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Soil Cement Bird Bath

A Garden Art DIY Tutorial

Those that know me will recognize the addiction I have to Hypertufa, a mix of Perlite, Portland Cement and Peat Moss. 

Soil Cement Bird Bath

One of the characteristics of hypertufa is that it's porous once it's dry - but what happens when you want it to hold water? 

I use a similar mixture, except instead of the peat moss, I use some of my soil which is extremely silty and sandy. 

Please note; this is sub soil, not garden soil with lots of organic matter in it. 

This takes the place of the organic matter (peat moss), and creates a waterproof finished product - just what you need for a bird bath.

Using a plastic bowl to mold the inside of the birdbath

Some things to keep in mind; the placement of any bird bath should be near some twiggy shrubs or small trees, for the birds to assess the bird bath before they visit, and to perch for the rest of their grooming and preening. 

It also needs to be away from anything that could be used for cats to sneak up on the frantically bathing birds. 

The finished bowl of the bird bath

I was recently asked for instructions for some different ways to make a pedestal to put the birdbath on.

My first thought on how to do this pedestal was to use a piece of pvc plumbing pipe, which I just happen to have available. 

The pipe can be put into a plastic bag, and then the hypertufa mix or soil cement mix can be slathered over the pipe and the bag used to mold the mix into the required rough shape. 

Placing the bird bath is important - so birds are safe from predators

Or, if you're like me and impatient, use a big clay or pottery pot - no fuss, no muss.

And the other side - complete with wrinkles

Other thoughts about this; using soil cement is a different kind of mix.  It tends to slump off, rather than stick in place the way hypertufa does. 

For this reason, I might use soil cement to make several blocks or tubes, using plastic nursery pots as molds, one gallon size.  Then the tubes would be stacked with a piece of rebar holding them in place, and the bird bath placed on top of it.

Soil  cement bird bath in place, complete with marbles for decoration

Oh brother, make a decision and stick to it; the big pot is the final solution and it looks great!  Sometimes, simple is best. 

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