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Making Hypertufa Planters: Answered

I live out of the country and finding bulk forms of perlite is next to impossible.   

Is there something I can use in the recipe besides perlite?? (Recipe calls for: pearlite, peat moss, cement and reinforcing fibers)?  I can find everything but perlite.



I live in Ecuador. Cant get peat moss or perlite/vermiculite. did some research: substitute compost (not fine but unfinished), papercrete, or sawdust. for the perlite you can use, clay aggregate, scoria, pumice, crushed lava rock, rice hulls or styrofoam. keep in mind that compost or anything but the rice hulls and styrofoam (?clay aggregate?) will be adding weight. I have bags of what passes for sawdust here. (kind of lumpy) and bags of rice hulls that i will be trying out. both are about $2 for the really large rice bags. I would think that coir might be easy to find in Thailand.

I have used paper soaked in water, made into a pulp then squeeze the excess water out. Use this instead of perlite. Works just as well, makes the end result alot more lightweight and a smoother surface.
You can use any paper you were going to throw away, but keep in mind that using a "shiny" or glossy paper takes a bit more to soak and mush up.

 i have the same problem.  here in thailand you can't get peat either.  and cement reinforcing fibers up here in the country are "mai me" - Not here.
it's been suggested that rice hulls will substitute for the peat.  plenty of that here.  but light weight filler, that he concrete can grab onto - which happens with the vermiculite, i'm still searching for something that will work.

Dried peas or beans perhaps?

I make those things and I dont use perlite,I use anything small about the same size that will decay over time,thats what you want in the end ,is little holes an imprefections running all through it.

Sawdust?  Bark chips?  Popcorn?  Crumbled Styrofoam? 

The perlite doesn't hold water, but the peat moss does, so you should only be limited by the texture you want in the final product.

Perlite is volcanic glass that has been heated and the pop up like popcorn.  They are used here just to take up space and make it lighter.  Here's a good article on it.

You can get it on the net.  I don't know what you could use as a substitute.

If you sub. sand for the perlite it should work but be much heavier.