Many times over in our Facebook Group for the Hypertufa Gardener we discuss how and where we choose our hypertufa molds and containers, those containers that we make our hypertufa pots either inside or outside depending on how each of us makes ours. But most of us agree on a place to get a mold.
Don’t pay big bucks. Go to the Thrift Store!
Of course, garage sales and Goodwill Stores, any place where an unusual shape or even an unusual texture can be found, but you get it for pennies compared to shopping for something at a plant store and having to pay beaucoup dollars for it.
Even the Dollar Stores have small planters, (see photo down the page) usually 3 for a $1, that make perfect small hypertufa pots for succulents and other starter plants. I have even seen these in the Goodwill store and they might ask $1 each for them, when brand new they are 3 for $1 at those Dollar Store type stores. Get a good buy!
When you are choosing a hypertufa mold, look for something slightly pliable so that it will be easy to extract after it has hardened into “concrete.” If it has rigid sides, you may find it very difficult to remove from the mold and may need to destroy your mold in the process. Metal is the worst that I have ever used, most especially when the sides are straight up. If your metal container has an outward sloping side, your hypertufa project may just slide right out of the mold perfectly.
I once had an idea to use a Roasting Pan. Low and shallow, oval shaped, it seemed perfect. But when that solid mass of hypertufa hardened, there was no way I could get it out at all. Regretfully, I had to chuck the whole thing into my hypertufa graveyard. Do we all have one of those in our back yards?
Choosing Hypertufa Molds With Texture
In particular, I love a container that has a texture built into its surface so that your hypertufa can pick up that form. Whether it is ridges or lines of some kind, these are awesome to use for a mold. I recently used a small trash can for a tall upright hypertufa pot, and it worked wonderfully. That was the one I planted my Aspargus Fern Foxtail . See that post here. Still looks awesome.
This small pot has similar ridges in it and I know I can make some awesome pots in this one. I only wish there were 4 or 5 more so that I can get a lot done at once. Those pots you find in sets of three at the Dollar Store have a nice shape, so be sure not to overlook those.
Sometimes I can find square shapes and sometimes it seems they are all round. Most times I can re-use bowls multiple times especially if it turns out a “perfect hypertufa pot” meaning just right in width and especially depth. When you know you are going to have plants that need some extra moisture you may want more depth for them.
Reason? These hypertufa pots are very porous and they do allow air to get to the roots of your plants. If you have the right soil, rain will drain away quickly and not kill your plants in a hypertufa pot. That really can’t be the case in a ceramic pot which is more likely to trap moisture even if you have a drain hole.
Don’t Forget Your Miscellaneous Things!
As you see in the video, I also shop for small to large saucers to put under my pots. I need these especially over the winter when I have my plants inside. Even when they are on my wire shelving, I need to hold the water against the pot so that it doesn’t drain away too quickly before it is absorbed…or drain down onto my light bar which is under the shelf.
I like large trays to hold multiple pots too. See those I picked up in the video? Got those large trays for $2 and that was a set of three! Great find.
And when you save all that money, that’s more money to spend on more plants…more shelves…more lights…I really need to somehow control myself.
Let me know in the comments either here or on the video what great finds you got at a Thrift Store or garage sale. I love getting more and more ideas that way.