Building a pallet garden

Malcolm watering the pallet garden after planting the top section on July 22.

On July 8, 2012, we started a pallet garden.

This is a great project if you have limited space for gardening, such as a balcony, or if you need a structure to build a raised bed garden from scratch. Pallets are widely available and satisfying to save from the landfill.

After planting our pallet garden, we left it lying horizontal for a couple of weeks to let the roots develop before standing it up against the wall.

Alternatively you could leave your pallet garden horizontal. The slats act somewhat like mulch, helping to hold in moisture and keep out weeds.

Thanks to the good folks of E-I-E-I-O Farm just up the Cornwall Road for the donations of bedding plants: Coleus, impatiens, marigold, parsley, oregano, etc.

Meredith Bell donated the landscape fabric and topsoil. Heather Holm researched, organized and sawed, and Jason Mailman helped with the building and the planting.

JULY 22 ADDENDUM: Two weeks later, thanks to David’s regular watering during the dry weather we’ve been having, the plants are all alive and roots are growing through the landscape fabric at the bottom.

We raised the pallet garden against the wall outside the Artisan Showcase.

Then Heather and Malcolm added soil to the top and planted peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce transplants from LaHave Forests, plus some parsley, oregano and chives we still had around.

Now we’re curious to see how the plants will respond to the new angle. Watch for updates.


Building a pallet garden — 3 Comments

  1. I like the idea and I will try, though the use of landscape fabric is contradiction to my studies of permaculture, as it will become waste.

    • Your point is completely valid. The best use of a pallet garden like this is on a balcony or very small urban backyard. We just did it as a demonstration, and we were pleased with the visual result. I suppose one could use burlap instead of landscape fabric, though it would rot in a season or two. Old feedbags might last a bit longer if not exposed to sunlight. Or you could fill in the back with wood from another pallet.