Sunday, August 16, 2015

DIY Pallet Vertical Container Garden

Using pallets for something other than shipping platforms is fun and easy to do. I see lots of furniture and household items created from pallets. I have a posts on a few items I've created along these lines. This spring I wanted to make something for my garden - that being a pallet vertical garden.
Vertical Container Garden from Old Pallets

I created two planters this year, one which I placed in the shade near some hostas. Nothing tall seemed to want to grow here and I thought a little vertical interest would be a nice add. The second I put against a wall with lots of sunshine and perhaps too hot for other items. The latter was great for succulents :)

The pictures are from the shade pallet container garden - my first attempt. I also note some lessons learned that I incorporated into the second garden.

Here is my supply list:

- Wooden Pallet
- Additional wood (optional depending on the pallet) I used old wood flooring
- Heavy duty garbage bags (large)
- Hammer / Nails
- Staple Gun
- Old Coffee Sacks or Burlap Fabric
- Plastic milk jug or other beverage container
- Scissors or Knife
- Potting Soil
- Plants

1) Use your spare pieces of wood to reinforce any large gaps you may have in your pallet. As you can see in the photo below, mine had only three pieces of wood on one side - so I put in a piece of flooring diagonally across this section. This is important to add strength to the structure.

2) Pick the back side of the Planter. I chose the side I had just reinforced in (1) above as the back. To this side I applied a double layer of plastic - the heavy duty garbage bags. I used the staple gun to attach the bags to the side and along the cross bars.

3) Next I applied an old coffee bad to cover the whole back. This was just for aesthetics.

4) Next I cut strips of coffee sack and applied across each section on the front. I attached with a staple gun to all sides. For the second planter, I started at the bottom, attached the burlap to the lowest opening, and then filled up to that point with potting soil. Then I put burlap over the next highest section and filled with more soil and so on. This helped to make sure there were no pockets of air. (see the other note in number 6 below)

Unplanted Pallet Vertical Garden with Coffee Sacks

That's one of my dogs who kept dropping a tennis ball at my feet through this whole effort. That girl is relentless :)

5) I decided to add something to help water the garden. I chose to cut the bottom off a juice container and invert it into the top of the garden. This helped as I could fill it with water to allow slow soaking. 

6) Create openings to put in the plants. In the first attempt I simply cut an opening in the burlap where I wanted to insert the plants. This was done after filling the whole thing with soil - so it was a bit challenging. In the second, I tried two different things. One - I planted as I filled it up with soil. This made it easier to place the plant and then insure proper fill with soil. Another option I used was to leave a pocket in the burlap on the top section so that the plant could be put into this pocket rather than having to cut into the fabric. 

7) Plant and water - I layered in a mix of petunias, coleus, ivy, and impatiens. On the top was an asparagus fern and some sweet potatoes mixed in.

Planted Vertical Garden
From an old Pallet

I thought it looked rather nice. You can see from the first photo that it grew in rather nicely. This will become a regular in my garden. I had several girlfriends "order" one too!

Happy Gardening! This time of year I'm listening to the song of Cicadas. 

Teresa Marie

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