After reading about Life On The Balcony's pallet garden-- a garden that is built in the cracks of a discarded wooden warehouse pallet-- I decided I absolutely had to make my own. Finding containers to plant in has been one of the challenges of city gardening in a concrete backyard, so I was excited to see what kind of things I could grow in this unconventional and space-saving "planter".
First, I had to find a pallet.
Once we had the pallets, we decided to make some adjustments to LOTB's technique. The instructions there said to cover the entire back of the pallet with landscaping fabric to turn the pallet into one giant sack, and then fill the space inside the pallet with soil. My mom and I decided that this would (a) be very heavy and therefore have more of a chance of falling or breaking, and (b) be a waste of soil in areas that didn't need it. Instead, we made little planter sacks out of the landscaping fabric and hung each sack inside the pallet, securing it with a heavy-duty staple gun. It sort of works like window boxes made out of landscaping fabric.
And what is "landscaping fabric" you ask? It is a fabric made to last outdoors that won't disintegrate or rot. Air will flow through it but nothing else, and it's pretty strong. It's usually used to cover areas of ground where you want to kill off weeds or stop airborn seeds from getting into the soil.
Before adding soil, I propped up the pallet against my fence and secured it using 2 dog leashes. Yes, dog leashes-- I had them leftover as product samples from a marketing project I did last summer and they were the perfect size, with convenient hooks and clasps to make a secure hold.
The plants will fill out in the next few months, and hopefully the Petunias will get in on some hanging action. I'm thinking of the top sack as a more traditional planter space since plants can spread up and out more, so that's where I put my perennials. Inside is mostly annuals, partly in case this pallet garden doesn't quite work, the plants will be gone in a few months anyway so I won't have to worry about damaging a plant that could last.
It certainly does save space! But don't forget, it's not a good idea to plant any edibles in a pallet garden. The wood for these pallets is often chemically treated to make it last longer in a warehouse situation and you don't want that riffraff seeping into your food.
So what do you think?