How to make a succulent patio bowl out of concrete.

Hey Everyone!

As the days become closer to the delivery of our second lil one, I am turning into a crazynestingover -the-toptryingtogetthingsdonewhilewithatoddler lady. Yes I am turning batty and my husband can definitely attest to that. Although I wish for more sympathy, I really know that I am over the top right now that it's hard to justify. hah!

So on May-Long, my whole family and I had the entire long weekend off. That rarely happens. Even my Mom who works shift work! SO I got lots of help with painting things for the baby's room but that is for a very special post:) Anyhoo, I was perusing the flyers we receive in the mail (which I don't know why because I never read them usually) and I came across a patio bowl of succulents at Superstore for $19.99. I loved the look but I thought that the price was outrageous for a plastic bowl with maybe 3 plant buds in it.  Luckily, if there is anything that my husband is into, it's gardening and concrete. Yes I mention concrete because it is showing up in this post! So here is what we did to make our own creation of the superstore patio bowl for the price of FREE!

First we used an old plastic planter from last year and a tupperware with a long lost lid. As you can see from the photos, he used a piece of plywood and stapled down the planter, tupperware and side pieces of wood to hold it in place when the liquid concrete is being poured in.

SO next the hubby used a 5 gallon pail to mix the concrete. He added some concrete fibres that add extra strength so that the actual pot itself doesn't crumble over time. You can pick those up at a specialty concrete store in Edmonton called CONSPEC. So basically, he mixed and added concrete until he had the consistency he wanted. (kinda like really runny jello. Quikcrete is the concrete bags we always have  lying around the garage) Next he poured it into the mold and I had to hold on to the sides just so the initial weight didn't make it squish everywhere.  Believe me, there was still lots of squishing. We actually had to pour it back in and re-start. I recommend going slowly with this step. He then troweled the bottom so that it was nice and flat for when it sits on the patio or table. We put some weight on it to keep the mold in place and then waited for it to set up over night. It was about 12 hours. The last pic in this collage shows it after the mold was removed. still kind of wet so the hubby was able to trowel it even smoother. We waited until it had set up which was basically another 6-8 hours.

This is the concrete pot after it was set up. As you can see the tupperware was still in there. We popped that out afterwards and then began filling with the necessary beauties required to make a succulent garden pot.

The one thing that we have learned over the years while growing succulents, is that the soil has to have extremely good drainage. We always mix half sand, and half soil with some gravel. Its the best solution we have found. Next we went around the yard and picked some of our favourite succulents to make our plant pot full and luscious.  Even Ruby helped out! Just make sure you are kind to them while laying them in the dirt. They adjust to the soil quickly so be gentle to the roots.

There you have it! The beauty that it our concrete planter and it was FREE! We are going to make a few more in a few different shapes because we are so in love with how this one turned out! I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial project!