Thursday, February 4, 2016

Concrete Containers for Plants or Fruit





Making plant containers and garden art has been a passion of mine for years. I have crafted a variety of hypertufa and concrete containers for use indoors and in the landscape. Some examples  of those   containers are posted here in my blog.  I must admit creating your own container can be as much fun as planting them.

The main ingredient when making these containers is Portland cement. Working with portland cement can be challenging at times. When making  hypertufa pots (photo below) , you must carefully add perlite, peat moss and just the right about of water. Then apply the mix to the mold .  


You can see the 3 ingredients, portland cement, perlite, peat moss,  in the hypertufa pot above.
The goal with hypertufa is to make a rough, stone like container.




 I have recently used a new product called ShapeCrete to create this irregular shaped container or bowl. ShapeCrete  has properties that allows the ingredients, when mixed with water, to be formed over or inside molds much easier that I have experienced when making other hypertufa or portland and sand containers. 








Once mixed with water, ShapeCrete can be molded with your hands and then formed into a thin layer and applied over the rubber ball to create a unique container.  If mixed properly, the ShapeCrete does not run down the side of the mold.
Remove from the mold the next day and then keep moist in garbage bag for about 1-2 weeks to allow it to properly cure. I mixed a little black cement dye with this batch, to make the color a little darker. Not sure I added enough to make a big change in the color.
Although not a necessary step, I will eventually apply a cement our grout sealer for mainly aesthetic reasons to see if it brings out more color in this container.

I eventually removed the fruit and created a planter with a variety of succulents. 




If you like succulent container gardens, check out this article in Penn Live  http://blog.pennlive.com/gardening/2015/08/lets_see_you_kill_these_tough.html


If you have questions  you can post to the blog and I will reply. 
Mike