How to Build a DIY Pallet Garden for Thirty Bucks

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If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve got an old pallet that isn’t being used at all.  I had one too, and I knew there was SOMETHING I could do with it…but what?

With a little creative thinking (and Googling), I came up with a cool idea for a vertical pallet garden that cost me under $30 to build!

It should grow about 12 heads of lettuce and 12 bunches of spinach, which helps me hit my goal to grow 80% of the the greens I eat.  With food quality being such a major concern right now, why not grow your own and become more self sustainable?

Let’s get started!

DIY Pallet Garden MaterialsThe Materials

  1. An old pallet
  2. Roll of burlap sheeting
  3. Staples
  4. Potting soil
  5. A couple cans of spraypaint (optional)
  6. Seedlings (optional, you can start from seed)
  7. Hammer
  8. Scissors

Total Cost: I went with spraypaint and seedlings, and the total cost was $35.  Pretty cheap for a TON of growing space!

Paint the Pallet

If you want to add some style to your pallet planter, pick up a couple cans of spray paint and lay your pallet down on the burlap sheeting that you purchased.  Brush it off with a wire brush or your hand just so you have a nice clean surface to work from.

Give the pallet a few good coats and let it sit for an hour or two to dry out.  Feel free to get a little crazy with it!  I went with the xPonics yellow and green, or as close as I could get to them :)

DIY Pallet Garden

Laying out the pallet on the burlap.  Make sure you do this unless you want to have a very unique look to your grass ;)

DIY Pallet Garden Painting

First coat complete!

DIY Pallet Garden 2nd Coat

After letting it dry for a bit, add another coat of paint and let it dry for about an hour or so.

Staple the Burlap Sheeting

It’s important to get this part right.  The burlap is what will hold your soil in the pallet and give you plants roots room to grow and thrive.  If you don’t staple it down well enough, you might get some leakage or a flat out rip that will ruin your garden.  Go with a 4-5 inch spacing between the staples and make sure to completely enclose the pallet.

Leave one side of the pallet open so you can pour soil and water in.

DIY Pallet Garden Stapling Burlap

Stapling down the first half of the burlap sheeting

DIY Pallet Garden Stapling

Example of how to space your staples so the burlap won’t break!

DIY Pallet Garden Finished Stapling

Fully stapled burlap sheeting, completely enclosing the inside of the pallet.  The top is open so I can water my plants or add extra soil.

Add the Soil and Seedlings

Almost done!  Add your potting soil into the slats and make sure that you fill it completely.  Leave the pallet horizontal while you pour in the soil, because right now there is nothing to hold that soil into the pallet.  After you plant, the roots will take hold, spread out, and create solidity in the soil that will keep it from falling out of your pallet.

DIY Pallet Garden Adding Soil

Pallet full of potting soil!

DIY Pallet Garden Planted

Planting spinach, arugula, and red leaf lettuce.  Making sure that spacing is correct, and that they’re well seated in the soil.

DIY Pallet Garden Finished

And there it is!  A cheap, DIY pallet garden that can produce a ton of greens for you and your family!

Taking Care of Your Garden

Be sure to leave your pallet garden horizontal for two weeks or so to let the plants take root.  If you decide to hang your garden vertically, use concrete screws or something strong enough to hold the garden…it’s heavy!

And there you have it…a DIY pallet garden that costs about $30 bucks, looks awesome, and grows a ton of greens without taking up a lot of space.  Let me know what you think in the comments…and if you really enjoyed this article I would love you if you shared this with friends and family!

About the author

Kevin

Kevin is the creator of Epic Gardening, a community dedicated to teaching urban gardening, hydroponics, and aquaponics. He enjoys skateboarding, piano, guitar, business, and experimenting with all kinds of gardening techniques!

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  • christine

    what if you covered both sides and one end with burlap, made it vertical and planted root veggies like potatoes, when you were ready to harvest, just take off the burlap, loosen the soil, shake and instant spuds!

    • http://www.xponics.com Kevin

      Christine,

      Great idea! I don’t really grow potatoes, but I could see that working really well for yams, sweet potatoes, or onions! Thanks for the comment :)

    • Gray

      Unfortunately fresh potato skins are very fragile, and you would likely scrape more than a few at which point you really can’t store them (fungal rot sets in).

      I let my potatoes harden up in the sun for a day before packing them away.

      • http://www.epicgardening.com Kevin

        Good tips Gray – thanks for sharing!

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  • http://typearamblings.blogspot.com Pam

    I was reading some where that there were concerns with the quality of the edible plants because the wood had been chemically treated. Did you find any issues with your crops? I’m concerned because I built a pallet garden too and planted various herbs and vegetables:

    http://typearamblings.blogspot.ca/2014/05/patio-garden.html

    Were you able to use your pallet this year, and if so – how well did it hold up?

    • http://www.epicgardening.com Kevin

      It’s definitely a potential problem, but my philosophy was that I was using it as a test bed and wouldn’t really be eating anything from it past my first season. I haven’t been able to use the pallet this year mainly due to a move, but it would have worked just fine! Thanks for your comment Pam.

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