Camping & Survival

Quick Prepper Tip: Cheap and Easy Space Saving Vegetable Beds

Garden growing in a wood pallet

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.

Supply List

  • 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

Get Growing

  1. 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.

  1. Place the pallet in a sunny location before filling with dirt
  2. Fill the pallet with good potting soil
  3. Plant seeds or vegetables starts in between slats and follow proper planting directions for each variety you are planting
  4. Label each row by either writing directly on the pallet with a permanent marker or use plant marker ID tags
  5. 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.


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Comments (8)

  1. Currently there are Eleven different “Textured Vegetable Protein” 3D Printers or (Protein Resequencer) avialable on the open market, the cheapest being around $1,200.00 USD.

  2. Good idea. If you are growing a survival garden or to save on food cost then you need to pick crops that give large harvest per plant and will do well in your space. The time to work this out is now before things get bad. Try double cropping. Something like this in large buckets.. You get tomatos all summer then taters in the fall in the same space. Grow heavy melons or squash up a fence supporting the fruit. One guy I saw used old bras to tie them up. Worked better than any other idea I have seen. And it is giving trash a second use.Very P.C.! And people will talk about you.

  3. If you have a chance, check out this website…

    food rising dot org

    They are going to be releasing information in March on 3d printed grow systems… I know as much as you do on that, but it sounds promising… I’m sure they can help you out if you write them… The donation section is for getting these systems donated to schools…

    As far as planting with pallets, I am intrigued about that, but I have take apart raised beds now…

    One fertilizer I used in the past that worked excellent is Sea Magic… One packet is about $7 on Burpee gardens or other sites, and it makes 66 gallons of liquid gold… The results are incredible, and you don’t need any toxic additives to go with it… Nothing but pure filtered water…

    1. Thanks for the link. I subscribed to their newsletter. It sounds interesting. I’d love to have a 3d printer. They’re starting to get inexpensive enough for me to consider one.

    2. You’re welcome… I am trying to figure out which 3D printer company is going to be their version of Apple so I can buy lots of stock!!

      And yes, the price of the printers is much more attractive now, with seemingly endless uses

    3. @ Mitch.

      From cheap to expensive, there’s:
      1. iSense for iPad Mini Retina.
      2. Da Vanci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer.
      3. Cube 3D.
      4. Replicator Mini 3D Compact.
      5. Leapfrog Creatr XL 3D Dual Extruder.

  4. Be sure that your pallets are really, really OLD. They are generally treated with stuff you really don’t want your veggies to draw in through their roots for you to end up eating.

  5. Gilbert Ellis Bailey coined the phrase Vertical Farming in 1915, but the actual concept goes back too ~988CE. or Step Farming and before that 604BCE. called Step Gardening or Hanging Gardens of Babylon…

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