Alternate Method for Setting Wooden Posts in Concrete
The way I do it now has a couple advantages over simply embedding the posts in concrete.
1. I can do the final plumbing and alignment of the posts in the dry and without bracing.
2. In case a post is damaged or does rot, replacement is possible without digging out the embedding concrete.
Here’s my method (for 3-in. and 4-in. posts):
It’s okay to let grass grow in over the concrete, however, the mortar cap should be kept free. Grass, moss or other vegetation growing against the wood will retain water and lead to rot.
The crushed gravel holds the post firmly and assures drainage. Unless the water table is extremely high, the post is going to stay dry.
If a post needs replacement, use a hammer and masonry chisel to break away the mortar cap. Then suck out the gravel with a wet-dry shop vac and lift out the remainder of the post.