You know it’s hot in Georgia when every conversation begins with, “It’s hotter than the hinges of Hell.” By the way, that is the only “hotter than” cliche I can post without blushing. This is, of course, when we are down to the wire on fencing and goat housing projects. Here’s some of our progress in the front lot pre-goats.
Josh found a great deal on railroad ties and hauled them home with big plans. First, he had to cut down about thirty trees to clear a path wide enough for the truck to get through in order to build the fence. Some may argue that clearing a path for the truck before sinking posts is a poor use of time but they have probably never attempted to lug a railroad tie a couple hundred feet and then sink it in the ground by hand. This isn’t a Strongman competition, after all. It’s farming.
Railroad ties weigh about 200 Lbs. and are generally 8 1/2 feet long, 9 inches wide, and 7 inches thick. Josh sinks them into 2 foot deep holes. In areas with softer soil and frost lines, the post holes need to be 3 feet deep. Here in west central Georgia, the holes don’t need to be as deep because the soil is rock hard. Cement may also be used to keep posts in place. We find that it really isn’t necessary here but in other places it is a must.
He measured the post hole digger and then marked the diggers using a permanent marker. This lets him know when the walls of the hole are deep enough. Digging in our soil is no small task. The reward for digging through all that hard-packed clay? Hauling a railroad tie over to it, tipping it up, and then wedging it in place. Then, the soil is tamped in around the post. Finally a bucket of water is poured around the base and more tamping is done.
The tamping and packing of soil may be done with the handle of a gardening tool. We use a hoe but this is entirely up to you. Once you have sunk your corner posts, it’s time to talk braces. But we’ll save that for another post. I need to make lunch for Josh.