Are you looking for something simple and easy to start a new garden?
Try the pallet-raised garden bed. It’s simple to put one together and is highly effective. Pallet-raised garden beds are a growing trend among contemporary gardeners, so consider getting in on the game.
They are a great way of creating space for gardening, especially in cities where space is limited. So, maybe you aim to achieve food security or create more yard space to expand your gardening.
Or, perhaps, you failed to secure space at the local community garden in time–making this a great option to exercise your skills.
Consider using a pallet raised garden bed with this simple guide on establishing your raised garden project.
Can You Use Pallets to Make Raised Garden Bed?
You might be wondering, what good can pallets do for you as a gardener?
From what we know, pallets are typically helpful when shipping large items. However, more often than not, they’re regarded as ugly and mostly discarded as junk.
But, with a bit of imagination, pallets can be just what you need for your next gardening project. You can always upcycle those overlooked pieces of wood into a more creative garden fixture.
Use pallets to create containment units and create several square feet of gardening space.
They’re pretty easy to convert. For example, shipping pallets have enough space to pack in the soil to grow various plants.
Envision a lovely standing garden that can accommodate all your flowers, herbs, and vegetables in a few square feet.
Pallet-raised garden beds provide gardeners with great benefits, as you can see below.
Benefits of Pallet Raised Garden Beds
Whether you live in the city where gardening seems impossible or in the suburbs, pallet-raised garden beds are worthwhile. As such, overcome your gardening space problems with one or a couple of these planter beds.
Start growing better-tasting vegetables, healthy herbs, and fragrant flowers today using simple, DIY pallet-raised garden beds.
Let’s cut straight to the chase. You want a gardening scheme that is less expensive and easy to manage. Think of a pallet-raised garden bed.
You want a gardening scheme that can accommodate all your veggies, herbs, and flowers, so a pallet-raised garden bed is the answer.
They’re helpful whether you’re looking to create a new space to expand your gardening project or simply have no alternative due to a lack of space.
The list of uses of these pallets is quite long. Pallet-raised garden beds offer gardeners solutions to almost any gardening hitch that may arise. Apart from the ability to grow all your plants, side by side, there are a plethora of other benefits.
Pallets raised garden beds keep your garden tidy, safe from weeds. If you’re a seasoned gardener, then you already understand most weeds sprout along and in garden beds.
They gradually encroach anywhere there is soil to grow, causing destruction as they compete for limited nutrients with your plants. Weeds will also quickly end up smothering your carefully tended garden, which is a problem.
However, consider that you can limit the weed problem with pallet-raised garden beds, where crops are relatively safes above ground level.
It is also more convenient to remove weeds from a raised bed because you don’t need to bend so low, something which many gardeners with back issues loathe.
Pallet-raised garden beds are easy to modify. You can customize the design, height, and size of the garden. As such, you can choose a height that is gentle on your back and hands.
This height makes it easier for you to control weeds regularly. It also makes gardening that much more convenient due to the easy reach they provide
Reduced Soil Compaction and Better Growth Conditions
It isn’t easy to tend to your garden without stepping into the beds. You’re likely to have to walk in and over the garden soil during weeding, planting, and watering sessions.
However, it is easier to access the plants with a pallet-raised garden bed, making tending of your garden a breeze.
So, the chances of soil compacting are rare when the bed is raised.
Additionally, pallet-raised garden beds provide the ideal warm and fertile environment your plants require to thrive. As a result, they produce higher yields compared to traditional gardens.
This solution is also true considering there are no paths in them, giving you more growing space.
They also offer increased control of unruly plants. For example, herbs such as mint and chives are known to easily and quickly colonize the entire garden if you don’t tend to them effectively.
Additionally, the polythene layering used on the inside of the pallet box is excellent for maintaining humidity and moisture levels.
The surface inside holds water longer than the ground, helping trap in moisture for longer. The advantage is, you will finally have more time between watering intervals.
Overall, these boxes have the edge over your typical pots or planting containers.
Because they hold a large volume of soil, they can increase your gardening options significantly. However, the chances are that you’ll feel like a spoiled gardener once you fall in love with this approach to cultivating your plants.
They are Cost-Effective
Pallets are mainly reclaimed materials that are generally cheap. The pallet-raised garden bed also requires little skill and labor to assemble.
In fact, wood pallet garden frames do not require assembling as they already have an open box structure. Then, raise them to your preferred height and add soil.
Some local recycling centers even offer wood pallets for free, significantly reducing the cost of setting up your raised garden.
Pallets are also quite durable and can be used for years if you look after them appropriately.
Unlike pots or planters, which might need regular replacement, pallet beds pass the test of time. They are simply the kings of succession planting, accommodating different plants season after season.
This durability makes them considerably cheaper than other raised garden bed options. From a personal perspective, the natural wood from which pallets are made is also more attractive as a garden bed option.
However, exactly how long the pallet bed lasts depends on the kind of pallets you choose to use. This leads to the next concern common among most gardeners – does the choice of pallets matter?
Does the Choice of the Pallets Matter?
As a gardener, you should base your choice of the type of pallet to use on their condition and the material from which they’re made.
Ensure to select pallets in a good, sturdy condition and with wood that has been treated to ward off pests.
The markings on the pallet are indicators of their treatment status. Always look out for the following typical markings:
HT: This means the pallets have been heat-treated
DB: This means the pallets have been debarked
KD: This means the pallets have been kiln-dried.
All these pallets are ideal to use as raised garden beds.
Every pallet has a stamp somewhere, so it should not be hard to spot them.
Although some locally produced pallets do not always bear the stamp, it is best to be safe than sorry and choose one with clear markings that indicate safe use for gardening.
Untreated pallets attract certain risks you might want to avoid as a gardener. They include attracting and harboring crop-destroying pests.
They might also carry diseases to your garden. You do not want to put the rest of your crops at risk by using pallets without stamps.
Secondly, consider pallets in terms of the material from which they’re made. Again, the two major mediums are wood, plastic, or metal pallets.
As long as they are well treated for pests, wooden pallets are highly recommended. In addition, they are eco-friendly, offer better drainage, are cheap, and easy to establish your pallet-raised garden beds.
On the other hand, metal pallets such as railroad ties are less suitable as they harbor harmful chemicals. In addition, metal toxins such as creosote can damage the ecosystem and contaminate your veggies.
It is also difficult to manipulate metal pallets into the design of the garden you desire.
However, metal pallets are more durable and resistant to the elements than wood pallets.
Similarly, you can use plastic pallets for gardening, but they also release toxic chemicals that can harm plants, so stick to wooden pallets for making your raised garden beds.
How to Make One
Learn how to easily create a pallet raised garden bed in four simple steps:
Tools and Equipment
Wooden pallets in excellent condition
Staple gun and staple
Hammer and nails
Seeds or plants
Use these steps to put your pallet-raised garden bed together.
Select four pallets and split two of them in half longways using a saw. Standard pallets are two by 4 ft in length.
Use the nails and the hammer to create a rectangular bottomless pallet box – slice four pallet boards into 2 ft for its width. Then, screw them to the 2×4s holding the two long pallet boards, completing a standard pallet box.
Build the bottom of the box. You can use pallets by running them along the length or width of the box.
Use the plastic liner to reinforce your base. A plastic liner prevents water from spilling out and keeps grass and weed from creeping in. Thus, your garden remains both tidy and moist for longer.
Use the staple gun and staplers to attach the plastic liner to the insides of the box.
Fill the box with potting soil with a mixture of compost to create a fertile nutritious substrate. Generally, the type of soil you use depends on your plant’s needs. Loamy composted soil is suitable for a wide variety of veggies and herbs.
Your pallet-raised garden is ready for planting.
You can now sow your seeds or plant your veggies, herbs, or flower seedlings. You can also raise your bed further by adding legs.
Should You Add Legs to Your Raised Bed?
Yes! The height of your pallet-raised garden bed absolutely depends on you.
While ground-based pallet garden boxes work just fine, you can add legs to your preferred height for even greater gardening ease.
You can add legs to the pallet raised bed by nailing four 2x4s into each corner from the base of the pallet box. Then, you can reinforce them with a couple more 2×4’s and attach them across the box’s frame and each leg.
Remember, not all plants prefer this kind of setup. Below are the plants that thrive best in pallet-raised garden beds.
It is not mandatory to add legs to your pallet-raised garden bed. However, seasoned gardeners recommend it for various reasons. Here’s a look at some of the advantages of adding legs to your raised planter box.
Legs prevent weeds from growing into the raised garden either from the sides or below. Some weeds contain turf foliage and stems that could easily pierce through your garden’s lining. Adding legs lifts the garden far off the ground, away from the reach of weeds.
Although using a pallet-raised garden bed does not eliminate the prospect of weeds, it does reduce their presence in the garden.
Adding legs makes the bed more durable, especially if you use wood pallets for your raised garden. Contact with running rainwater can be quite damaging to the wood and trigger rotting. This might give your garden a shorter life span than you anticipate. However, raising it higher with legs helps the bed dry faster after a downpour, keeping it in pristine condition.
Best plants to use
The pallet-raised garden bed doesn’t favor plants with deep root systems.
Tubers such as beetroots, carrots, and potatoes may not do so well in a pallet-raised garden bed as it lacks depth. Their deep root system requires depth, which is essentially limited by a relatively shallow pallet box.
You’ll want to consider plants with shallow root systems to grow in your new pallet raised beds, such as:
Most of these plants, such as beans and tomatoes, are excellent vertical growth candidates. They are, therefore, great at saving space in pallet gardens. Saving space will allow you to fit many plants in a small space and manage your space optimally.
You can also exercise succession planting as the pallet box is an efficient successive planting garden. In this way, you can maximize your yields by planting based on the season.
You can plant lettuce, kale, and spinach in the cool season, peas in early spring, and bell papers and beans in summer when it’s warm.
Crop rotation and succession is also a natural way of enriching your soil with essential minerals that your crops require.
Fix your gardening space problems with the pallet-raised garden bed. The humble wood pallet is often an overlooked source of recyclable material but makes for an attractive addition to your outdoor space.
The pallet-raised garden bed is an eco-friendly, cheap, and efficient approach to gardening. Plus, you can plant anything in them if the pallet has enough soil to cater to their growth requirements.
Apart from allowing you to adapt your planting, pallet-raised beds provide your garden with something unique. The DIY hacks highlighted here will allow you to customize and transform your garden into a beautiful and practical space.
Tyler C Rich is the founder and chief editor at TopsyGardening.com. An experienced gardener and a professionally trained agriculture development expert, Rich has worked in the gardening and landscaping industry for more than a few decades. Although he has retired, his spark for developing the best urban and indoor gardens has not faded a bit. He uses TopsyGardening.com as a platform to come across enthusiastic gardeners and share the unique insights he has acquired through years of experience. Rich is interested in aquaponics and technology apart from conventional gardening techniques.