John Polk wrote:Welcome to the forums Rose.
I have seen the method you describe used for running a fence, and while it may appear 'extra work', it will save you time and grief in the long run. By compressing the dirt, and having a run-off slope, you will keep water from pooling around the base. Keeping the grasses from growing at the base also eliminates the damage from years of weed-whacking around the base.
Fence posts set as you describe will last decades longer than 'easier' methods. Building a fence can be both time consuming, and expensive. If done properly, you will not need to go back and redo it later.
By eliminating standing water, insects, vegetation, etc at the base, you will have created a fence that will last nearly forever.