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I am installing a hammock support post to support one end of a hammock. Following the manufacturers instructions, I dug a hole 18" in diameter to about 25" deep. Our soil is red clay, if that matters, and it hasn't rained recently.

I put about 2 inches of gravel in the bottom, placed the post in the hole, then poured 4 red bags (50 lbs each) of dry quikrete around the post. The instructions say to use about 1 gallon of water per bag, but when I poured the first gallon into the hole, it drained very slowly. I added a second gallon and the water pooled there for a long time. I eventually went in for the night. This morning I checked on it and the water is gone but the top 1/2" of cement is very soft — I think some particles were floating in the pooled water and didn't cure.

Did I mess up the process? I'm worried that I only used about half of the water called for and even that seemed liked too much liquid to absorb quickly. Is there any chance that 2 gallons would be enough to cure 200 lbs of Quikrete?

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    Yes in a way it would have been better to mix with water 1st. With that said Oder the next several months enough moisture may make it to create a solid mass but even just dirt can stop water after a few inches. Soak it every day for a week or 2 and it may work better but if you try to use it and it moves it may need to be redone, most places I use quick or sack creet are not clay for that reason and no real load for a while after setting. – Ed Beal Sep 1 '16 at 0:59
  • Did you eave the dry mix 3-4 inches below ground level? I only ask because I can see how water would simply run off otherwise. – bigbull15 Sep 1 '16 at 2:21
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    Hey @Peter, we had rain that week so the soil was damp. I left the concrete alone for a few days, hoping that it would fully cure. It seems to have worked: the support post is sturdy and it supports a hammock with no problem. In the future, I would probably mix the quikrete in a wheel barrow and then shovel into the hole, even though the instructions say you don't need to do that. – Mark E. Haase Feb 21 '18 at 15:32
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    @MarkE.Haase thanks for the update! I set some posts in holes on Monday and mixed the quikrete and water directly in the holes (same as you describe). The soil is clay, like yours. On Tuesday night the quikrete was still a bit soft. It has been moderately cold here (highs in the low 50s, lows in the upper 30s) so I'm hoping it is just taking a bit longer than normal to cure... – Peter Feb 21 '18 at 20:32
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    Just wanted to follow up with my own experience: After about a week the quikrete had completely hardened. Months later the posts are still rock solid. – Peter Aug 16 '18 at 23:59
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Bagged concrete dumped in hole dry can work but is not ideal. With a clay base the hole is like a pipe. Adding water to the top the mixture will absorb water a few inches down then create a seal. It may be possible to get the mixture wet by heavily soaking the area for a week or more. Moving the post may allow water to penetrate deeper at the cost of creating clumps around the post not the solid mass you want. Winter rains and the higher ground water water level may help. If you would like to use your hammock next week pull the post clean out the hole knock the clumps off the wood and put the post back in the hole. Now there are 2 options. Mix the fresh bag's of quickcrete in a wheelbarrow and fill the hole or put some water in the hole add quickcrete , water more quickcrete water... You get the idea two much water will make it weak but stronger than the original no water in the hole mix.

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It's fairly simple if your going to put it in dry like that. Put a bag in, then a gallon in, and so on. Don't put 4 bags in a narrow hole and expect 4 Gallons of water to penetrate all the way through the dry mix

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