A flagpole can be a great way to show off your allegiances, but setting it into the ground can be more complicated than it looks. The flagpole will need to be set into a concrete bed in order to make it stable. While you can simply pour concrete around the hole the pole will fit in, you can also choose to take this opportunity to spruce up the flagpole a little. With just a little extra work you can create a concrete base around the bottom of the flagpole to help make the flagpole stand out from the nearby landscape.
Dig a hole, using your post hole digger, to a depth equal to the length of your flagpole's ground sleeve. Once you add in the crushed stone, this will make the top of the sleeve and the top of your concrete pad 2 inches above the adjacent ground surface. If you want your concrete base higher or lower than that, adjust the depth of your hole accordingly. Make the hole about twice as wide as the diameter of the ground sleeve.
Use your shovel to make the bottom of the hole slightly wider, by about 1 or 2 inches, than the top. This will prevent frost from pushing up on the concrete block.
Dig a trench around the top of the hole in the shape that you want the concrete pad to be. Make the trench about 3 or 4 inches deep.
Place 2 inches of crushed stone into the bottom of the hole.
Place garden edging around the outside of the trench that you dug. This will become the outside of the concrete block. Cut the edging as needed with your utility knife. Ensure that the edging is at least 1 inch below the surface of the soil.
Mix your pre-mixed concrete and water in a wheelbarrow. Use the directions on the bag of concrete to determine how much water to use.
Place the ground sleeve into the middle of the hole and fill around it with concrete. As you get close to the top, place a level inside the ground sleeve to make sure it is perfectly vertical. Then fill in the rest of the hole and the trench around the top of the hole.
Smooth out your concrete with a trowel. Add or remove concrete to make the base of the pad about 1/2 inch below the top of the sleeve. Then level the concrete to slope slightly away from the sleeve in all directions. This angle should not be drastic, but it needs to be there to prevent water from pooling around the base of the pole.
Give the concrete base about 24 hours to dry, or 48 hours in hot and wet environments, then remove the edging from your base.