Old wooden shipping pallets make gorgeous, rustic vertical gardens with room for plenty of plants in a small space. Even apartment dwellers with nothing more than a balcony can use this idea to grow edibles, beautiful annuals, or both. Here is a nice video tutorial from Chef Janie on how to make one of these. All you need is a pallet, landscaping fabric, staples and a staple gun, dirt, and plants.
Begin by doubling up the landscaping fabric and stapling it to the back of the pallet. The whole back of the pallet will need to be covered, as well as the bottom so the dirt doesn’t fall out when the pallet is upright. Staple the fabric on the sides and the back, wherever fabric meets wood, to help keep the dirt in place.
After the fabric is stapled down, flip the pallet onto its back and begin filling the slots with dirt. Leave the pallet flat on the ground for this step. You won’t need to fill the slots completely full of dirt since the plants and the dirt they are potted in will take up quite a bit of room.
Begin adding the plants of your choice. In this video she is planting alternating rows of a variety of herbs and purple lobelia. She uses a total of 55 plants here, so there is quite a bit of planting room in these slots.
Once all the rows are planted, she recommends leaving the pallet flat to water it and let the plants get established for a couple of weeks before tipping it upright, although they tip theirs up right away in this example to plant flowers in the top. It could be left flat if you prefer to use it as a horizontal planter.
Note: If you will be using your pallet to grow edibles, you’ll want to pay attention to how the pallet is treated. Shipping pallets are often treated with chemicals to keep them bug-free. Sometimes they are heat treated rather than chemically treated, so look for the heat treated ones only for use when planting edibles. They are marked with a HT symbol.