Sliced watermelon - the hypertufa gardener

Hypertufa Hack – #3 Love Coffee ? You Have To See This!

Time for a few helpful tips and ideas from me.  Are you spending the day in your garden? That is what would be a super fun day for me. Looks like rain is slacking off here in Ohio, so we may get a little sunshine.  I have a lot of weeding to get done.  Those rainy days sure let the weeds get the upper hand. I don’t have too much trouble though since I have the gravel in the beds as I wrote about in this post. It is weed pulling and deadheading that I need to work on mostly. But I may squeeze in a new hypertufa.


Saving Your Pelargoniums

Maybe you have some pelargoniums which aren’t the hardy type and won’t last over the winter outside.  These pictured are my Martha Washington Geraniums ( which are really pelargoniums.) Here in Ohio, my pelargoniums will not survive. But you can plan to save those over the winter, and won’t have to buy new ones next spring.   And it is really easy!

Just remove the plant from its pot or spot in the garden, shake off the excess soil and put it in a paper sack. Close the top and you are finished! Just store it in the basement during the winter season. In spring, it will be really dried out, but may still have a few green shoots. Pot it up and put outside! It will spring to life in a while and you have your plant back. Easy peasy!

I am using my Amazon affiliates links in this post. If you should purchase through my links, I may earn a commission. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Old Tree Stumps

 Since I have had this problem caused by a tree removal, I thought I would put this in for information.  When you have a tree removed and the stump ground out, be sure and remove as much of the bark, and grindings and sawdust as you can. This is especially important if you are planning to replant the area with plants or grass.

Hints and tips - Nitrogen for rotting tree stumps

If you leave the decaying pieces in the soil, it will of course decay. Microbes in the soil which feed on decaying matter will attack and begin to decompose the wood. This pulls a lot of nitrogen out of the surrounding soil, using it all up and not leaving any for the things you want to grow here.

You can help by feeding the area with light doses of nitrogen to help the area recover. Use bone meal or blood meal or maybe fish emulsion. Don’t over do it. A little goes a long way.

Pre-measured Hypertufa Ingredients

With the temperatures so hot and humid, it a great reason to save time as you make more hypertufa containers .  They can age and weather outside after they have cured. These will be all ready to plant in a few weeks. Or you can use my express method from this post.

Hypertufa Hack - Coffee containers to store your mix

I think there is a way to make the job simpler. When you get that huge and heavy bag of Portland cement home from the store, you may want to divide it up into manageable gallon(ish) containers. Save up your coffee containers, or even plastic ice cream buckets, or any disposable sealed container you find.

These can be used over and over to hold  one gallon portions of Portland cement. It makes it easier to manage when you want to mix up a batch of hypertufa. Try it!

I drink so much coffee that this is simple for me.  My favorite is [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LWSGCW0″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”thehypegard0d-20″ cloak=”n” localize=”n” popups=”y”]Maxwell House[/easyazon_link] ( for blue) and [easyazon_link identifier=”B010ULFWOM” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”thehypegard0d-20″ cloak=”n” localize=”n” popups=”y”]Folger’s [/easyazon_link]( for red). Get some

[easyazon_link identifier=”B010ULFNW8″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”thehypegard0d-20″ cloak=”n” localize=”n” popups=”y”] decaffienated [/easyazon_link]

for a green one. Yeah, I have completely gone over the edge.

You can pack it all color-coded for all the ingredients if you are that organized. It seals them up still, but don’t store in a damp environment.

As an alternative, portion out the perlite and even pre-screen the peat moss and pack it in zipper-type bags. I have used some large 2 gallon zipper bags successfully. And I have used them over and over.  But the coffee cannisters are the most convenient.

I am never that organized in other aspects of my life!

Go Have A Picnic – Even If It Is Just Watermelon in The BackYard

And finally, go out and celebrate summer. Have a picnic or get together with family. And yes, I did cut my watermelon with that weird giant slicer thing ! It works WONDERFULLY!  Creates wonderful slices so easily and it makes such a pretty presentation. Hey, it’s all in the presentation, right?

watermelon sliced

My slicer is  a pretty purple one that I bought it a few years ago. It slices melons easily. Don’t you think the Watermelon Bloom looks just picture perfect? Just put it in the dishwasher when you’re finished! It has a cover to protect you from the sharp edges.

Now let’s eat. I was  raised a country girl. Just grab a big slice and sit out back in the yard with the family gathered around. No, don’t pick up that salt shaker!  You hear!

Watermelon Slicer for Hints and Tips

Enjoy these beautiful summer days!


  1. Joyce Stemler says:

    Hi, Kim: Your explanation of total removal of tree stump debris also explains why NO ONE should ever use wood chips on growing things. They are great on paths and playgrounds, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.