When creating a recycled pallet garden, the first thing and most obvious is you will need a pallet. I prefer to use untreated pallets, simply because I am not big on anything that is treated with pesticides, as I do not want the risk of those chemicals seeping into my soil. So wherever possible heat treated pallets are the best. Now I know that will raise a few eyebrows and probably create a mixture of opinions, but that is okay, because we are all allowed our own thoughts on the subject and creating garden should be a personal experience.

So find yourself a pallet that is suitable to you and your needs. You want a pallet that has the boards in good condition, no rotting or anything sticking out. Once you have your pallet, you will need 2 large bags of good potting mix, preferable one with a good fertiliser already through it. You will need seedlings and each open face of the pallet takes about 6 seedlings. A small roll of landscape fabric, a staple gun, staples and a bit of sand paper to sand back the rough edges.

Make sure you give your pallet the once over, just double checking the boards and making sure they aren’t loose, and sanding anything that is sharp or rough.

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Let’s Begin

You will be covering the bottom, back and sides with the landscape fabric, leaving the front spaces between the slats and the top uncovered as you will be planting in those. Lay the pallet face down, roll the landscape fabric over the back and cut two identically sized pieces that are long enough to go from the top edge of the back of the pallet and wrap all the way around the bottom and allow a few extra inches.

Hold the two pieces of landscape fabric together as if they were once piece, fold over the top edge by about an inch and centre it on the top board of the back of the pallet, now you staple the fabric into place near the top edge of the top board. Smooth the fabric out and pull it tight. Staple the fabric down on the top right edge or the top board and repeat on the other side. Fill in between those three staples with a staple every two inches along the top edge of the top board.

When the top of the fabric is securely attached to the top, backboard, smooth the fabric down and repeat the process along the bottom edge of the bottom board, except don’t fold the fabric under, make sure you leave a long flap on the bottom.

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Pull the fabric tightly along the bottom, fold the cut edge under and staple the fabric down along the front edge of the bottom. Smooth the fabric out to the left and right and staple every two inches along the front edge of the bottom.

Begin the sides and start near the bottom and fold the excess fabric inwards as if you were wrapping a present. Fold the cut edge of the fabric under and staple it down near the front, bottom edge of the side façade, smooth the fabric out and place a staple every two inches along the front edge of the side of the pallet.

The fabric needs to be tight but not in danger of tearing, make sure you repeat on the other side. You should now have a pallet with fabric wrapped around the sides, back and bottom. You can place more staples along the spine of the back side of the pallet if it needs it and anywhere else you think the fabric needs to be held down so that soil cannot seep out.

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Make sure you have positioned the pallet where you would like it to go as once it is filled with soil it is really heavy to move. Now you can plant, so make sure to plant you have the pallet laying down face up and you will leave it like this for about 2 weeks to allow the soil and seedlings to settle before you reposition it against a wall.

Take the potting mixture and evening distribute through the pallet, push the soil down a little whilst smoothing it out so that the soil is level. Now you can begin planting. Make sure you plant your seedling quite tightly into the soil and when you are finished planting you should have plants covering every opening.

Leave the pallet laying flat for a couple of weeks, water every day or as needed so the roots start to grow in and hold all the plants in place. Make sure you fertilise when needed and keep an eye out to the bottom two openings as they seem to get the driest. Now enjoy!

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