Growing your own food is fun and easy with this inexpensive space-saving method. If you have limited growing space or perhaps a physical limitation that keeps you from planting a large garden then this planting method may be a good option for you—plus it’s cheap and easy to do.
Wood pallet gardens are more popular today than ever before. You can choose to set your pallet flat on the ground or set it up vertically in limited space. Pallet gardening is also an excellent project to tackle with youngsters—especially when they have their own pallet where they can plant their own seeds and watch them grow.
When choosing your pallet, find one that is relatively clean and free of harmful chemicals. Look for the letters HT stamped or printed somewhere on the pallet. This indicates the pallet is kiln dried or heat-treated. This is ideal. If you cannot find an HT pallet, look for one that is clear of obvious questionable use. A good, safe practice is to scrub the pallet before using it. Use bleach and soapy water, rinse well, then let the pallet dry in the sun.
- Wooden Pallet—inexpensive or many times you can find them for FREE if you haul them away
- Dirt—vegetable potting soil is your best option
- Burlap or landscaping fabric—cut to the dimension of your pallet; use any fabric or fiber that allows water to pass through but woven to keep the dirt from falling through works well, plastic sheeting does not work well as it does not breathe and may cause your dirt to become moldy
- Seeds or vegetable starts—this planting method works with plants with a normal root system; potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots will need deeper soil and do not work well in this system
- Plant marker or ID tag
- Attach the burlap to the backside of the pallet using staples or small nails
NOTE: if you are creating a vertical garden, double layer your backing material.
- Place the pallet in a sunny location before filling with dirt
- Fill the pallet with good potting soil
- Plant seeds or vegetables starts in between slats and follow proper planting directions for each variety you are planting
- Label each row by either writing directly on the pallet with a permanent marker or use plant marker ID tags
- Water and maintain the plants until time to harvest
Spring is right around the corner along with the growing season. Start planning your garden now so you’ll have vegetables all summer long.
Do you grow your own vegetables? Is there a pallet garden in your future? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section.
Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.
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