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How to make different types of concrete mixtures

Planning to make planters, landscaping stones, rocks, sculptures? Here are a few simple concrete recipes to try.

Hypertufa is one popular mix used for lighter weight planters. It involves adding peat moss to the concrete. It does eliminate weight and give the planter or object a woody look, but the overall structure is weaker than some of the other types of mixes.

Recipes for hypertufa include:

Hypertufa Recipe 1
One part cement
One part perlite or vermiculite
One part peat moss

When using peat moss, sift out the larger particles for a stronger mix

Hypertufa Recipe 2
One part cement
One part sand
One part peat moss

When using sand, #20 builders sand is best, but playground sand is acceptable. Sift out the largest pebbles for a smoother surface.

For landscaping stones, a stronger recipe is required and eliminates the peat moss.

1 part cement
1 part sand
A handful of fibermesh

For fluffy fibermesh, purchase a low-priced fiberglass air conditioning filter. Remove the cardboard and shred the mesh. Wear gloves.

For artificial rocks this recipe will work:

2 parts cement
2 parts sand
1 part perlite
Two handfuls of fibermesh

For a sculpture, try this recipe:

3 parts cement
3 parts sand
1 ½ parts Perlite
2 handfulls fibermesh
1 length rebar

Approximately 4 quarts of water will be needed for this recipe.

Note: embed the rebar halfway through the pouring process for exceptional strength.\

General notes:

When working with concrete, always use a dust mask and rubber gloves. Cement dust is harmful to the lungs and the wet mix will eat through your skin.

Concrete should be poured within an temperature range of 50 degrees and 75 degrees.

Always mix the dry ingredients first. Then begin adding water to the mix slowly until the consistency is like a thick mud. If the mix is too dry or too wet, stability is compromised.

Initial curing times will vary depending on temperature, humidity, and thickness of the piece.

Always keep the concrete piece covered in plastic for the first two days to begin the curing process. After that, mist once a day for approximately one week. Allow three or four weeks after the misting period to sit and finish curing. At this point, the piece can be painted and sprayed with a concrete sealer.

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