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  • Mark Pattison

How to Build a Vertical Garden out of Shipping Pallets

Have a small space but still need some green? Grow Vertically! Follow this simple DIY to build your own vertical garden.

This DIY is perfect to bring in some greenery into any home, whether it be a small apartment, condo or a large home.

List of Supplies:

  • Two Pallets

  • Hammer

  • Tarp

  • Gloves

  • Pry Bar

  • Safety goggles

  • Ear protection

  • Paint brush

  • Sand Paper

  • Water-based stain

  • Water-based sealant

  • Two 3.5 inch utility hinges

  • Screws

  • Staples

  • Staple gun

  • Screwdriver

  • Scissors

  • Plants

  • Fertilizer

  • Potting mix

  • Landscape fabric

Something to consider: Before you buy out the garden center, think about your vertical garden's placement.

Vegetables, herbs, and annual flowers require at least six hours of direct sunlight. If you place your garden in a shady spot your choices may be limited. Many annual flowers and vegetables only grow in specific conditions, read the plant tags to decide if these are the right choice. Lastly, don't forget to take into account the potential size and habit of each plant.

1) Find heat-treated pallets

Many Pallets are treated with toxic chemicals, you want to avoid these. Find the initials "HT" to identify the heat-treated pallets. The wood on these pallets will appear clean, and feel hard and smooth.

2) Create space by removing boards

Put on your protective eye and ear gear. Using a pry bar, remove every other board on the pallet. This will allow the plants room to grow and get some sunlight.

3) Sand away the rough spots

With gloves on, sand away splinters and rough edges of the pallet. Make sure to hammer down any protruding nails.

4) Apply the stain

Using a paint brush, paint your pallet with the water-based wood stain. Make sure to paint along the grain. The excess stain can be wiped away with a rag. Let the stain dry for 24 hours. Once the stain is dry, top it with a water-based sealant. This will protect the wood.

5) Connect the Pallets

Stack the two pallets, making sure that the edges are level. With the screws, attach the hinges to the sides of the pallets.

6) Cut landscape fabric

Create a template with the first sheet of landscape fabric. Make sure it provides plenty of planting room, and about an inch of overlap. Once you've created and tested the template, replicate it with the remaining sheets.

7) Line the Pallets

Create pockets by tucking the fabric into the opening. Staple the fabric into place along the outer edge of the pallet.

8) Add soil

Before filling the garden with soil, place it in its final location. Fill in each pocket 3/4 of the way full with potting mix. Save some potting mix so that you can add another layer after planting.

9) Fertilize

Sprinkle fertilizer over the potting mix. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag you purchased.

10) Add your plants

Before placing the plants into the soil, water the plants to protect their roots from breaking. place the plant, soil included, into the potting mix. Spread about the roots with your fingers into the potting mix. Take your time with each plant.

Water from the upper pockets will drip down into the lower pockets, so plant from drought-tolerant down to thirsty plants.

Caring for your new garden

Water the upper pockets each morning, making sure the water reaches the other plants. Depending on the plants, you may need to water more frequently. Keep an eye on the weather. Hotter days mean more water.

Feed the plants one time per week with liquid fertilizer, giving them plenty of nutrients.

Enjoy your beautiful new garden and greenery.

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