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Grow. Eat. Repeat: DIY Pallet Gardens

Joanie.Demer

In this busy world, many people say they’d like to grow a home garden but can’t find the space, time or cash. Plus, gardening can seem like a bit of a mysterious alchemist’s formula: knowing when to plant, mixing the right kind of soils and fertilizers, and understanding what grows best where you live.

Consider for a moment the functional world of pallet gardening! Pallet gardening is a simple way to create a vegetable or flower garden that fits your lifestyle, budget, and personal space. That’s because you decide the size of your low-maintenance garden.

You Need:

  • Landscape ground cover (enough to wrap all around your pallets)
  • Pallets
  • Gardening soil (enough to fill your pallets)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Vegetable, herb and flower seeds or starts
  • Scissors

Tips:

  • Find pallet at supermarkets, box stores and home centers. There’s no need to go dumpster diving, since pallets are usually neatly stacked behind larger retail establishments. Ask before you load up. The answer is usually ‘Yes!’
  • Inspect the pallets. Look for boards in good condition, no sharp nails, no rotting, no splintering sides. For vegetables you’ll want heat-treated rather than chemically-treated pallets.
  • Expect to set up a pallet in one afternoon and still have time for other projects. Uniform rows are built in and you won‘t have to spend much time weeding. Pallets are also easy to move.
  • Pallet gardens are perfect for condos or homes with small yards. Just scoot the pallet against a wall and fill it with soil and plants.

How To:

  • Unroll ground cover and lay the pallet on top. Cut the ground cover leaving about 8 inches around the exterior of the pallet.
  • Fold up and tuck the ground cover and use the staple gun to secure it to one side. Repeat on remaining three sides. Make sure it is securely stapled so the soil won’t leach out when you water.
  • Position your pallets. Allow at least one foot along each side of the pallet so you have room to work.
  • Add your soil to the inside of the pallet, filling completely to the top. The soil will settle once watered.
  • Plant seeds or starts according to planting instructions. Tip: If you need a wider row for larger vegetables like squash, remove a plank.
  • Use a marker to identify the plants in each row and when you planted.
  • Water. A soaker or misting hose is ideal for new seedlings.

This has been a guest post by Deborah from San Diego, CA.
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