It's easy to make your own inexpensive and lightweight faux stone garden planters made from hypertufa, an imitation limestone made from perlite, peat moss, and cement, that resembles old stone. These planters can be made in any shape and form imaginable from troughs to oversized flowerpots to shallow containers. They are ideal for container gardening around the patio, the deck, or even the front porch.
All you need is three ingredients, a mold, a mixing "bowl", a pair of heavy rubber gloves and your imagination! One thing to keep in mind however is that the planters need to cure for a month before they are ready to use. Let's get started.
- 3 parts Perlite
- 3 parts Peat Moss
- 2 parts Portland Cement
- Heavy rubber gloves
- Molds--foam ice chests, lightweight plastic bowls, plastic flowerpots, plastic window boxes, etc. work well.
- Wheelbarrow for mixing the ingredients
- Plastic bags (large and small) to cover the mold and the wooden dowels
- Wooden dowels
- Wire Brush
1. Wearing the gloves, mix all ingredients together except water. Slowly add water to the mixture and stir with a trowel or other object. As the mixture becomes more difficult to stir, use your hands (still wearing the gloves because cement can be caustic and you're your skin). The mixture should be wet enough to work with but not too runny (this is not an exact science in case you're wondering). Err on the side of being too dry. You can always add more water.
2. When the mixture reaches the correct consistency, place it in the bottom of the mold. Spread evenly to a two-inch thickness. Then coat the sides, also to a two-inch thickness.
3. Make drainage holes for the planter by poking a wooden dowel (a thick stick of wood also works) in the bottom. Cover the dowel with a small plastic bag so it can be removed easily.
4. Cover the entire container in a large plastic bag and let dry for a 24-hour period. To remove the garden planter from the mold, first remove the dowel and then turn the mold upside down and pull the mold off the planter. Use the wire brush to remove sharp edges.
5. Cover the planter with the same plastic bag and let it cure for one month. When it has finished curing, hose the garden planter to remove loose particles. /
Voila! Your garden planter is ready to be planted with beautiful flowers, strawberries, or herbs.
Alpine Trough Gardens
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