Get your hypertufa pot ready for planting?
Once you have waited for your hypertufa pot to cure, (and it seems to take forever when you are waiting), then you have to wait for the alkalinity to be leached from the pot. More waiting? I am too impatient for that!
How about we speed up the process? I will tell you how I do it and show you how.
(This is an update to an old post from the past. I wanted to show you how well the plants behaved even when we speed up the leaching process. My opinion is that you don’t have to wait for such long periods of time to plant your hypertufa pots. In my case, this was a large landscape hypertufa planter, and I will show you how well the plants did.)
“Leaching means: ”
1. to dissolve out soluble constituents from (ashes, soil, etc.) by percolation.
2. to cause (water or other liquid) to percolate through something
Due to the alkalinity of Portland cement, it is necessary to leach your new pot to make an environment acceptable for your plants . Most gardeners feel that the planter needs to be “neutralized” for your plants to grow their best.
Many hypertufa makers feel that leaching your new hypertufa pot needs to be done over a prolonged period of time, such as a few months or even over the winter. I don’t feel this is necessary
…..and I have never had a plant give me problems relating to alkalinity.
In fact, many plants prefer a slightly alkaline environment!
Yes, that is true. Check out this list of some of those plants.
- Woolley Thyme
- Sweet William
- Pasque Flower
- Hens and chicks…yep!
- Pinks and Alpine Pinks (dianthus)
- Dwarf Baby’s Breath
I advise leaching your hypertufa pots by: Hosing down 3-4 times a day for about 5 days, while intermittently misting with a weak dilution of vinegar and water and rinsing with a garden hose.
For smaller pieces, you can immerse them underwater in a tub, draining & refilling 3 to 4 times over a week long period. Use a mild solution of vinegar in that soak, and use an amount of vinegar in whatever size tub you are using to get a mild vinegar dilution.
Here’s a short video of the process where I just fill and dump.
Do you have any solutions for leaching? Have you had any experience which makes you think that it cannot be done quickly as opposed to waiting all season?
Here is that large hypertufa planter I made. It was leached and planted quickly. Do you see any problems with how these plants grew? It was first planted in June/July and these photos go to Oct/Nov when I covered them with netting to protect them from squirrels and chipmunks. They grew like gangbusters! I think they did awesome! Watch!
Let me know if this quick leaching has worked for you. I am just too impatient and I want to get things planted up and on to the next design. What about you? Do you have any experience where you felt that your pot’s alkalinity caused a problem?
Now go make some hypertufa planters!