Hypertufa Gardening Container

The other day I was thinking back about when my BFF Marilyn and I went to a Hypertufa making class at the Herbfarm in Woodinville Washington.   By the way, the Herbfarm is an amazing place to visit, be sure to check it out if you have the opportunity.  The grounds are amazing….the gardens, the events, the restaurant (which I never had the chance to eat at because their reservations are booked way out!!).  Anyway, it seems like the class was only a few years ago, but was actually about 18 years ago.  Holy crap!  Where has time gone?

What is a Hypertufa?  It’s a cement potting container.  Be sure to check out Google images for tons of great pictures.  Living in Southern California, my Hypertufa containers do not have the same mossy character as they did when I lived in Washington.

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Making your Hypertufa:

In a wheelbarrow mix together:

3 parts Portland Cement – Do NOT use quick set cement!

4 parts peat moss

Slowly mix the above together with water, mixing thoroughly.  You want the consistency to be moist, but not as liquidy as a cake mix.  Once you have your consistency down, you will then “build” your Hypertufa in your selected mold.  Your mold can be a shoe box, or any sturdy cardboard box you have laying around.  I would suggest sticking to a small mold to start.  Line the interior of the mold with heavy plastic – a heavy duty garbage bag will work.  Don’t worry about smoothing out the wrinkles of the plastic, this will give your Hypertufa some character.  Take handfuls of the mixture and slowly build your Hypertufa as if you are working with clay.  Be sure to make the walls of your Hypertufa about 1.5 – 2″ thick.

After you have built your Hypertufa, cover it all up with plastic and leave it in a cool, dry place to set for about two weeks.  After your two weeks is up, peel away the box.  You can use a screw driver or other tool to rough up the outside of your Hypertufa.  The more nooks and crannies there are, the more character.

Plant anything you like in your new Hypertufa, but succulents look great and thrive in these containers.  Once you have it down, you can get very creative by changing up the molds, and modifying the ingredients.

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