Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY Pallet Garden

Good Morning!

Thanks for stopping by today!  I'm super excited to share this Pallet Garden tutorial, so lets just jump right in and get our hands dirty!

Garden Gloves
Crow Bar (Optional)
Manure or potting soil
Landscape Fabric
Staple Gun
1 2x4 wood beam for each pallet you'll use

Clean/weed the space you'll use for your garden.  Our side yard is the perfect spot, we needed lots of sun for our veggies so this is the ideal spot for us.  You can see what your plants sunlight needs are by checking the seed packet or potting pick (if you're using a mature plant).  Our side yard was overgrown with wides, so Big A and my Dad used a rototiller to rip up the weeds and then Little A and I went through and threw all the weeds away.  This took the majority of a day for us, but if you're area isn't a weed jungle, you'll be fine.

2. Once your area is free of weeds, go ahead and rake it so that it's pretty flat.  Its helpful for the whole process if your ground is soft but not wet.
3.  Grab your pallet, hammer, nails, saw and 2x4. 
3.  First you'll remove the excess boards from your pallet top.  I wanted wider rows for our veggies, so I removed every other board with the crowbar.  You'll want gloves for this, you'll need to pull, tug and pry on the boards and more pallets are basically a large splinter.
4.  Next you'll cut your 2x4 into pieces so that each piece is the same width as the pallet, these will be the legs of your pallet raised beds.  To do this, I simply leaned my 2x4 against the pallet, got the ends even, drew a line where I wanted to cut so that my legs were the same width as my pallet and used the circular saw to cut my pieces.  You could use a regular saw, but it would take a lot longer.  I then hammered my legs onto the bottom wooden slats of my pallet.
5.  Now you'll need your landscape fabric, a staple gun and scissors.  You're basically going to wrap your pallet's bottom and side so that your dirt will stay in the "bed".  Take your landscape fabric and roll it over the bottom of your pallet.  Cut the fabric to be the right length and start stapling it at one end, pulling tight over the rest of the pallet and stapling a few times on each leg.  The first bed I made I didn't wrap the fabric around the sides and the dirt seeped out, so  the next few I made we made sure to wrap and staple along the bottom and the sides of each pallet.

6.  Now comes the fun part!  You'll want to make a nice, flat spot in the dirt where you'll lay your beds.

7.  Lay your bed in your raked spot and fill with a mixture of soil and manure.  Try to get your soil/manure mixture to the top of your beds.  We wanted to make sure that the soil wasn't going to move around too much on us, so we would step/stomp on it to pack it in.  We also wet it down after we packed it in, let it settle then added more dirt/manure and packed it in again.  You'll have some seepage around your pallet, but you pack a little bit of dirt around the base to avoid too much.
NOTE: Adding dirt with a dump truck is the fun way to do this.

We made 3 beds, one has radishes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and anaheim chili's, another had crookneck squash and green zucchini and the last having a few different types of lettuce and spinach.  We're also planting watermelon and pumpkin, but we'll wait a little longer to start those plants!  We're also doing corn and tomatoes, but we'll do both in another part of the yard where Rango can't trek.

NOTE: Having a cute little helper makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable!  Especially when he wears bright green galoshes on the wrong feet!

Oh!  And another great part of garden beds with pallets - you can write directly onto your pallets what you planted so there's never any confusion!

That's it!  Go on, get dirty!  Please leave me a comment with any questions and I'll do my best to give helpful responses!

Have a great day!

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