I have a mound of dirt in my yard and would like to cover it with hypertufa and create a container? Is this a good idea or should I rather not attempt this. I'm fascinated by hypertufa but new to the concept. Thanks!
Dirt or sand mounds make excellent molds/forms and have been used for thousands of years. You will need to lay down some thin plastic, unless you want the dirt/sand to become part of the finished surface. And if the shape is to have steep angled sides, you will also have to keep your mix quite dry to prevent it from "slumping" down.. The technique works equally well with plaster, concrete, hypertufa or just about any mix. The new website I will be launching soon will feature several "resident experts", one of whom is one of very few full-time, professional sand casters working today. I will include a link as soon as it is up & running, til then, best of luck and take lots of pix to post.
All my best --- Tango
Thanks for your very helpful info. I will use hypertufa because it weighs less than concrete and will post images as as soon as possible.
New to this forum this a.m.
I came across a rather nice page in an old BBC Gardener's World Magazine (July 1995) in which the late Geoff Hamilton describes making artificial rocks by digging irregular holes in the ground and lining them with polythene. He left creases and folds in the plastic to give some irregular textures to the surface. He used a mix of 1 part Portland cement, 2 parts coir compost, 2 parts sharp sand, plus colouring powder. He then spread the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the mold - leaving the middle hollow. These were then left for two days and then removed. To get rid of the shiny looking surface from the polythene he then rubbed it over with a wire brush. The rocks were left for a week to fully cure!
Dirt is excellent for your use.You can do pots, troughs, birdbath basins, lot's of stuff.I've also used it for casting really big leaves.I've used a number of different mixees, so just jump in and experiment.