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Hypertufa Troughs

This article was published in the August 1998 Hostas of Kentuckiana Newsletter. No author was credited. 
Tom Moore, editor.
Hypertufa Troughs 
Here is the information (recipe) some of you have asked for from Tom Moore's demonstration at our June meeting. 
2 parts portland cement (do not substitute)
3 parts peat moss, screened 
3 parts perlite 
Water to make the consistency of cottage cheese 
Fibermesh is available from readi-mix concrete suppliers. We used 1 cup for a roasting pan trough. Use a couple of handfuls for a bigger trough. Coloring agents are available if you don't like the gray color. Cement tint mix is available at Lowe's and similar stores.
All measurements are by volume, dry. We used a large coffee can to measure for roaster size trough. Mix all ingredients well while dry, slowly add water and mix again. Don't get the mix too wet.
Fill your mold with damp sand so the weight of the mix doesn't collapse it. Build your walls a minimum of 1 inch thick. One and a half inches is better. Use 2 inch if any dimension is 24 inches or more. Work form the base up all around the mold. Don't try to do one side at a time. Leave your work a little rough for a more natural look, or smooth it out if desired
After you do the top (bottom actually) use a pencil or a similar size object to make drainage holes. Let dry out of direct sun for about 72 hours. Use a file or shaping tool to even out. Wire brush if desired.
Let cure a month or so before using. These troughs would look good planted with miniature hostas.
Submitted to hosta-open by;
Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE
zone 7

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