How to Make a Garden Pot


The word gardening may make some people think of plants placed in the ground, but containers have a place in a garden as well. Containers grouped together on a porch or patio form their own garden, while a container placed in a plot of land may become a focal point in a formal garden. You can spend a lot of money purchasing containers for your garden, or you can make your own containers that resemble alpine troughs using a hand-mixed material known as hypertufa.

Step 1

Mix 1 part peat moss with 1 part cement and 1 part sand in a plastic mixing bucket. Add water until the hypertufa mixture is the consistency of cake batter. If you wish to dye your creation, add the dye to the mix at this point.

Step 2

Turn a terra cotta pot upside down over a piece of spread-out newspaper and cover it with a garbage bag. This will be the form of your new garden container. Smooth the bag over the terra cotta pot.

Step 3

Hand-pack the mixture onto the garbage bag, starting at the bottom of the form and working your way up.

Step 4

Cut and bend a piece of chicken wire to cover the outside of the new container. Place the chicken wire over the form and press it into the surface of the mixture. Apply another layer of the mixture over the chicken wire.

Step 5

Create a flat bottom for your new container with a trowel. Hollow out a drainage hole in the center of the flat bottom with a dowel rod or with your finger.

Step 6

Dampen the surface of the mixture with a misting bottle full of water. Cover the container with another plastic bag and allow it to dry and harden for 48 hours.

Step 7

Carefully remove the plastic and the terra cotta pot. Your hypertufa container will be most brittle at this stage.

Step 8

Brush the surface with a copper-wire brush to remove any raised lines and smooth out the surface.

Step 9

Allow the hypertufa container to cure for another 4 days before using.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Cement
  • Sand
  • Plastic bucket
  • Plastic stirring rod
  • Garden hose
  • Cement dye
  • Terra cotta pot
  • Newspaper
  • Garbage bags
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Trowel
  • Spray bottle
  • Copper wire bristled brush


  • Washington State University Extension: Hypertufa Pots and Troughs
  • Oregon State University: How to Make Hypertufa for Garden Containers and Accents
  • Washington State Universtiy Extension: Hypertufa

Who Can Help

  • Home Envy: Pot and Bothered - Anything I Can Do
Keywords: building hypertufa containers, mixing hypertufa, DIY garden pots

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."