Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to Make Stonehenge Pots!

Ovea a thousand years ago, the ancients of Europe made pots and planters out of blocks of stone. A few can still be found near the doorways of thached roof cottages in England today - still growing plants! Here is a Wikihow on making look-a-likes that are much lighter. Note: Due to their alkilinity, plants that like alkaline soil
will flourish. Acid loving plants - as in most vegetables and Roses etc. will need a yearly suppliment of acid. Old pine needles etc. worked into the soil. Also, though the article doesn't seem to mention it, be sure to use a duskmask when mixing materials. Portland Cement dust is not good for the lungs!
GrandBob


How to Make Hypertufa Planters


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Would you like to give your garden a different look? Hypertufa, or tufa, plant pots have a coarsely textured, stone look. With their thick, porous texture, they are good quarters and backdrops for smaller plants, such as cacti, succulents, and alpine plants. These are versatile pots that you make yourself, so they can be any size you want. Does that tickle your green thumb? If so, read on.

Steps


  1. Have your supplies ready, especially the pots or molds you will use.
  2. Mix three parts peat moss, three parts Perlite, and two parts Portland cement in a wheelbarrow, bucket, or other large container.
    • Measurements may be approximate.
    • Try to get all the lumps out of the peat moss for best texture.
    • Wear gloves and avoid breathing near the mixture.
    • You can use a shovel or trowel to stir.

  3. Gradually add water and stir the mixture, until you achieve a stiff, workable "mud pie" consistency.
    • You should be able to form a ball of the mixture in your hand.

  4. Place some of the mixture in a plastic plant pot, bucket, or other form.
    • Whatever you use as the form should be much larger than the opening you want in the finished plant pot, because the walls will be quite thick.
    • Make sure the shape of the pot or form you use will allow you to remove the finished planter easily. It should have sloped sides with no undercuts.

  5. Press the mixture against the sides of the form, leaving a thick wall with an opening for a plant. Make the walls 1-2 inches (2.5 to 5cm) thick. You will be able to see the shape of the finished plant pot as you complete it.
  6. Add a hole in the bottom for drainage. You can use your finger to form the hole.
  7. Allow the planter to dry thoroughly for about 7 days.
  8. Carefully un-mold the planter and add soil and plants.


Video


Video that is the source of the article

Tips


  • Try this using this material to make stepping stones and other garden statuary, too.
  • Use Portland cement, not ready-mix concrete.
  • You can embed materials, such as leaves, in the sides to create imprints. Or, texture the material with a wire brush.
  • Hypertufa is quite alkaline and may cause the soil you place in it to become alkaline, also. Choose plants that prefer alkaline soil.
  • Tufa[1] is a naturally-occurring, porous rock formed by precipitation of calcium. Hypertufa[2] is a mixture of Portland cement and various aggregates in imitation of naturally-occurring tufa.
  • You can mix the dry ingredients and store the mix, wetting only as much of it at a time as you need for one project.[3]
  • Please be aware of the possible environmental consequences[4] of using peat moss. See the tips section for more information.


Warnings


  • Wear gloves when handling Portland cement and avoid skin contact. If your skin does contact this mixture, rinse well.
  • Avoid breathing the dry mixture or getting it in eyes.
  • If you are particularly ecologically-minded, you may wish to consider the possible ecological consequences[5] of using peat moss.


Things You'll Need


  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 3 parts Perlite
  • 2 parts Portland cement
  • Water
  • Container in which to mix (wheelbarrow, large plastic bin/bucket)
  • Gloves
  • Shovel or trowel
  • Plastic plant pots or other containers to use as forms
  • Leaves or other texture items (optional)


Sources and Citations



  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tufa

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertufa

  3. http://www.gardenstew.com/about1779.html

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peat#Environmental_and_ecological_issues

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peat#Environmental_and_ecological_issues



Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Hypertufa Planters. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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