Before I begin, I must say two things: first, because it is the law when writing about things like this on a blog, I do not/did not receive any compensation from the manufacturer of this product. Second, I would really and truly (and gladly) accept compensation, should the very nice people of the Sakrete© companies offer it; baby needs a new pair of shoes, you know. Ok, with that business out of the way, here is the product: ShapeCrete©, made by the Sakrete© company in partnership with a gentleman named Cheng (no, not the bonsai Cheng). Take a look at the website ShapeCrete.com
It says on the container that it plays like clay but works like concrete (it still comes in powder form though). Reason being is that to have the properties (strength, rigidity, hardness) of concrete, there is a chemical reaction that takes place between the cement and plain old water that causes it to cure as a solid.
So, we begin with a powder.
You’ll see some gloves today. Concrete is terribly rough on ones hands.
It seems to desiccate the skin and is terribly abrasive. And makes the hands rough and uncomfortable to the ladies. One definitely doesn’t want that now, does one?
For the he first pot, I’ll be using a colander as a mold.
The next step is to cover the pot with plastic. This will trap the moisture in and allow the concrete to cure more completely.
I got red and black today. At the box store they also had tan, which I regret not getting. Another day.
This time I’m using a plastic training pot as the mold.
I had some leftover concrete so I made a freeform pot.
I wrap them all up in plastic and then cover with a tub.
Now I have a mess to clean up.
TWENTY FOUR HOURS LATER…..
Lesson one: concrete squirts out of holes. Like when you vomit and cover your mouth, it squeezes out between your fingers. And when it cures, it’s very difficult to remove from your mold. Very much like vomit.
Let’s see how it looks.
Not too bad. I could have made the walls thinner though. Next time.
The next step (which is not part of the official instructions by the way) is to submerge the pots in water for at least thirty days. This will ensure full cure and strength, but it will also (very importantly for plants!) leach away the excess lime that is in concrete. Lime will affect the soil ph by making it more alkaline.
I can hear the peanut gallery saying “A more alkaline soil is best for flowering plants!”
It is, but we tend to adjust it a little more scientifically by testing the ph and adding the proper amount of dolomite to the soil.
Anywho, more pots?!
This time I’m building the pots on the outside as well as the inside.
Oh, and another technique too. See the one in the back that looks like fudge wrapped in wax paper?
Put down a piece of plastic or some other waterproof fabric of your choice.
Plop down some concrete and roll it out. Maybe about 1/4″ thick.
It’s like chocolate! Like sexual chocolate. SEXUAL CHOCOLATE! If you don’t know what that is, go Here. You won’t regret it.
I had one failure with this batch.
This one came out cool though.
And this one.
I used my angle grinder with this wheel.