An artificial rock, hypertufa was originally created as an alternative to a natural rock called tufa. It is made of cement and is now popular as a garden ornament. You can use hypertufa to create many concrete shapes and forms, but it is commonly made into balls. If you want to add beauty to your garden, you can make hypertufa balls in different sizes. Here is how you can make these concrete balls.
- Prepare all the ingredients. Remember that there are several hypertufa recipes, and each one is designed to achieve a certain texture and weight. Some recipes, for instance, are for lightweight hypertufa, while others produce ready-to-carve hypertufa. But assuming that this is your first time to make a hypertufa, we decided to present a basic recipe. And for this recipe, you will need Portland cement, peat moss, and sand in equal parts. You can use a bucket for measuring these ingredients. You also need about one tablespoon of fiber mesh to make the hypertufa ball intact.
- Gather your tools. Aside from the measuring bucket, you will need to prepare latex gloves and a dusk mask. The dusk mask is especially important to keep you from inhaling the cement. Prepare also a mixing bucket and rubber balls that will serve as the molds. The size of the balls of course depends on the size of the hypertufa balls you want to create. Make sure to cut a hole on top of the balls, about two inches in diameter or just big enough for you to feed the concrete mix into the balls.
- Start to mix. Put all the ingredients in the mixing bucket. Make sure to filter the peat moss before adding. Then using a trowel, mix up the dry ingredients until they blend well and no lumps are visible. Begin to add small amounts of water, making sure to mix the ingredients in between pours. Avoid making the mixture too dry, but avoid having it too runny as well. You know you have achieved the right consistency when the ingredients stick together.
- Stuff the ball molds. Begin by placing the balls in one inch-thick sand, so they’ll stay in place as you fill them. Now, get one lump of mixture with your hand and push it through the hole and down to the base of the ball. Scoop more lumps of mixture until you have completely filled the ball, making sure there are no air gaps. Top the ball with another handful of mixture to close the hole. Repeat this procedure to the other ball molds.
- Let the mixture dry. Leave the balls for 1 ½ days so they can completely dry. When the balls are already dry and hard, you can remove them from their molds. Do this by pulling the mold off the hypertufa ball starting from the edge of the hole. Make a nick on that part of the mold and start ripping the mold off the ball. Make sure to do this gently to avoid damaging the hypertufa ball in any way. Do the same thing to the remaining balls.
You can place your hypertufa balls in any part of your garden. If you prefer, you can make other hypertufa shapes on which to put your hypertufa balls.