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Tuesday is scrubbing day


Now that most of the stuff is under the worktable again, I can finally get to the end of the garden that had been blocked off while reconstruction was in progress.

I’ve been scavenging small plastic “mesh” crates and polystyrene boxes wherever I happen to see them: the idea was to hypertufa them, as I’d read about, but since I started collecting I’ve only been able to find the two-cardboard-boxes method so I’ve no idea how to ‘tufa over a box or crate.

I’ve been thinking in terms of dwarf of mini plants, which these should be deep enough for; suppose I could always build up the sides a bit, once I find out how to do the basic “over” method.

Some of the “miniature” ones I’ve seen have been in plant saucers or trays a lot shallower than these, so these should be all right for dwarf plants. Besides, read that hypertufa is only slightly less heavy than stone, and if I want these troughs to be moveable, they’ll have to be small!

I was thinking of a “jigsaw” garden: several small troughs that I can move around in different layouts; each section could be properly planted, rather than have pots in it, but the arrangements could still be varied – if I had a couple more troughs than I had room for in one place, that’d increase the variations even more: take one out, put another in, move ‘em around, take one out, put another in … and the failure of one section won’t doom all of them.

I have a shopping trolley full of these crates, of two or three basic sizes; was surprised at how many I had tucked into the corner, and thought it was about time I cleaned them.

I also found three polystyrene boxes and thought they could do with a clean too, and a few other boxes and odd bits:

The other two polystyrene boxes are behind the blue stack. Still trying to figure a use for a small birdcage also behind the stack – doubt birds would be happy to go in there for squirrel-free feeding; there needs to be more than one way out to make it less trap-like.

Had a tub full of soapy water, no point in wasting it, even if it is dirty; it’ll get some of the dirt off the paving:

Couple of buckets of clean water makes a difference.

Once the crates are dry, will rinse ‘em with a watering can (unless rain does it for me), then probably re-stack ‘em in the corner until I can work out what to do with them.

ps: need to tweak the worktable a bit; the top should tilt very slightly to the back, so I can get the top wet without washing me feet at the same time!

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Hi Fran.
Well done on more work completed.
The idea of versatility is a good one ..
... having several ways to arrange the containers to fit a jig-saw design. :o)

28 Feb, 2012


shee, you're quick off the mark, TT!

small units also means I can quarantine one if need be without affecting the others - and a failure in one would be contained, i hope! to just that one.

*s* and I want a water feature, a tiny pond or something; that can have one all to itself: one of the Garden Expert books has tiny water lilies, about an inch across, and I've been wanting them ever since I read about them.

I have stacks of 'tufa websites on my favourites, need to search 'em out and see what they have on "tufa on" rather than "tufa between".

28 Feb, 2012


Yes, I think priority must be given to the final weight of any container you construct. And they'll be heavier when full of compost, and heavier still when wet !

Of course, you could fit wheels into their bases ! Lol.

28 Feb, 2012


Plant the birdcage up Fran, it will look grand, have you popped hypertufa in the search engine on here, if you do that it will take you to the members blogs, I know a few members have done their own, Bampy and Rogi have both done blogs on it and I think they gave good instructions..

28 Feb, 2012


The weight concern isn't just for me, TT - thse tables are rated to take loads of 300 kg - I'd like most of that weight to be plant, not planter!

One table is 4x2 foot, the others 90cm square: might be able to get six of the smaller crates on the larger table, which means about 50 kg each. lol I think I'll stick to a simpler scale: I've got to be able to lift it and carry it ten feet between tables! or at least be able to lift it on to a trolley and lift it off again, so even 50lb would be pushing it a bit.

I've done a 'tufa search in GoY, Lincs; I've found lots of pics and blogs from references on other pics and blogs - it's the "how-to" I need, and the "how-to ON" rather than the two-box method; I was very kindly sent a how-to for that, and I'd try it if I did'nt have all these crates on hand.

I did put a small ivy into the birdcage, but took it out again after a wile: it's got a pull-out tray and that mean that it was standing in a puddle of water all the time, not good for it. And the tray would probably rust through in time. Of course I could leave the tray out altogether and stand the pot on the bottom of the cage; can't remember how tight the wires are there, but should be enough support.

But my other thing is being able to report the plant when needed: maybe I could reach in, lift the pot, remove it and replace with larger, then fill in the gaps, wihtout disturbing the foliage too much. Or would I just leave it in the same size pot no matter what?

I did think of taking the bottom off so I could get at the pot with a bit of room to move, rather then keyhold planting through the doorway, but then it'd have to stand, it could'nt be hung, even if I had anywhere to hang it, which, at the moment, I don't.

lol I'm sure there's a very easy way to do it, but it just hasn't occurred to me yet!

ps - TT, could you put forward the idea of a Hypertufa section in GoyPedia, please?? it'd be handy to have all the eggs in one basket, so to speak - tufa the price of one?

28 Feb, 2012


Hi Fran, just a thought..could you not use a hanging basket liner for the bird cage & take the bottom tray out or nail some holes in the bottom tray..I would have to use it for plants..i thought ivy too with something else..maybe you could use a hanging basket bracket to hang it up..:o))

28 Feb, 2012


thanks, Joanella, that never occurred to me - I'll sort out my "one day" boxes out and see what I've got.

*s* hope to report results soon!

28 Feb, 2012


Last year I put a Fuchsia in my birdcage. It was a sensation on my stand at the Allotment Gardeners' Farmers Market. People were fascinated by the flowers poking out through the bars. Easy to water, no trouble at all.

29 Feb, 2012


wow, Diane, sounds interesting. I see you've not poated any pics, wouldl there be osme in a blog, and if so, which one??

29 Feb, 2012


well done Fran when you doing the same to mine :))))

1 Mar, 2012


lol Mark - I found some how-to 'tufa polystyrene boxes websites; I'll post some links when I've got them sorted.

In between times, I've been rearranging my bedroom: moved two wardrobes over the weekend, had to empty insides and tops, move 'em, put stuff back. Yesterday walked four boxes on my shopping trolley to the charity shop. Today I finally unearthed my craft table and moved it, and took a metal shelf unit apart to move the shelves better for my art and craft supplies. Tomorrow it's move the bed - which means taking out 24 storage boxes, finding somewhere to stack 'em out of the way, moving the two-tier cabin bed a yard along the wall, then putting the boxes back.

And I've been getting my walk-in cupboard shelved to be my library,w hich means I've got stacks of books all over the lounge, and half the bedroom stuffed with odds that had been in that cupboard - so it might take a bit longer to get to the foot of the bed so I can push it up the room!

The Age UK handyman is due tomorrow to do the last cupboard wall; once he's done taht, and cut the shelves to side, I can start sorting and shelving books - eventually! it's going to be "oh, I'd forgotten I had that!" (they've been boxed since 2008) and I'll probably have just a little dip in ...

Still, at least and at last, things are getting done, and I'm doing most of it myself, so if my back weren't so stiff I'd give it a pat!

1 Mar, 2012


ps, didn't occur to me till later that I might be being smug - it was a bit of a crow, but mainly in surprise that I'd actually done stuff after far too long of "I can't" - *s* trying to take the "t" off that!

I've found some GoY blogs, photos and convos on polystyrene hypertufa, I'll add those tot he "hypertufa list" I'm assembling - some of those have other links in that we found at the time.

2 Mar, 2012

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