What is hypertufa?
Hypertufa is a mixture of peat moss, perlite, cement and water or peat moss, sand, cement and water. The ratio of each component varies from project to project depending on whether it is hand or form molded. The most important component to control the consistency of the mixture is water; more water is required for hand building and less if a mold is used.
The granite and weathered look of hypertufa
Hypertufa can be hand or form molded, carved and lathed into almost any shape, the versatility of hypertufa is endless. Once hypertufa has completely dried to a light gray in color, it can be filed with a file or a rasp and then hand sanded with a heavy grade of sandpaper to achieve a fine finish. Over time, hypertufa will develop the characteristics of weathered stone. Moss will also grow on the hypertufa in time, however, if you wish to speed up the process a mixture of moss and yogurt can be ground together and spread on hypertufa.
Hypertufa - lighter than cement
History of hypertufa
Since hypertufa is made with a combination of cement, perlite and peat moss it is easy to move around a garden and is aesthetically appealing in a garden setting. Hypertufa is strong enough to withstand the freeze and thaw cycle of Canadian winters and when finished it has the appearance of granite rock without the heavy weight.
Hypertufa has been around in Europe in various forms since the early 1800's. It originated in England as a replacement for livestock watering troughs, which where heavy and hard to move. English gardeners found that by mixing inexpensive ingredients they could make a light weight version of stone troughs. Garden troughs are suitable for Alpine plants that would otherwise get lost in the garden. They are also a great place for an outdoor cactus garden, as the trough can be moved to a protected area in the winter.
How hypertufa is made?
All hypertufa projects start with the following mixture:
- 3 parts peat moss
- 3 parts perlite
- 2 parts portland cement
Make your own hypertufa:
Project: Build your own garden trough - click here to get started
Take a hypertufa course:
2-day Hypertufa Workshops available - cick here to view workshop outline
Contact us for more info