Hypertufa Pots

By K

This year my 4-H garden project is a container garden. I wanted some interesting containers for my plants, and someone gave my mum 7 bags of hypertufa mix, so we decided to try making hypertufa pots.

Here is a hypertufa Totoro my mum made.

 

 

 

 

This is the first pot I made. We used a cardboard box as our mold, because that’s what all the websites said to use, but it didn’t work out so well because the cardboard sagged a lot and we had to use boards and clamps to keep it up! I like the look of it now, but I was worried about how it would look while it was drying. It took a long time to dry, I think because it was so thick. The thicker the walls, the longer it takes to dry. We’re hoping this means that it will be stronger!

Here it is, planted with dwarf marjoram, lemon thyme, some ornamental grass and some stachys or lamb’s ears.

 

Here I am making my second set of pots. This time I used plastic hanging basket containers and molded the mixture inside. They aren’t very big but on their outsides they have the wavey pattern of the container, which looks really cool.

We mixed the hypertufa mixture in the wheelbarrow you can see behind me in this photo. I’m using the hypertufa plastic packaging as my work surface. Wear gloves when you’re doing this – the mixture is supposed to be very caustic on your skin.

I molded the mixture very tightly into each planter pot, starting with the bottom and working my way up. It took me about half an hour to complete each pot.

Here is one of the finished pots! I put some Johnny Jump Ups in it.

Don’t forget to make drainage holes in the bottom of your pots, so the water can drain.

I have one more planter pot sitting in the basement, drying. It’s been drying for a couple of weeks, so I can’t include a finished photo of it. Next time!

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Transplanting Tomatoes

By D

Last week we transplanted the tomatoes that were in our greenhouse. They were so leggy that we decided to put them in the ground even though it was still pretty cold.

I’m going to show you the photos we took of each step and tell you a little about what we did with each photo.

Here is the hole you dig first of all. It needs to be at least 6″ deep.

 

 

Next sprinkle a little bone meal in the bottom of the hole. The bone meal helps the roots grow faster and it also feeds the soil.

 

 

 

Next, get your tomatoes. Here you can see that we have two plants in each pot. They grew a bit too fast in my grandfather’s greenhouse – you can see how tall and spindly they are. They should have thicker stems than this.

 

 

 

 

Now we put the tomato plant in the ground. Can you see the plant tag on the stem in this photo? That’s how deep we planted each tomato plant. If you plant them this way they will get a chance to grow sturdier stems. According to the garden books they will also have a better root system.

Next we filled the hole with compost and potting soil, so that the soil surrounding the tomato is more loamy than the heavy garden soil. This will help with drainage, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we sprinkled eggshells on the surface around the tomato plant. My mum read somewhere that it helps with blossom end rot, and we always use it with any tomatoes we put in pots, but we tried it here to feed the tomato plant AND to keep any slugs away!

 

 

 

 

Afterwards we placed a plastic tunnel cloche over them. We’ll remove it when the rain stops and the weather warms up. We use a staking system to support the plants as they grow. I’ll write a post about that next time.

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Early Spring Pollination Duties

By D

Sometimes the fruit trees blossom before the pollinators come out, so I like to help the fruit along, with a paintbrush. Just brush the tip onto the flower and brush it onto another flower. This way you will transfer the pollen around the tree and help the blossoms set.

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First Post

As part of our 4-H project, we thought we’d start a garden blog so we could keep track of what we’re doing this year.

This photo is part of our back yard garden. We have a big yard considering we live in a city, and it’s full of vegetables, fruit trees, berry bushes, and flowers.

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