Tuesday, 17 July 2012

DIY Hypertufa Garden Planters & Troughs - Great for Succulents, Alpines or Herbs!

The mix is piled on top of the mold. See directions below!
A Hypertufa Garden Trough I made last weekend. This is just before I removed the plastic container that I used as a mold for the shape.
Hypertufa Garden Bowl - 10" across and 6" high. Pretty solid!
Side View - It's a little crooked, but I think that's part of the charm with Hypertufa containers!
See below for the finished results!
Here's the recipe I used - Directions below
-2 Parts Portland Cement
-1 Part Sand
1 Part Soil
-1 Part Vermiculite
Part Water (A good idea to keep the hose nearby!)
Shredded cocoa fibre for strength & adhesion
-Irish or Scottish moss mixed with a bit of buttermilk or yogurt in blender. This will grow on the containers later on!
You'll also need:
  •  Rubber gloves, a plastic sheet, a wheel barrow -or- container to mix everything, a trowel, and a mask because it's dusty before everything is blended with water.
  • You'll also need a mold. I used 2 old plastic containers. One round for the bowl, and the other rectangle for the trough.
  • A good idea is to build these on a sheet of styrofoam or wood where they can be kept until the containers are firm enough to move.
  • Mix everything to the consistancy of firm and not overly sopping cottage cheese. I found the less runny, the better.
  • Lay the plastic over your surface and place molds facing down.
  • Begin by adding the mix all around the base of the mold. It should be at least 1 inch thick so it doesn't crack and is more durable when dried.
  • Keep adding the mix around the mold until it's covered. Smooth it all out, even slapping it with your hands to get any air bubbles out.
  • Don't forget to make a drainage hole in the bottom. Poke it with a bamboo stick or just carve it out with your finger! Either way works well!
  • Mist them with water and then wrap them up with the plastic sheets.
  • I misted them every couple of hours. You'll know it's working if they feel warm to the touch. I kept them in a shady place so they wouldn't dry out too fast.
  • Do this for a couple of days, then gently remove the mold. A plastic one will not stick to the cement, so it should pop out rather easily.
  • Pliers are handy for gripping the plastic. Give it a gentle tug and it will come out with no problem.
  • Mist again and then leave them to dry. They should be ready to plant in a few days after drying. They should be left to cure a little bit before planting.
  • Have fun! That's all there is!  
And the finished products! I made several with the same plastic bowl. One is planted with succulents and the other with tropical plants.
Thanks for visiting ~ Happy Gardening!