Hypertufa Recipe: What Is It?
The term “hypertuff” is used to refer to a type of soil made from decomposed plant matter such as wood chips or leaves. These materials are mixed with composted animal manure, which contains beneficial bacteria and fungi that help break down organic material into nutrients for plants. When these ingredients are combined they form a rich, fertile soil that helps support healthy plants and animals.
There are many different types of soils, but all contain similar components. They’re all made up of the same basic ingredients, such as sand, clay and rocks.
But there’s a big difference between them: some types of soil have been treated to improve their properties while others haven’t. Some are highly aerated; others aren’t. Others are compacted during cultivation; others aren’t.
When it comes to gardening, you want your soil to perform at its best. Soil treatment is one of the most important factors when selecting a good garden mix.
Some types of soil are better suited for certain kinds of crops than others. For example, if you grow tomatoes, then you probably don’t need very much water and high levels of nitrogen fertilizer in your soil because tomato plants thrive well in sandy soils.
But if you’re growing watermelons, you need soil that is high in organic matter and phosphates.
Just remember: when it comes to soil, the right type of mix can make all the difference when it comes to healthy plants.
That’s why we created this helpful guide where you can learn everything you need to know about creating your own soil mixtures.
So how can you get the right mix of ingredients for your soil? Where should you start? What kind of ingredients should you use? And what type of soil does your garden need?
We’ll answer all these questions and more in this helpful guide. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy!
What Is Soil?
Most of us tend to take soil for granted. We assume that it’s just a naturally occurring substance that occurs when we have rocks underground, but the composition of soil is much more complex than that. Soil has a lot of organic and inorganic compounds within its makeup. This can include living and non-living things, such as animal dung, decayed plants or even crystalized minerals.
There are many different types of soil and they all have different properties. For example, some soils can be used to grow crops, while others can only sustain plant life during certain times of the year.
Still others can’t support life at all, but can be used for other purposes like construction.
Of course, not all soil types are suitable for construction. In fact, most soils are either too loose or too dense for buildings.
It’s also rare to find soil that has all the minerals you need to build with. If you could, it would make construction a lot easier and cheaper since you wouldn’t have to import extra materials to make concrete or reinforced steel.
That being said, most soils contain a mixture of different minerals that are combined in varying quantities. Depending on the location and surrounding landscape, one region can have soil that is better than another for building.
The problem is getting the soil in the first place. Many areas, especially urban ones, don’t have the space to acquire the amount of soil needed for construction. Even if you could acquire the soil, it would be at great cost and inconvenience since you’d need to find a way to transport it to your building site.
This is why finding a good source for dirt is one of the most important components of any construction project. If you’re going to go through all the trouble of building something, you might as well build it right and use good materials so that it looks nice and lasts for many years to come.
Now that you know a little bit about soil in general, let’s talk about the different types of soil and what makes them different from one another.
Clay is a type of soil that has a very low water absorption rate. In other words, it doesn’t take in water very well.
It’s also very dense and hard when dry, but brittle and easily crushed when wet.
This type of soil is usually yellow, gray or brown in color and is common in areas that have experienced a great deal of erosion. This includes mountains, foothills, valleys or any other place where the land is prone to losing its protective layers of rock and stone.
Clay soil is typically poor in nutrients, but if it does contain any nutrients at all, they’re usually in very low quantities. Even if the soil contains nutrients, they’re not easily accessible to plants that grow in the soil since the clay makes them unavailable to living things.
If you do decide to grow plants in clay soil, you’ll need to add more fertilizer than usual to help the plants get the nourishment they need to grow.
Sandy soil is just the opposite of clay soil. It has a very high water absorption rate and does not contain much in the way of nutrients.
It’s usually found in coastal areas or deserts since these are places where there’s a lot of exposure to wind and very little rainfall. Over time, the wind carries away bits and pieces of rock, exposing the bare minerals that lay underneath. Since these minerals are very vulnerable to weathering, they soon break down and become sand. Winds then carry the sand inland where it accumulates.
Sandy soil drains easily and is excellent for plants that like dry conditions, but it doesn’t do much for plants that need a lot of moisture or those that require fertilizer to nourish them. If you were to grow anything in this type of soil, you’d have to add extra compost to the area to help the growth process.
Sandy soil doesn’t provide very good support for building foundations or other types of construction that requires something strong like clay. That’s why you see a lot of buildings in desert areas built on concrete blocks that are raised off the ground.
The spaces in between the blocks allow for air to flow through and underneath, which prevents the ground from becoming so hot that it would damage the foundation. Raising the building also makes it less susceptible to flash flooding from sudden thunderstorms that area common in desert regions.
Sandy soil may not be good at supporting structure, but it is good for digging and throwing. If you ever find yourself in a fight with someone in an area containing this type of soil, grab a handful and throw it in their eyes.
This should give you enough time to make your escape.
If you want to get really creative, you could fill a bucket with sand and toss it on a fire to make smoke signals. However, I don’t recommend this if you’re anywhere near the ocean since the moisture in the sand could make it clump up and clog your signal device.
Silty soil is somewhere between clay and sand. It has more nutrients and minerals in it than sand, but not as many as clay.
It’s also easy to work with and is not as quick to erode as sand or harden like clay. However, this also means it doesn’t drain well and plants have a hard time growing in it unless extra compost is added. Silty soil does have its good points, though. Since it’s lighter than clay but contains more nutrients than sand, it’s often used to make bricks and other building materials.
Clay soil is just what it sounds like: soil that is heavy and sticky due to its high content of clay and clay-like minerals. It doesn’t drain well at all and takes much water for plants to grow in it.
It also requires a lot of fertilizer to make up for what the soil lacks. However, due to its high water retention and making abilities, it’s the only type of soil that is recommended for making bricks and pottery.
Most bricks that are used for building structures such as houses or walls contain a mixture of sand and clay. This helps prevent them from becoming too heavy while also making them durable enough to withstand strong winds and rains.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to build an emergency shelter but lack the proper tools, remember that you can use bricks as building blocks instead. All you really need to do is find enough flat pieces of wood to act as the frame and tie the bricks together.
Clay soil is also the only soil where you are likely to find significant amounts of gold, silver, copper, and other rare metals used for making jewelry and electronics. If you were ever to stumble upon a rich deposit of any of these while mining, you could potentially become filthy stinking rich if you played your cards right, that is.
Of course, if you weren’t so lucky, you could end up dead or enslaved.
As for me, I’ve always been too scared to look for myself. I’m more interested in finding food and water than any potential riches that may or may not lie beneath my feet.
If I ever have the means and opportunity to move away from the city, I would only do so to a location that has a consistent water supply. I’ve already seen what can happen when a city’s water supply is threatened. I’m still angered by the fact that nobody thought to conserve water or recycle waste water after the quake. It was only several months later when people started dying and fighting over what little resources remained that everyone woke up.
Of course it was all too late by then. So no, I wouldn’t seek riches.
I’d seek out the means to survive regardless of the situation or the cost. If that means slavery, then I’ll take the punishment and try to survive another day.
I think I’m going to start trying to grow small patches of crops in some of these abandoned buildings. If there are ever any survivors from the city, I’d like to have something to trade with if possible.
That’s assuming the mutants don’t get it first.
Sources & references used in this article:
Developing a horticulture therapy garden for vocational training in Taiwan by SC Shieh, C Pollard, MC Palada – XXVII International Horticultural …, 2006 – actahort.org
Hypertufa in the garden by D Goodwin – Warm Earth, 2011 – search.informit.com.au
Container and Raised-Bed Gardening by AX Niemiera – 2018 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu