How to Craft a low cost Hypertufa

How to Creat a Hypertufa

Hypertufa planters are lightweight yet durable and make perfect little container garden. Make several and group at different heights.  You can also make birdbaths, stepping stones, spheres, or other garden accents using hypertufa.

What you’ll need to make a Hypertufa Planter

  • Wheelbarrow or bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • face mask
  • Portland cement
  • Perlite or vermiculite
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Polypropylene fiber
  • Mold of your choice
  • Dowels
  • Sheet Plastic or plastic garbage bags
  • Knife or chisel
  • Wire brush

Step One

In a wheelbarrow or bucket, while wearing rubber gloves and a face mask, mix 2 parts portland cement, 3 parts perlite or vermiculite, 3 parts sphagnum peat moss (sift or break up clumps with your hands), and a handful of polypropylene fiber, which helps strengthen the planter.  Mix the fibers well so they don’t clump.

Step Two

Slowly mix in water (a), paying close attention to the consistency of the mixture.  The goal is a mud like consistency (b), If it’s crumbly, add water. If it’s sloppy, add dry mix.

Step Three

Press mixture into the bottom of your mold to form a 2-inch thick base.  Continue pressing mixture up the sides of the mold, packing it as densely as possible and creating walls with an even thickness of about 1 1/2 inches (c). Spray mixture with water as needed to keep it moist while your work.  We made a disposable foam mold, but if using plastic, metal, or other reusable mold, line it with plastic sheeting to make it easier to remove the planter.

Step Four

Make drainage holes by pressing a few dowels into the base and through the mixture to the mold (d).

Step Five

Place the mold on plastic and completely wrap in plastic.  Let cure for two to three days.

Step Six

Remove mold from plastic.  Remove the dowels and then the planter from the mold. A knife or chisel may be needed to loosen the mold.  Scrape outer edges as desired using a wire brush.

Step 7

Allow planter to dry and cure for at least four weeks outside but out of direct sunlight. Your cured hypertufa can be left out in freezing temperatures as long as it is off the ground.  From the extra mix, we made hypertufa feet for our planter.

Step 8

If you want to “age” planter, encourage moss growth by painting the outside with yogurt.  Keep the planter moist and shaded until moss develops.  Once cured, you’re ready to plant.

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