If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen a pallet garden before. A pallet garden is exactly what it sounds like: a garden growing out of a shipping pallet. I’ve been wanting to make a pallet garden for a year now, but the only thing stopping me was my inability to procure a pallet. These things are surprisingly hard to come by, especially when you’re looking for one! Last year I asked people at several hardware and grocery stores, but no one was willing to part with their precious pallets.
About a month ago, I went to Lowe’s to buy my herbs, intending to plant them in traditional planters, having given up hope of ever procuring a pallet. I asked one of the associates in the garden department if they happened to have pallets, fully expecting to her to look at me like I had 3 heads and tell me no, as usual. To my surprise (and delight!) she gave me 2 free pallets! So if you’re having similar issues finding pallets, try asking the nice people at Lowe’s.
In addition to a pallet, you’ll need the following:
- A LOT of potting soil. I used four (4) 17-qt bags of Miracle-Gro Expand n’ Grow.
- landscape fabric or plywood cut to fit the back of the pallet. I used the plywood, but I recommend the fabric if you plan to turn your pallet upright instead of keeping it flat on the ground.
- heavy duty staples and staple gun
- herbs and/or flowers. Each section of the pallet fit 4 small pots of herbs, so you’ll need quite a few plants to fill up the whole thing. If you’re buying herbs that grow and spread easily, like cilantro, mint, and basil, you could probably get away with just 2 small plants in each section.
To make the garden:
1) Attach the landscaping fabric or plywood to the back and sides of the pallet with the staple gun. This tutorial has great step-by-step instructions for attaching the fabric. If you plant to leave your pallet garden flat on the ground, you only need to attach the fabric or wood to the back.
2) If you plan to leave the pallet flat, choose its permanent location and begin working there, as the pallet will be difficult to move once it’s filled with dirt and plants. If you plan to flip it upright, work in an area where it would be easy to transition the pallet from the ground to against a wall.
3) Flip the pallet over, and fill it halfway with dirt. Water the dirt a little bit before you start planting.
4) Plant each herb or flower in the desired slot. Cover with more dirt, and pack in the plants until they are firmly secured. Water the entire pallet again.
4) Even if you plan to turn your pallet upright, leave it flat on the ground for at least a few weeks to allow the plants to develop roots and acclimate to the soil.
5) Make sure to water your pallet every day!
My pallet herb garden has worked out pretty well so far. All of my herbs are in one place, but the dividing boards prevent one herb from completely taking over the whole garden. I planted the herbs I use most often, so I no longer have to go to the grocery store to buy a tiny plastic packet of herbs, only to use 1 sprig while the rest goes bad in my fridge.
Have you started your herb garden this year?