Faux Stone Troughs

Posted on May 1, 2023

Trying to figure out my landscaping. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by very little. Just a bunch of sagebrush … or really chamisa. I don’t really have to worry much about upkeep and maintenance. Though it is a little samey. So I have been trying to plant some trees and bushes. The trees have mainly failed. I do have one that is aware it is spring and is creating little leaves. The other three little trees seem dried up and ready to call it a short-short life.

Last year I planted some wild flowers. They did really well, though it was a little odd to have them just sprouting next to my porch. They just jumped out of the ground in an improvised slash in the gravel next to my house. This time around I am hoping to have them spring from a slightly more considered position. I am making planters. Notice I am not purchasing planters. Those suckers cost at least $600. I am making my own out of trash and a couple bags of Quickcrete.

I learned a couple things that probably should be shared. The first is that while I was using relatively solid planks to create the forms. For ease of disassembly of the interior form I used hot glue to hold the pieces together. I didn’t want to struggle with releasing the interior forms. I couldn’t use screws because there wasn’t access to unscrew them once the forms were in place. The hot glue worked pretty well but failed while hammering the sides of the form to release air bubbles and get the concrete to settle.

The second thing I learned was to accept a little cracking. I didn’t wan’t the concrete to set too solidly before I removed the forms. I may have been a bit premature, but getting the forms out was a bit of a priority. The concrete is still very fragile a few hours after initially setting it. Pulling out the mold did cause cracks to form. Though cracks would form to a slight degree, even without disturbing the form.

For the second planter, I did use some wire mesh to stabilize the concrete. It really hasn’t shown itself to be incredibly groundbreaking. We will see if it holds the little block together. I also probably shouldn’t have planted the troughs as soon as I did. The soil and seeds went in the next day.

Planter with soil and seeds

The next task is to create a little fountain. Creating this will take a bit more time. I want it to have a slightly more refined look. May have to use melamine board to give the concrete a nice smooth finish.

I may make a simple bucket version of a fountain first. Just to keep things easy. May also just use a solar water pump.

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