How to Tamp a Fence Post
The best way to secure a fence post into the ground is by filling the hole around the post with cement. However, if you choose, you can fill the hole around the post with dirt and tamp it down. Tamping is the act of compacting the dirt with a tamper. If compacted hard enough, the dirt takes place of the cement and holds the post in a vertical position.
Place the fence post in the center of the hole. Have a friend hold a bubble level against the side of the post.
Position two pieces of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber against opposite sides of the post at an angle to keep the fence post in a vertical position.
Fill the hole approximately one-quarter full with dirt.
Place the flat end of the tamper into the hole. Lift it up and drop it down repeatedly to compact the dirt into the hole. Take caution not to hit the post or you could force it to angle sideways.
Fill the hole approximately halfway full and then tamp the soil down again with the tamper.
Fill the hole approximately three-quarters full and then tamp the soil down again with the tamper.
Fill the hole completely and then tamp the soil down again with the tamper. Once compacted, the soil will rest below the surface of the ground again.
Pile dirt into a mound around the post and compact the soil until it can't be compacted any further into the hole.
- It is important to take your time so you can ensure each layer of dirt is compacted as far as you can get it.
- Keep the original hole size as small as possible. This reduces the amount of tamping and it leaves a wall of solid ground in the proximity of the fence post in all directions.