Hypertufa Recipe

At our spring Festival,   People asked us for the Recipe for the Hypertufa Troughs and Seats.  So here it is.  This recipe is from the Book: 

Recipe #1: 

  • 2 buckets portland cement 

  • 3 buckets sifted peat moss

  • 3 buckets perlite

  • 1 handful of fiberglass fiberspowdered cement dye (optional)

Recipe # 2

3 buckets portland cement

3 buckets masons sand (fine textured sand)

3 buckets sifted peat moss.


1) Sift the peat moss.  Place hardware cloth across a large bucket or wheelbarrow.  Rub the peat moss across the hard-ware cloth, sifting it through the mesh.  Discard any debris or large particles.

    1. 2)Mix the Ingredients.     Measure the cement, peat moss and perlite or sand and add them to a mixing trough   or wheelbarrow. Using a how or small shovel, blend these ingredients thoroughly.  If you're using recipe 1, add the fiberglass fibers and mix again.  Add concrete dye, if desired and mix until the fiberglass fibers and the dye powder are evenly distributed throughout.

      *Add water and blend thoroughly.   The amount of water required varies, so add a little at a time.  It's easy to add more, but very difficult to correct the situation after you've added too much.   The hypertufa is ready to be molded when you can squeeze a few drops of water from a handful.

  1. 3)Form the Hypertufa.   Build forms from 2" polystyrene insulation.   Secure joints with 2 1/2" deck screws and reinforce with gaffer's tape.  If the piece is a planting container, be sure to provide adequate drainage holes.  

    *Pack the hypertufa to form and firmly tamp it down. 

    *Continue adding and tamping until hypertufa reaches the recommended depth or fills the form.

    *Cover the project with plastic and let it dry 48 hours.   Disassemble the forms and remove the piece.

4)Shape and Cure the Piece.   Sculpt the appearance of the piece by knocking off the corners and sharp edges.     Add texture to the sides of the piece by using a paint scraper or screwdriver to scrape grooves into them.   Finally,  brush the surface with a wire brush.

*Wrap the piece in plastic, and put it in a cool place to cure for about a month.  Remember, the longer the hypertufa cures, the stronger it will be.

*Unwrap the piece and let it cure for several weeks.  If you're building a planter, let it cure for several weeks, periodically rinsing it with water to remove some of the alkalinity, which could harm plants that are grown in the container.  Adding vinegar to the rinse water speeds the process.

*After the planter has cured outside for several weeks, move it inside, away from any sources of moisture, to cure for another week or so.

*The fiberglass fibers in recipe #1 produce a hairy fringe.  Make sure pieces made from this recipe are dry, and then use a propane torch to burn off the fringe.  Move the torch quickly, holding it in each spot no more than a second or two.  If pockets of moisture remain, they may get hot enough to explode, leaving pot holes in the piece.

*Apply a coat of masonry sealer to basins or other pieces that must hold water.

Visit:  for an excellent article on making Hypertufa troughs:  http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00117.asp

45 River Street Rehoboth, Massachusetts 02769-1395Phone: 508-252-4002 Fax: 508-252-4740 or send an e-mail to tranquil-lake@earthlink.net