Inserting the Liner
In Part 2, we left off talking about creating and inserting a liner into our pallet gardens to hold soil and conserve moisture. I believe a few more details on the subject are in order.
The liner for your pallet can be made from weed cloth that has been sewn at the edges. It is a very simple procedure, and can be accomplished with a few zips on the sewing machine. Weed cloth that is wide enough can be folded in half and sewn on each side to create the liner. Precision is not necessary, you simply want a liner that, when filled with soil, will be large enough to fill the inner cavity of the pallet. You will need two liners, one for each half of the pallet.
In the illustration on the right, you can see how the liner is intended to be fitted into the pallet and the soil placed in side. When you have finished sewing your liner, take it to the pallet and fit it in, using a stick to push it all the way to the bottom and out to all sides.
Moving A Pallet Garden into Place
Your pallet has been prepped, and is now ready to be moved to its final destination in the garden. It is heavy, having a helper to help you move it might be a good idea.
Supporting A Pallet Garden
The pallet is heavy as is, but will only get heavier as you add soil, plants, and water. Wherever you place it in the garden, make sure it is properly supported and can’t tip over. Other tutorials would have you lean it against a wall and call it a day, but I find that unsafe. A structure this tall and heavy could find a way to tip over onto children, pets, or you. Make sure your pallet is stable and supported in it’s final location with brackets and screws.
Insert the Dirt
Begin filling the pallet with potting soil. If you’re going to add fertilizer, now is a good time to mix it in. Other tutorials would have you fill the pallet in the horizontal position, but personally I found that step unnecessary. With the liner you added, the soil will not spill out with the pallet in the vertical position.
Insert the Feeder Pipes
This small step is also a deviation from the traditional pallet tutorial. I was not sure how the bottom soil and plants in the pallet were supposed to get water and nutrients, so I added PVC feeder pipes, cut to long and medium lengths, to the inside of the pallet as I filled it with soil. This way I could pipe food and water to the plants at the bottom and middle and give them a better chance of staying alive and happy. Once the pipes are positioned, continue filling the soil around them until the pallet has been filled.
Time to Plant
If you have plants in plugs ready to go, planting your pallet will be relatively easy. All you need to do is cut a slit in the liner where you’d like the plants to go. Once the slit is cut, push back the inner soil, pop in a plant, and pack the soil back in. This is the fun part, decorate away!
Mulch as an Option
A final touch to the pallet garden may be the addition of mulch. To conserve moisture in the pallet, I packed straw in between the slats and over the plants out the top. This step will also help prevent the soil from the openings where the plants are from being washed away should you spray your pallet with a hose.
Now it’s time to tidy up, kick back, and enjoy your new vertical pallet garden made from a recycled pallet! You’ve worked hard, and this should be something you’ll be able to enjoy for a long time to come. I hope you try making one today!