If typical gardening hasn’t been bringing out your green thumb, it’s time to try something different. Instead of the typical horizontal digging and planting, take that unsightly pallet and turn it into a lush, stunning pallet garden for your flowers, succulents, or even organic food. If you need a guide on how to go about pallet gardening, read on!

pallet garden

Photo via Pixabay

First, get your pallet

You can obtain pallets from a number of places, from stores that specialize in wood products to home improvement shops. Pallets usually aren’t pricey, and if you check local listings you may even be able to find one for free, such as from gardening shops.

However, before you start anything, you’ll want to check to see how your pallet was treated. If you see an “HT” then feel free to use it to grow food, as this means it has been heat-treated as opposed to chemically treated. If a pallet has been chemically treated, it’s best to leave it and find another, as you do not want the chemicals negatively affecting the growth of your plants. If your pallet is recycled as opposed to new, be sure to wash it down to remove any debris that could potentially inhibit the growth of your new garden. If you want a vertical garden, consider a smaller pallet in opposition to a larger pallet for a horizontal garden.

vertical pallet garden

Photo by Foodlander via Flickr

Second, choose your plants for the pallet garden

While these may seem easy, keep in mind that pallets pose a very specific type of space that not all plants will benefit from. The size and shape of your pallet will dictate what kind of garden you can create, however there are general rules to follow.

Avoid plants that need large amounts of space to grow such as large vegetables, plants with vines, and plants with stalks. Stick with the simple and easy – succulents, herbs, and plenty of flowers are all great choices. If your pallet has been heat treated, try a nice mix of organic edible flowers and herbs to take your cooking to the next level!

pallet garden with flowers

Photo Various Brennemans via Flickr

Third, start the planting process

Once you’ve gotten your pallet and picked out what plants you’re hoping to grow, make sure you also have the following materials:

  • potting soil
  • gardening gloves
  • a small gardening shovel
  • sand paper
  • landscaping fabric
  • a staple gun
  • the plants you have chosen
  • your pallet, of course
  • paint, if you wish to decorate
pallet garden

Photo by Tutto Giardinaggio via Flickr

Then you can begin your pallet garden with the following steps:

  1. Take your cleaned or new pallet and sand it down if need be, to remove and rough edges and lower the potential for splinters.
  2. If you wish to paint the pallet to match your decor, now is the time to do so. A fun idea is to use chalkboard paint so you can later write the name of the various plants according to their spaces in the pallet.
  3. Turn the pallet upside down and lay flat. Begin stapling the landscaping fabric on the back. If one layer seems too thin to keep in the soil, try doubling the fabric.
  4. At this point you want to decide if you want your pallet to be vertical or horizontal. If you decide to make it vertical, you’ll need to close off what is now the bottom with additional landscaping fabric to make sure no soil escapes. If you choose to keep it horizontal this step is not necessary, as long as the garden will remain stationary.

    vertical pallet garden

    Photo Ellin Beltz via Wikimedia Commons

  5. This step is optional, but you can consider making compartments in your pallet with the landscaping fabric if you choose to keep it vertical. Simply staple the fabric in conjunction to each wood section to hold the soil inside. This option saves soil and can make things look neater.
  6. Next, you’ll fill your pallet with soil and begin planting. Take your time and be patient, and you’ll be done in no time.
  7. To ensure your plants grow their best, you may want to leave it horizontal for the initial growth, and then switch to vertical.

And that’s it! In 7 simple steps you now have a gorgeous, unique pallet garden!

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