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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hypertufa day

Last Thursday was Hypertufa Day for a few women from the Nathan Hale Garden Club in Huntington, New York.

We gathered at Kim's house where her wonderful husband Paul had put together all the ingredients we needed to try our hand at making hypertufa.

Hypertufa is a product that looks like cement but weighs less. A woman can actually manage to lift containers made out of hypertufa. It's a mix of Portland Cement, Peat Moss, Perlite and fiberglass fibers.

Some other products needed are a spray-on oil so the molds slip off easily.

Gloves are a must to protect your hands and a breathing mask and goggles are also important!

This is the fiberglass being added to the mix. In a future post I'll give you the exact recipe.

Once water was added we had a nice crumbly product to work with.

Each of us chose a different kind of container to use as our mold. Nothing too large, we're saving that for the next time!

Simply press the mixture firmly against all the walls of your mold, making sure there are no trapped air pockets and that the thickness is the same all the way around.

Smooth off the top since that will be the top of your container once it is taken out of the mold.

Kim and I both chose to make ours out of 3 litter soda bottles (almost impossible to find). Kim formed hers by hand like you see here. I chose to use a beer can in the center as a second mold. We'll see which works out better.

Don't forget to poke some holes in the bottom for drainage.

Then, wrap your mold in a plastic bag and tie it shut. You need to wait for 48 hours before taking it out of the bag and slipping the mold off. Then leave your container out in the rain and elements for about 2 months in order to cure before planting in it.

Lots more photos to follow, Kim and I are putting together a whole power point program on this fun project.


webb said...

Looks like a fun project, with a worthwhile end product. Please keep us posted. It looks a bit like something I would like to do this fall to prepare for spring planting!

Anna Flowergardengirl said...

That is very cool! Hope this finds you doing well and Happy Spring...looking forward to another summer blogging with you.

Saffron said...

I tried my hand at this for the first time this month as well. One of my pots came out of it's mold fine, another wasn't ready and it broke into pieces. The biggest I left as is, trying to see it waiting a little longer with help. I want to make another batch and make some other shapes :)

Patricia said...

What a fun project. Can you follow up with posting recipe including info on reinforcing fibers?
Thanks so much for sharing your valuable experience!