Turn any small space into a garden with a pallet


We went along with Dayna Steele, of Seabrook as she created a pallet garden as a low maintenance solution.

It starts with a trip to the grocery store -- she went to Arlan's in Seabrook. She picked up a pallet for free from the folks there. She is going to take the pallet home to recreate a mini garden that she first saw on social media.

"The best part of this project is that it's a great way to build an herb garden and maybe save some money doing it," Steele said.

After picking up her pallet, she got to work.

We went to the pros at Cornelius Nursery to get their tips on creating the pallet garden.

"It's going to look like a layered landscape except in an upright position," said nursery worker Thomas Andrews. It's really easy to do because you are having an upright decoration."

Andrews said once you pick up your pallet, you may have to attach another piece of wood to create a planter box. He also recommends adding landscape fabric to keep the soil from spilling out. To ensure proper drainage, add gravel before adding the soil.

"You want to get a good mixture of dryness and wetness so that way if you can't get it raised up that's okay, at least get some gravel at the bottom that will help with the drainage," Andrews said.

Next, add a premium potting soil mixture over your gravel.

When it comes to choosing plants, make sure you use plants that have the same water and sun requirements.

"Your lighting has to be exactly right for all the plants you are using try to not use a shade loving plant, versus a sun loving plant," Andrews said.

He also suggests adding the tallest plants at the top, positioning filler plants in the middle, and planting the spiller plants at the bottom.

Back at Steele's house, she followed every step and even included label cards to identify each plant.

Instead of buying her herbs at the grocery store, she can step out on her patio and save time and money. The total cost of her project was less than $20.

Steps to a successful pallet garden from Cornelius Nurseries:

  • Locate a treated wood pallet in a size that will fit your space-- it can lie flat or you can create a vertical garden that works well with succulents and slow-growing plants that trail. With a vertical pallet, line inside with landscape fabric to hold in the soil; cut an X for plant to grow
  • Be sure your pallet garden has good draining-- you can add rocks in the bottom to aid draining
  • Purchase bagged premium planting soil with nutrients
  • Select small plants or herbs that "play well together"-- seeds can work but they take more TLC and patience
  • Select plants for sun or shade, according to your pallet location
  • Space your plants to allow for growth, dig a hole for each plant and press soil firmly around base of each plant; mulch on the top will help prevent insects and will hold in the moisture.

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