What fun, making a pot out of dirt. Actually hypertufa is a mix of peat, perlite, and cement but working with it is just like making mud pies. I went for the rustic look so I did not screen the peat, making it lumpier with some sticks. And I colored it “charcoal” to avoid the sidewalk-look. Click on each photo for details.
Canadian peat moss, perlite.
Portland cement…not concrete.
Mixing gear: Dust mask, glasses and gloves.
Raw perlite. Wear goggles and dust mask when handling.
Peat. To make a finer container you should screen it to remove sticks and make it finer.
2 parts cement, 3 parts peat, 3 parts perlite.
Add a little water at a time. I used about 1 1/2 gallons to make a consistency of cottage cheese.
The colorant is dry, to mixed with water. The bonding agent makes the mix stronger, less fragile.
Any sturdy container works as a mold.
Any oil works as mold release but I did not want petroleum in contact with the plants. You can use Pam too. Spray all surfaces that the mix will touch for easier removal.
I dumped the mix in and mashed it by hand. Poking holes by finger is easier than drilling when it’s dry. Then I covered it loosely in plastic.
Next day, turned out of the mold.
After being in the mold for 24 hours I turned it upside down and it slid out. Then on to shaping. It’s easy when it’s still moist.
Clean the rasp with a “file card” while it’s damp. It comes out easily. Once it dries, you need a chisel.
You can still see the peat and perlite in the mix.
With some left over mix I packed it into the base of a 15 gallon pot.
Cover with plastic for a day to cure.
Pop it out, file it down a little, fill with well-drained soil and plant.
Variety of shapes and heights.
Eventually the String of Pearls will cascade over the edge and the Jelly Beans will spread.
To add to the dry scene I included rocks.