OK, OK, OK; now we can tamp! Using a full pounder, begin by tamping down the center of the whole row. This forces the shoulders of the bags together to prevent shifting (Fig. 6.24).

After the whole row is first tamped down the center, then tamp from the center of the bags towards the outside. Continue to tamp the whole row until the compacted bags "ring." The sound will change from a thud to a smack. Average finished thickness for a tamped 50-lb. bag is five inches (12.5 cm) (Fig. 6.25).

Check the surface of the row for level. Tamp down the high spots. We like to stay within a half inch (1.25 cm) of level. This is pretty easy to do when starting with a level foundation.

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