How To Make Hypertufa

How To Make Hypertufa

Hypertufa is a really fun and easy to make artificial rock material that lets you make all kinds of rustic looking hypertufa pots, troughs, sculptures, rocks and stepping stones.  There are so many creative projects that you can make with hypertufa, and it gives the look of stone with only a fraction of the weight.  There are quite a few different hypertufa recipes that you can use to make your projects.

Safety First – You must start thinking of your safety before even beginning a project.  There are several things you need to know.

. Portland Cement is caustic when first mixed.  – Use protective clothing
. Dry cement can cause respiratory irritation – Use a mask
. Use Protective gear and clothing – Clothing you will need – something that can get dirty (launder immediately after),  rubber gloves, safety goggles, mask, remove shoes before entering house.

Easy Hypertufa Recipe

Here is an easy hypertufa recipe that a beginner can use to make his first project.

1 part perlite or vermiculite
1 part peat moss
1 part Portland cement
About 1 – 1 1/2 parts water

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large plastic bin or wheel barrow.

Slowly begin adding water and mix.  Mix everything with gloved hands.  Continue adding water and mixing until you can squish the mixture into a ball.  Mixture should be consistency of cottage cheese and should be mushy.

Let set 10 minutes until chemical reaction between cement and water can take place.  Now you can begin forming it into your pot.

Forming Your Hypertufa Pot

hypertufas! - How To Make Hypertufa
By elizaIO from Flickr.com

Use a plastic mold for beginners.  (An easy simple shape for starts.)  Dish pans, styrofoam coolers, large bowls.

. Prepare mold by using oil, vaseline, plastic wrap to line it.
. Pat hypertufa mixture into the mold (make 1 1/2-2 inches thick.)
. Form drainage holes in bottom.

Curing Your Project

Step 1 – Wrap finished hypertufa project in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out too quickly.  Let sit for about 36 hours.  Scratch test – If you can scratch your pot with a metal object like a screw driver, it is not yet ready for Step 2.  Wait awhile longer then.

Step 2 – Remove your pot carefully from the mold.  Store in shaded spot for another 3 weeks.  At this time, it should be ready for final steps

Step 3 – *Pot is still too caustic to use with plants.  Leach alkali from pot by filling planter with water.  Let sit with water in it for ten days, refilling as needed.

Now your pot is ready to plant with herbs, strawberries, or whatever you desire in your garden.