How to dig post holes for your fence

The best way to ensure your posts will stay sturdy and true for years is to install them at the correct depth and use a high quality concrete mix. See our recommendation for what depths we recommend digging for a fence post. Digging post holes is a necessary element of any fence installation. Here, we explain the simplest and most precise way to dig suitable post holes, as well as recommended depth and tools.

How deep do you dig a fence post hole

One of the common questions we get asked  is 'how deep should I install a fence post into the ground?'. Unfortunately, there's no one fence post depth calculator because the depth of the hole is dependent on a number of factors including the height and type of the fence as well as the width of the fence post.

To begin, we suggest digging the post hole so it is approximately three times wider than the fence post. For example, if you have a 3 inch wide post that you need to sit over 1.83m (6ft) in height above the ground, we recommend the hole size should be: 230mm [wide] (9”) x 600mm [depth]. This rule of thumb can be followed for all size posts (e.g. a 6ft high fence would require a hole depth of at least 600mm or 2ft). We do not recommend every post hole to be the same no matter the height of the fence post.

how deep to dig fence posts

Which fence post to use 

Panel Height

Slotted Inter Post

End Post

Corner Post

Post Height

Post Hole Depth






























Above 2.14m Use Heavy Duty Slotted Fence Posts Please Contact Us 



Fence post hole

Safety first

We strongly recommend before you start digging your fence post hole that you either check for any mains electrics or contact your utility company to mark any underground cables or hazards. Doing this also allows for you to reassess the fence line, layout and any positioning issues to make sure everything is exactly where you require it.

Timber or concrete posts

If using timber posts it is important to note that they must be set in either concrete or Post Fixing Mix on top of a minimum of 2 inch ballast/gravel. This is to allow drainage to take place between the post and the concrete. For the best results we recommend using rapid drying Post Fixing Mix. Always try to angle Post Fixing Mix slightly so it can shed water away. 

For additional advice about the positives and negatives for both concrete and wooden fence posts, giving you a fair evaluation of each type see our blog covering the topic.

Tools required
  • Rabbit hole digger
  • Hand shovel
  • Hammer
  • Garden stakes
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Concrete / Post Fixing Mix

Top tip

If you are planning on doing DIY we highly recommend a post hole digger or a rabbit hole digger which  is essentially a single shovel that has been designed to dig circular holes. The unique design enables the user to dig straight down to the ideal depth and keep the hole relatively narrow in diameter compared to a conventional shovel.

Why not use a local Jacksons Approved Installer to undertake the job for you?

Please note: we would not recommend installing fence posts without the use Post Fixing Mix

This blog is designed to help you with installing a fence post. We have official timber fence posts instructions that you can view by clicking the link below.

Timber Fence Post Instructions


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