If you are into gardening, you must have come across the use of hypertufa in making garden arts and ornaments, and even your planters.
Hypertufa is an artificial porous rock that is used in making garden arts and ornaments. It is a substitute for the porous rock called ‘Tufa,’ which has now become difficult to find, not to mention that it has also become very expensive. Hypertufa is created from a mud-like mixture that you can mold into many garden decorations and ornaments like stepping stones, roughs, sculptures, rocks, spheres, planters and just about anything you want in your garden. You can even make a waterfall out of hypertufa rocks and just any object you want to enhance your garden.
Hypertufa is an ideal material in the garden because it can withstand freezing temperatures aside from being lightweight, which is advantageous in arranging and moving them around in the garden as well as leaving them even with minimal care. It is also durable and does not easily crack like ceramics, clay or plastic. Hypertufa also helps retain moisture, thus ideal for plants to thrive without worrying too much about watering them.
What is also nice about it is that, you can learn how to make hypertufa by yourself. Your materials and mixtures may differ as to how you want your finish product to be – whether you want it to be more lightweight, more durable or if you want something that can be easily molded, and there are many ways to make objects out of this mixture.
Here are things you need to know in learning how to make hypertufa for your garden.
The common recipes on how to make hypertufa are 1 part Portland cement, 1.5 parts peat moss, 1.5 parts perlite, although as mentioned earlier, the recipe might vary according to what you want your finish product to be. If you want more support to strengthen your hypertufa, you can add fiber mesh or other synthetic fibers in to the mixture. You can also add colors to make it resemble the colors of natural rock.
The Basic Steps
Before going to the basic steps of how to make hypertufa, it is important to think about safety. Take note that Portland cement is caustic and working with the dry ingredients can be dusty, thus make sure you wear your gloves and dust mask.
The basic steps involved in making your hypertufa is mixing the dry ingredients together and gradually pouring water into it so that you can control the consistency of the mixture. When the right consistency is attained, you can then mold the mixture into your chosen object.
After the mold is done, curing then follows. The mold is wrapped with a plastic sheet and placed in a shady place for a few days. You can then remove the mixture from the mold after a few days and prepare it for the next curing. It may involve brushing the top or the edges to give it a natural look before re-wrapping it for the next curing. Second curing will then follow and after it has been cured, you can also add designs to your planter or to your hypertufa if desired.
Learning how to make hypertufa can be a great way to making your gardens look beautiful and a good way as well to express and apply your artistic talents in gardening.