What can you grow in a pallet garden? From fruits and veggies to flowers and herbs, the best plants for pallet garden growing are only limited to your imagination!

In urban spaces like New York City and Boston, space is at a premium, and more people than ever are choosing downtown apartments over suburban homes. The problem is, many of these apartments lack backyards, leaving tenants and homeowners with nowhere to plant fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s not just apartments, either. The average size of a yard in an American home has shrunk significantly over the last few years, according to research.

As a result, more people are investing in pallet gardens — build-your-own gardens made from wooden frames that look great on balconies and patios. If you’re wondering what you can grow in a pallet garden, you might be surprised by how versatile they can be. Here’s how to create one of your own.

Large stacks of wooden pallets in an asphalted lot in the daytime.

What is a Pallet Garden?

Think of a pallet garden as a backyard on a wooden frame — a place you can plant fruit and vegetables (or flowers) in a small space. These vertical gardens can add a splash of color to any balcony or patio, and they’re great for sustainability, too. Here are some of the benefits of pallet gardens:

  • You can grow fresh fruit and vegetables on your wooden pallet
  • The wooden frames require no assembly
  • There’s no place for weeds to grow

What You Need

So, what can you grow in a pallet garden? Before you start shopping for seeds or plants, start by building the structure. You’ll need a wooden shipping pallet in the size of your choice. (You’ll find a whole range of them here.) Choose a sturdy, smooth pallet made from high-quality wood. A pallet with wood at the bottom will prevent soil from falling out of the bottom. Alternatively, add a thin layer of plywood to the bottom of your pallet.

“Make sure it’s cleaned off and you’ve inspected it for any stray nails or splintered wood,” says Growing a Greener World. “It’s a good idea at this point to wear a sturdy pair of gloves while inspecting and cleaning the pallet.”

What can you grow in a pallet garden? It’s up to you to decide if you want to start from scratch with seeds or use pre-grown plants. You can grow fruits, veggies, flowers, herbs, or a combination of your favorites. The best plants for pallet gardens are able to grow in shallow soil, so avoid plants that produce deep roots, such as carrots or onions.

Find the Perfect Location for Your Pallet Garden

Your location affects what you can grow in a pallet garden. A sunny spot such as a balcony or patio with plenty of natural light is almost always the best place.

Attach Your Pallet Garden to the Wall

You can either attach your wooden pallet to a wall using L-brackets or rest it against a sturdy surface. The choice is yours.

Add Soil to Your Pallet

Next, add soil to the openings in your pallet. You’ll need to fill the openings about three-quarters of the way full.

Add Your Plants

Add your plants to the soil, taking care not to damage them. Don’t try to cram too many items into your pallet. What can you grow in a pallet garden? While the possibilities are endless, it’s important that you consider the size of the full-grown plants so you don’t end up with too little space for your plants to thrive.

Label Your Pallet

Use your marker to label the different plants in your pallet. Then, care for your pallet garden like you would with a regular backyard. Water your fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, and add more soil if needed.

Track Your Progress

Choosing the best plants for pallet gardens and nurturing them is so rewarding. Now that you know what you can grow in a pallet garden and how to build it, it’s time to get started! Be sure to keep track of which plants grow best so you can approach the next growing season with even more confidence. Like any skill or hobby, practice makes perfect!

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