This post was first published on Faire Garden on blogger December 25, 2007. It is also available on wordpress under the same date. There was some interest in the hypertufa mixture recently over at Marnie’s at Lilacs and Roses so this seemed like a good story to be recycled while we are having some quality family time. Enjoy.
Select two plastic tubs that fit inside each other with a 2-3 inch space on each side, or build forms from wood. Line the larger form with plastic. Mix together equal parts; sieved sphagnum peat moss, perlite and portland cement in a wheelbarrow. I use a five gallon bucket to measure. Add water, a little at a time until the mixture is the consistency of oatmeal. Do not make it too wet. At this time you may add cut up fiber mesh, colorant and/or bonding agent. These items may be found at a building supply. Mix well. Fill the lined form to a depth of 2-3 inches. Insert dowels or something in the bottom to make drainage holes that can be later removed. Place the smaller form on top of the mix, centered. Fill in sides with mixture. Cover the entire form with plastic and let set out of direct sunlight for at least one day, maybe two. Be patient. I have ruined many attempts at trough construction by unmolding too soon. Carefully remove the top mold and plastic, then remove the trough from the bottom mold. It should be firm but allow you to clean up the edges with a knife, file or wire brush. I sometimes use gloved hands to round the edges. When satisfied, cover the whole thing with plastic and let cure for at least four weeks. At the end of that time, fill with a free draining potting mix, I use cactus potting mix, and plant. This is the fun part, experimenting with the plantings. For more and better instructions on the how to, search the internet for hypertufa information.
Here is one of many links found by googling *hypertufa trough intructions*. To read this article from Fine Gardening magazine, click here.