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A vertical pallet garden is a great project for anyone who is interested in gardening, but it's especially nice for those who don't have a lot of space.
The first thing you'll need to tackle this project is a pallet. I saw some for sale on Craigslist for about $4, but you could save your loot and help yourself to the ones lying in back of your local supermarkets.
The only downside to this is that you can't control what you're gonna find. If you're planning to eat what you grow Life on the Balcony says you'll want to find a pallet that has been heat treated as opposed to fumigated with pesticides. Read more about that here.
When you're getting your pallets for free you can't be choosy about how it's been treated. You take what you can find. Literally. Also, I highly recommend pallet hunting with another person. You know, a getaway driver -- preferably one with a truck.
While I won't mention specific stores, I can tell you that we had pretty good luck finding clean pallets in a timely manner. Of course you will come across some that are yucky. Leave those.
But if it looks good, run your happy ass out there and take it. Take gloves to avoid splinters.
Throw it in the back of the truck and get the heck outta there. You're a rebel.
Once you have the pallets you're well on your way to spicing up your porch space with your own vertical garden.
To finish the project you will need:
- A staple gun - I've always wanted one of these and finally had a solid reason to get one! $10.
- Staples - about $3
- A small role of landscape fabric - Another $10
- 3 bags of 1 cubic foot potting soil - I found these on sale for $2.49 each, regularly $5
- 16 six packs of annual flowers - These were on sale for 99 cents a pack!
I bought all of these things at Home Depot (even though I would have loved to purchase the plants from a local nursery). I was lucky to find the things on sale or I wouldn't have been able to afford all of it. If costs are an issue for you too, consider starting your plants from seed. You'll have to wait a longer time before your garden is vertical, but I'm sure it's worth the wait.
Step 1: Line the back and three sides of the pallet with two sheets of landscaping fabric. Staple all around so that soil cannot get into unwanted spaces. You'll need to pull it taut.
Step 2: Lay the pallet on the ground and plant the topmost plants (4 packs total) into the very top space that you didn't cover with landscaping fabric. Shove them in there tight, as you want them as secure as possible.
Step 3: Dump 2 bags of soil onto the pallet and spread it evenly into the slots.
Step 4: Create wells in each slot for the transplants. Make sure there is enough of soil packed into the space between the wells under the wooden planks. Place one six pack of plants in each opening in whatever arrangement you like. Add a bit of soil to secure.
Continue doing this until you're all done!
Finally, Life on the Balcony says to leave the pallet lying on the ground for a minimum of two weeks so that the roots can settle and secure themselves. Find the original tutorial here.