar
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    Mmmmm... Thank you Grapes for your very useful replies. I had hoped I wouldn't need to concrete, but perhaps I will. If you just have to tip a dry mixture in it won't be too bad. The hop poles are poles, so round - that's why I thought an auger might be good, but as you say, will prob need one about 7 or 8 ins diam. That great looking piece of equipment looks quite pricey Bilbo, but just the job, but I'm just wondering what happens when you come across big stones, of which there are a few in my soil. The auger I saw was only 16 reduced from about 35, but I did see some for over 200! Which end of the scale is it? Fran

  6. #6
    NOG's Avatar
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    Use postcrete it is pre mixed and sets in about 2 hours then needs another 24-48 to go off. You just rip the top of the bag and pour in the hole and add water.
    My phone has more Processing power than the Computers NASA used to fake the Moon Landings

  7. #7
    rana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOG View Post
    Use postcrete it is pre mixed and sets in about 2 hours then needs another 24-48 to go off. You just rip the top of the bag and pour in the hole and add water.
    I've always been suspicious of bags of ready made stuff and over-simple methods but I must agree although it's a bit more expensive, Postcrete works a treat.

  8. #8
    rana's Avatar
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    Getting back to the original question on heavy or difficult stoney ground I've found a mattock is invaluable.

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