Upcycle an old pallet and turn it into a beautiful garden boasting with vegetables and herbs.
By Kay Maguire and Tony Woods
Big Ideas for Small Spaces: Creative Ideas and 30 Projects for Balconies, Roof Gardens, Windowsills and Terraces (Firefly Books, 2017), by Kay Maguire and Tony Woods, introduce new and exciting ways to spruce up small spaces in outdoor areas. Maguire and Woods provide step by step instructions with photos for projects that make it easy for readers to follow. Readers will also find plant and flower suggestions that would be best for each unique space. The following excerpt is from Section 4: “The Projects-Verticals.”
There are plenty of DIY wall planters on the market but this recycled pallet is an instant winner for price, ease, and rustic style. When packed with pretty edibles it will also keep you going in fresh leaves, herbs, and veg all summer long.
The gaps between the slats in a pallet make perfect pocket planters and mean that your wall planter is almost instantly ready to plant. It just needs sealing with plastic around the back and sides to hold the potting compost and plants in place. Most crops like a warm, bright spot so choose a sunny wall for your pallet. Before planting secure it to the wall with vine eyes and wire, to stop it toppling over after watering and when it gets heavy with produce. Plant the pallet through the slats, treating each row as a separate layer. To help stop potting compost falling through the layers, line each layer with a length of plastic. We filled green wall pallet with quick-growing, productive edibles such as salads, courgettes (zucchini), and herbs, but such a pallet could also become a colourful display when planted with bright seasonal plants and annuals.
A combination of annual edible flowers, herbs, fruit, and vegetables
Edible flowers, e.g. nasturtium, pansy, pot marigold
Herbs, e.g. lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme
Vegetables, e.g. bush tomato, courgette (zucchini), mangetout (snow pea), rocket (arugula), salad leaves
1. Measure your pallet and cut a sheet of plastic to cover the back and the sides. Use the staple gun to attach it to the pallet.
2. Screw a vine eye or hook into each side of the pallet and position it against the wall. Drill a hole in the wall on either side of the pallet, then screw in a vine eye or hook and fasten it with wire to a vine eye or hook on the pallet.
3. Start to fill the pallet with potting compost, pouring it in from the top until the lowest layer is full.
4. Plant the lowest layer through the slats of the pallet, topping up with potting compost. Then water the layer.
5. Insert a sheet of plastic between this and the layer above it. Continue adding potting compost, planting, watering, and inserting plastic sheeting until you reach the top.
6. Plant up the top of the pallet with the more upright plants, such as the tomato and rosemary, and water in.
Published by Firefly Books Ltd. 2017
Text copyright @ 2017 The Royal Horticultural Society
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