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How To Create A Pallet Garden

Updated on January 20, 2015

A Pallet Garden

One creative use of a wooden pallet is in the garden. They can be used to set small plants between the slats, that will grow and fill the pallet with lush greenery and attractive blooms. There are some things to consider when using a wooden pallet in the garden before you rush out and grab some and plant your tender, young seedlings inside.


What Is A Pallet?

A lot of pallets are made of softwood and are meant to be thrown away after being used. They are generally made with three stringers with the thin deck boards attached on top with nails, and spacing in between the boards. These wooden pallets are meant to be used by forklifts to move heavy items and can be stacked. They aren't made of quality wood, but they have gained an appeal to people ready to use them to make all sorts of creative items. You can often find wooden pallets for free from businesses looking to get rid of them. Wooden pallets usually last about four to five years before they deteriorate.


Make Sure Pallets Are Safe

Some pallets are heat treated and can be used with vegetation that would be used for human consumption. However, there are some pallets that are not meant to be used where food will be grown and these pallets should be avoided in the garden. These pallets are treated by being sprayed with a chemical called methyl-bromide. In some countries, the use of these pallets has been banned due to health issues formed by people who have handled them.

The way to find out, if your newly acquired pallet is usable and safe, is as easy as using your eyes. The pallet will have an IPPC code stamped in the wood, usually on the side of one of the stringers. Some pallets might not have anything stamped on them and it would be advisable to pass this one up and look for one that you know for certain is not dangerous. There are several things on the stamp but what you need to look for are the letters HT and MB. You could see the letters DB along with HT or MB and this means the lumber has been debarked.

  • HT indicates the pallet has been heat treated. Pallets are heat treated for pest control, being heated up to a range of 132 to a 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • MB indicates the pallet has been fumigated with methyl-bromide. These pallets should not be used.

How Do I Get Started?

Once you bring your new found gem home and get ready to find a place in the garden for it, you will want to fill it with potting medium so that your plants get a healthy start and have plenty of good soil so they will grow. If you are wanting to plant a vertical garden you will need to prepare the pallet first. Since pallets are open on the back, you have to create a backing to close the opening. You will need a few supplies to do this before you can fill it with soil and add your plants.

Supplies Needed

Drill bit (optional)
Landscape fabric
Drill (optional)
(or seeds)

Building A Vertical Pallet Garden Video

Horizontal Pallet Garden

If you are wanting to use pallets horizontally, you won't have to do as much preparation before you plant your seedlings. You can just find the perfect spot in the garden and lay the pallet down and fill with soil and plant. You can get a lot of plants and a great yield of your vegetables if using a horizontal pallet. Pallets can be stacked so there are many different ways you can use them in the garden for planting if you have more than one.


Now You Have A Pallet Garden!

Once you have the pallet planted and filled with soil and plants, you can sit back and watch your creation grow and fill your garden with beauty.


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    • jrpierce profile image

      Jaymie 2 years ago from Ellijay, Ga

      Thanks, Brittany Hudson, I'm glad you liked my hub. I love the use of pallets and there are so many things you can do with them. I have an entire wall of pallets to plan in and I love how they look in the summer. I hope you get you get your hobby farm someday. It truly is a great life. :)

    • Brittany Hudson profile image

      Brittany 2 years ago from Gastonia, North Carolina

      What a neat idea and well put together hub. Loved it all the way around. I am planning to get myself a hobby farm someday when I get through college to rescue animals, this is a wonderful idea I could use on my farm someday, and is quite universal in it's uses to decorate any place and space. Absolutely loved the idea!

    • jrpierce profile image

      Jaymie 2 years ago from Ellijay, Ga

      Thanks CatheieGiodano, I love old pallets there area a lot of things you can do with them.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      What a neat idea. Your pictures are awesome.