Containers forum: Cloth and Cement

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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 2, 2014 9:40 PM CST
Saw this and thought it was neat.

Cement Cloth pots
Thumb of 2014-06-03/Cinta/7b3898

Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Jun 3, 2014 6:53 AM CST
Striking.
How permanent are they?
Have you made these ?
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 3, 2014 9:27 AM CST
I have not tried it, I thought it was a interesting idea.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 3, 2014 9:58 AM CST
Yeah, that pic was making the 'rounds on Facebook yesterday. I want to try it too! Looks/sounds like it has the potential to be one of the messiest things I've ever tried though. Wet concrete dripping off of fabric? Draped over what? Dripping onto what? What keeps it from being permanently stuck to whatever it's draped over? ...can I pick them up full of dirt and a plant?
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Jun 3, 2014 11:38 AM CST
good questions, Tiffany.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Jun 3, 2014 11:47 AM CST
To me it looks like black nursery pots were used. I wonder if the pots just stay with the cement/cloth and you plant in that?
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Jun 3, 2014 2:12 PM CST
Julia, I think you might be right. They might be the support for the cloth and the planting.
Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
Jun 3, 2014 6:30 PM CST
Cinta said:Saw this and thought it was neat.

Cement Cloth pots
Thumb of 2014-06-03/Cinta/7b3898



Whoa! I think this is an exceptional idea even I am tempted to try. I love the look of these pots. I have just the right shape of "form" I would like for my new clematis. Does it matter what is used as a stand to form the shape. I have a wood table-like thing, without a top, that my roommate found tossed in a dumpster down the street. He is planning to use the wood parts (all of it is in super condition) and I better stop him before he has it taken apart. Originally, I wanted to get screen door screen to cover the top, for my planted pots. It is high, but doesn't have a bottom shelf. Perfect, I think for tall plants in pots on the top, and plants that are tall and might need a bit of shade on the bottom.

So, I am not concerned about getting cement on the table itself, because he plans to paint over it anyway and bits of cement might add character. Because I have never done something like this, do I need to worry about the cloth/cement sticking to the wood and making it impossible to get the plant off the wood? Or do I put something on the wood before draping the cement soaked cloth over it, like maybe saran wrap, to make it easy/possible to remove the created pot.
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Jun 3, 2014 6:42 PM CST
I would think the black plastic pot, if it is included as the form by which the bottom of the soon-to-be-drape pot is formed, would not be sticking to whatever you drape it on given that the drape doesn't touch other spots to stick to. But I have not done this but would think the hidden black pot that could be included would be more beneficial than not... else, I wonder why the black pot would be pictured?... Shrug!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 3, 2014 7:22 PM CST

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Seems that using the nursery pots would also give strength to the thin layer of cement coated cloth. Hmmmm, very interesting
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
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CDsSister
Jun 3, 2014 7:55 PM CST

Cement Water? Cement Cloth? Is there a formula?
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 4, 2014 8:31 AM CST
Julia - eureka! I felt so 'duh' when I read what you wrote. No other word for it, but a huge, red, 72-pt. font DUH!

Ckat, excellent idea - 'find' something to drape over, re-use!

We're working on a fence, so have bags of quikrete around...

Keep chatting, I'm feeling almost ready! Smart crowd!
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Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
Jun 4, 2014 9:05 AM CST
I have been thinking about this all evening yesterday and thinking of all kinds of things I can drape over to achieve different shapes and different depths. Different textures as well. What I like most about this project is the looks of the cloth as it drapes/bends, and the different depths I can obtain using different shapes and different lengths of cloth, and I can paint the pots when they are dry to have more uniform colors in my yard, and it isn't that expensive, so I should be able to make a bunch of pots. Using cloths with different textures might be worth experimenting with.

I also like the idea that this is something I can have some success making without it causing me pain. I have been needing pots of different depths, but haven't been able to find them with the shapes I want. I really get tired of round planters. Planters that are long don't have enough depth and often are too narrow, like those used for window boxes. I had several long planters that were deep in my garden in Denver. I don't have enough planters because I've been looking to buy similar long planters that are deep and have not been able to find them anywhere.

Only negative is that payday is so far away before I can buy cement and paint. Two more weeks. But in the meantime, I can gather more stuff to drape over than just the plastic used pots I got from my neighbor and stuff around the house.

I hope others will do this and make recommendations of the cement water recipe. I had other questions as I thought about it last night, but forgot them.
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anonymous
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 4, 2014 10:02 AM CST
Totally right, the first step is to gather everything necessary. It's usually the easiest part of a project, but the step that holds me back so often. Why wait until you actually have the time to do the project to gather the materials? You shouldn't! When the timing and urge converge, it will much more likely get done if you've taken that step.

In the case of this project, selecting an old towel, or fugly sweater for the experimental first piece. Or, if you're more confident about going right into it, get that old tablecloth, grandma's chenille bedspread with a hole in it you feel compelled to keep, or whatever you might have - out of the closet. Practice draping it. Do the corners need to be trimmed off, or do you like the look of their points? Does it need to be trimmed for size? I'm thinking a bedspread could make at least 4 large-ish planters. If you don't find something you think is suitable, obviously you have to visit the thrift store and pop some tags before you can get started!

When you have the pieces of fabric/burlap/whatever ready, sit it next to/in the appropriately-sized nursery pot. Compile the cardboard, newspaper, whatever you'll use as a drip catch. I'm thinking I'll wear disposable gloves, so putting a pair of those with the other things would get me to a pretty ready state.

Need to find something to drape over. We happen to have fence posts up without the fence part installed yet. I think I could use those. Might have to surround pole with some 2x4's & a bungi cord to hold them up, to make it wide enough for a few hours, to keep the pots from tilting sideways when the wind blows. One could use just the boards if they don't happen to have an unfinished fence, but would probably have to pound them into the ground a little. Used to have a stump that would have been perfect but I rotted it under a pile of compost. A tomato cage might work, one way for a giant planter, the other way for a smaller one.

This seems like a really interesting way to repurpose such an item that's just been taking up closet space, and bring it back to being a useful, appreciated item. If we babble about it enough, somebody will do this this weekend! Weather permitting, I think we can here, I know I want to, and think we have all of this stuff... Except, I threw out all my fugly nursery pots, (after decades, the only way I could think of to STOP filling them with plants I then try to tend all summer - just put them in the ground for cryin' out loud - oh the irony!) but I should be able to grab some from Mom's house, or find curbside.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Jun 4, 2014 12:01 PM CST
Great suggestions, Tiffany, that should get somebody off their couch to start the project!!!
It's a novel idea (at least for me), to think of jumping into something when one is not ready...
Ok you daredevils out there...
Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
Jun 4, 2014 6:11 PM CST
Thanks to a friend, I will probably be getting some cement in the next couple/few days. Getting started this weekend looks like a real possibility.

So far, I only have plastic planters, plastic crates, a lot of plastic and bubble wrap - so I don't make a big mess with the cement. Can't find my disposable gloves, but still looking. (Apparently not in the right places.) One old towel.

I will go to my favorite thrift store on Friday. The owner always has sheets, throw blankets, and pillowcases.

I am also going to try using some sturdy cardboard boxes.

I plan to give some away as gifts, so I plan to make a lot, if I am successful. And even more next year for giving away all those extra tomato plants when I sow too many seeds trying to get a jump start on the growing season.
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anonymous
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jun 4, 2014 6:35 PM CST
>> And even more next year for giving away all those extra tomato plants when I sow too many seeds trying to get a jump start on the growing season.

If a 7" deep , 4 1/4" round pot is big enough for tomato starts, 2 liter plastic bottles make cheap, light pots.

Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
Herbs Dog Lover Bee Lover Vegetable Grower Garden Procrastinator
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ckatNM
Jun 4, 2014 6:49 PM CST
I have used 2 liter plastic bottles, juice bottles, and even water bottles with the tops cut off. They take up a lot of storage space because they don't stack well and they are smashed easily. And they are so lightweight that the wind easily blows them around. Even with soil and plants in them, they are knocked over. I could put rocks in the bottom, but I need my thick layer of rocks to keep the weeds at a manageable level.

I think the weight of these would allow me to stack them outside and not worry they will be blown all over the yard. We aren't allowed to have sheds, or anything that looks like a shed, but I hope to get the owner to change his mind about that so I can get a greenhouse. And I'd think I wouldn't have to store them in a container or plastic tub because, well, it won't matter that they get dirty.

I think it will add a nice touch to give away plants that are growing in a real container that can be re-used over and over. Using plastic bottles keeps them out of the landfills, but I don't care too much for them when giving them away. Although the plants in plastic bottles were very light weight enough to be easy to carry around the neighborhood when I was giving the last ones away.

But, I think I will definitely use some of the 2 liter soda bottles and juice bottles to drape over, now that you reminded me that I have a box of them to use.
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anonymous
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 4, 2014 8:31 PM CST
Those of you looking for paint for projects like this Lowes and Home depot have those little testers that are 1.25 - 2.00. You can get any color you like. Even one of those tester jars of paint you could paint 10 pots at least.

If you have a Big Lots in your area they have spray paint in a couple of colors for 2.00.

When I saw this it reminded me of the paper mache pots we use to make out of glue and flour.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 4, 2014 11:43 PM CST
>> so lightweight that the wind easily blows them around. Even with soil and plants in them, they are knocked over.

I agree. The 2 liter bottles are tall compared to their width and tippy if they aren't packed together in something like a box.

A concrete coating and a wider, flat base would make them much more stable.

I've thought about giving away seedlings in paper cups so they would HAVE to plant it out or pot it up before the cup falls apart. But that's kind of a mixed gift!

Giving them a good-looking pot is much kinder.

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