How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Pin It

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Ever wonder what else you can do with pallets? I mean besides the thousands of other ideas you find all over the interwebs? Well my husband and I figured out how to build a vertical garden using pallets. And they’re quite fun!

Now, I want to tell you right now that we’ve had some interesting finds when building these. The first? It’s really difficult to get dirt to stay IN the pallets once you start watering them. Especially if you don’t use a soaker hose line and just spray them with the garden hose.

My son had fun with the muddy clumps that came with that! But once the dirt is settled into the pallets it’s actually quite a good way to grow fun things and makes an awesome display for your yard.

build a vertical garden using pallets - before

This above was the side of our house in the front yard before we put the pallets in. I hated how empty and plain the space was and wanted to use the vertical garden to spruce it up and bring life to this part of the yard.

I don’t think my husband quite understood exactly what I was envisioning in my head but with some team work, a bit of dirty looks and rolling eyes, and some muddy kids, we got it done.

Oh… and if you’re having trouble finding pallets because everyone and their mom is grabbing them up to make things like this, go to Home Depot or whatever other hardware store you have around and ask for their sod pallets. They’re more flimsy/rickety (hence the support added) but are perfect for this type of project!

Here’s how!

build a vertical garden using pallets - pallets

How to Build a Vertical Garden Using Pallets

Supplies:

Wood

  • wooden pallet
  • 2×2 doug fir
  • 2×4 doug fir
  • 1×8 cedar fence board
  • 2 4×4 cedar posts

Materials

  • wood screws
  • drill
  • black weed block fabric
  • staple gun
  • post hole digger
  • shovel
  • level
  • carpenter’s square
  • carpenter’s pencil
  • mulchy garden soil
  • large piece of cardboard
  • variety of seeds

What you do:

build a vertical garden using pallets - drilling on support beams1. Measure length of pallet and cut 2x2s to that length. These will give extra support to the pallet.

build a vertical garden using pallets - staple black garden cloth

2. Staple weed block fabric to the back of the pallet, pulling taut to make sure it’s stretched all the way across. Layer if needed to cover the full back.

build a vertical garden using pallets - add support panels

3. Measure the width of the pallet from 2×2 to 2×2 and cut 1×8 fence boards to that length. Screw in place over the weed block fabric.

build a vertical garden using pallets - dig post holes and level post

4. Measure the distance you need your posts to be installed on the ground and dig holes for posts. Cut posts to size depending on how far above the ground you want the pallets to be. Make sure to bury them about 1-2′ in the ground to provide a sturdy base.

5. Set posts in the ground by covering with dirt and using a level to determine if you need to move or shift the posts. Measure the back dimensions of the pallet to determine exactly how far apart the posts should be. This will vary with every pallet.

build a vertical garden using pallets - attaching pallet to posts

6. Measure where you want the bottom of hte pallet to be and mark off that height on each post with a pencil. Then cut the 2×4 to the width between the posts. This board will act as a frame for the pallet to sit on. Screw the 2×4 into position directly underneath the line you’ve drawn.

7. Lift pallet into place on the frame and screw to secure.

build a vertical garden using pallets - fill with dirtHow pretty are they??

Next up is the hard part… this is where we had the most trouble… trying to pack in the soil to make sure it stayed in place and didn’t spill all out.

Now you’re probably asking why we didn’t start our pallet garden on the ground and then lift it into place once the plants were established. Well.. you *could* do that but just think of how heavy those pallet gardens would be. Crazy heavy! So we did it this way.

build a vertical garden using pallets - dirt in pallet

8. Using the cardboard stapled to the front of the pallet, fill the pallet with mulchy garden soil. Pack down each layer as you go to make sure it’s secure. There will be some dirt that falls out, simply fill it back again or leave it as is to settle more and fill later.

9. Plant with whatever seeds you think will grow best! We stick to lettuce in one planter and herbs in another with a few strawberries at the bottom. It’s pretty fun to step out and grab herbs whenever I need them!

build a vertical garden using pallets - planting from startersAnother problem we ran into was using starter plants we purchased instead of seeds. While in theory this would work great, when you put a plant that’s been growing vertically in a horizontal planter into a vertical planter and ask it to grow horizontally it looks like this above.. .droopy.

It’s also quite messy and hard to get the starter plants IN the planter and you spill a TON of dirt everywhere. Our solution? Seeds… start from seed and install an irrigation system with a soaker hose. You can find everything you need for the soaker hose in the irrigation aisle at your local hardware store.

build a vertical garden buckets for run offIf you’re going to use an irrigation system with your garden, know that there will be water that drips down constantly. In order to conserve that water to use on our other plants and in our raised garden beds, we simply put buckets underneath to catch the excess water.

You know what else we found? Bees LOVE to come and drink the water that pools on the last rung of the pallet because they love mineral rich water. That means you’re helping the bees with your vertical garden too! Here’s a close up of a bee drinking. This is a regular sighting.

build a vertical garden using pallets - plant from seed

While it’s been a crazy process, I absolutely love how the vertical gardens make the side of our house look. I consider them more of a decorative piece in our front yard but love that we also get the benefits of growing our own herbs and lettuce.

And since our pallets are in the shade for most of the day, we had to choose plants that would work well in these conditions. I’m sure there are other things one could grow if their vertical garden were directly in full sunlight.

build a vertical garden using pallets - planted

What would you plant in a vertical garden?

Pinterest Inspiration

Print Friendly
Pin It

Comments

  1. Jess A
    Twitter: ThenWere4
    says:

    Wow, these look amazing, Danielle! Last year, I had Hubby build me some planter boxes and this year, I’m going to have him make me a couple more as well, so maybe I can get him to make me one or two of these to go with them..? I’m definitely pinning this so I don’t forget to talk to him about. I am SO ready for Spring! :)
    Jess A recently posted..#DisneyFrozen out for Digital Download today!My Profile

  2. Deanna @ mommyGAGA
    Twitter: mommy_GAGA
    says:

    This is really cool! How great to have a handy husband, maybe we’ll try something like this on a smaller scale.
    Deanna @ mommyGAGA recently posted..Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted Movie Fun: Printable Activity Sheets!My Profile

  3. Melissa says:

    Oh my goodness, I love this idea! We have extra pallets. I think i might add this to our garden!
    Melissa recently posted..Excited to announce that I am a Pull-Ups® First Flush Ambassador #CelebrateFirstFlush #sponsored #MCMy Profile

  4. Wow that is such a cool idea! I love wildflowers, but am not sure how well they would do in a vertical garden.
    Kelly Hutchinson recently posted..There Is Just Something About Pie I like #EasyAsPieMy Profile

    • Danielle
      Twitter: simmworksfamily
      says:

      I’m sure they’d do great! We were considering flowers but then found some pretty flowering thyme and oregano (with purple flowers) so we used that.

  5. What a great looking idea! I love all kinds of flowers, so any type would be great if I built one of these.
    Jennifer Medeiros recently posted..There Is Just Something About Pie I like #EasyAsPieMy Profile

  6. Leandrea
    Twitter: couponsaregreat
    says:

    Vertical gardens using pallets is AMAZING!!!! I love, love, love these. Of course, I oogle over pallets and I oggle over gardens, so putting them together is genius! I would love to plant lettuce in a vertical garden.
    Leandrea recently posted..Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea: Target Gift Card Teacher Appreciation PrintableMy Profile

  7. Kelly Stilwell
    Twitter: kellystilwell
    says:

    That is awesome! It should make weeding a whole lot easier, too. We had a huge garden years ago, and the weeding was so much work. Nice job!

  8. Stacie
    Twitter: simplystacienet
    says:

    Very inventive! Is it sad that I’ve never planted a garden? I love the look of the vertical garden though. I have to wait till the ground thaws though before I can even think of planting anything!! I’ve pinned this to save for later.
    Stacie recently posted..14 Mouthwatering Butterscotch PiesMy Profile

  9. Leila says:

    That’s awesome! I love it! This is a perfect solution for us because we have a dog. I have been planting in plastic tubs placed in the middle of a table to prevent the dog from getting them so this is fabulous. Have you noticed any issues with birds? I had a birds eating my seeds when I did mine on the table… I wonder if this would help eliminate that problem too?
    Leila recently posted..Chicken Soup for the Soul: Multi-Tasking MomsMy Profile

  10. Melissa says:

    Oh my gosh, this is SO cool! I would love to do this. I would definitely plant some herbs to use for cooking.
    Melissa recently posted..St. Louis Giveaway: 4 Pack of Tickets for Advance Screenings of Mr. Peabody & Sherman #STLMy Profile

  11. This is fantastic! Oh my gosh – I know the perfect spot at my house where I could do something like you did! Thanks for the inspiration
    Carrie with Children recently posted..Giveaway: How To Make The Perfect Easter Basket #bunnytrailMy Profile

  12. emily
    Twitter: FamilyNLifeLV
    says:

    This is crazy smart!!! I want some for my home!! I love the way they look on the home too!
    emily recently posted..Boba 4G Baby Carrier ReviewMy Profile

  13. Kerri
    Twitter: SavvyMomNYC
    says:

    I love the step by step pictures. It really helped me see how I could possibly do this too!
    Kerri recently posted..The Book Thief Comes to Blu-Ray March 11th #Giveaway #FHEInsiders @FHEInsidersMy Profile

  14. Tiffany (Fabulous Mom Blog)
    Twitter: FabMomBlog
    says:

    I would love to grow my own strawberries in a vertical garden. We had a vertical garden when I was just a kid and my mom grew the best strawberries. Love all your step by step directions and photos.
    Tiffany (Fabulous Mom Blog) recently posted..That’s Fresh FridayMy Profile

  15. Spring is right around the corner. The Vertical Garden is a great way for us to bring some color to our yard while having something unique. Thanks for the idea.
    Tammy Woodall recently posted..How to Build a Vertical Garden Using PalletsMy Profile

  16. laura
    Twitter: lolagishell
    says:

    I have made a few pallet gardens now and LOVE them. They really add some beautiful and rustic uniqueness to your home. You’re are beautiful. Great JOB!
    laura recently posted..Pump Up Your G+ Profile! – About Section TipsMy Profile

  17. Joann Woolley
    Twitter: sign4baby
    says:

    This is seriously amazeballs! I want to come over and see it. And then I will put it on my dream board. What a fun bonus that you are helping the BEES! They need our help too.
    Joann Woolley recently posted..#Gratitude365 Day 64 (Part 2) HOA Inspires ActionMy Profile

  18. Jennings says:

    You could put the weed fabric on the inside front, too, and cut holes to put your plants in. That would hold the dirt in, and once the plants get big enough it’ll look the same. Great idea – I have a stack of pallets!

  19. Kim Miller says:

    This looks like a great project, especially for my home. We have three dogs, and getting the herbs up off there ground means no chance for being trampled! It looks like a lot of work, but the finished product is fantastic. Your pictures really take us through step by step!
    Kim Miller recently posted..The Olympic SpiritMy Profile

    • Danielle
      Twitter: simmworksfamily
      says:

      Thank you! Yes, I really think that it helps with critters too. We get squirrels and rabbits in our raised beds all the time so I wanted lettuce and herbs to be inaccessible. The project really came together nicely though and once we got everything, didn’t take a lot of time to assemble. It was the dirt filling and actual planting that took more time.

  20. Kerri (TheMaven)
    Twitter: _themaven
    says:

    This is brilliant. I’ve been wanting to build these for our yard. Hmm. Project for a weekend in March maybe?
    Kerri (TheMaven) recently posted..I’m not a bitch, I’m just an introvert.My Profile

  21. Elizabeth Bruno
    Twitter: Pirate1013
    says:

    I love this so much! We are in the need of vertical gardening in our tiny space we are living now. I’m glad you posted the tutorial because I would’ve never figured this out on my own.
    Elizabeth Bruno recently posted..Why Barbie Isn’t Welcome in Our HouseMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] also found that they love the mineral rich water found at the bottom of my vertical gardens. They love to hang out at the bottom and drink up the water that’s collected down […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge