For this project I used an old shipping palett and turned it into a vertical garden. I planted mainly evergreens, succulents and shrub, but you can also turn this into a flowering garden or even a vegetable patch. If you are planting edibles, just make sure the palett has not been pressure treated and use only eco-friendly varnish. The reason why I chose mainly perennials is that I want to use the palett garden as a feature all year round. In the top row I planted some herbs as they can be easily removed and replaced.
There are a lot of very useful intructional videos on YouTube, but here is how I built my garden :-)
For this project you need:
- old shipping palett
- a roll of membrane (the ones to keep out weed - it’s important that it lets the water through)
- staple gun and staples OR hammer and nails
- plastic sheet (I used a bin bag)
First you need to check the palett for any damage. If you don’t mind it looking rustic, you don’t need to over-fix it. Just make made sure all the planks are securely attached and hammer in any loose ones.
Then sand it down with rough sandpaper to get rid of any splinters or small bits of wood sticking out.
Apply your varnish according to the instructions. I used linseed oil, but you can use any varnish suitable for outside use (for example for a fence).
This step is optional: some people will prefer to leave the front open and plant the palett tightly with plants. I preferred to add membrane over the openings in the front. I would later cut small holes in it and feed though the roots of the plants. That way the soil will not fall out so much.
When you add the membrane make sure you secure it very tightly!
Then do the same for the back, sides and bottom of the palett. Again, secure the membrane very tightly to keep the soil in place. For this step, use two layers of membrane.
After that, I added a piece of plastic (I used a bin bag) to the back, as I wanted to lean it against the wall (to protect the wall from any water that may leak through the membrane).
Once you have prepared your palett, you should chose its ideal position and think about how you want to fix it. It will be too heavy to manouvre around once it is full of soil, so think about this step carefully.
The next step is to fill the bottom with some small rocks or pebbles to facilitate drainage. I also put some small stones under the palett just to slightly lift it off the ground.
Now you are ready to add your plants :-) Add soil and really pack it in - this is very important! I used an empty bottle to reach the bottom of the palett for the first layer. Then cut a small hole in the membrane and feed through the roots of your plant. Add soil, pack it in and continue like this.
Make sure you place plants that need a lot of water towards the top.
To water my garden I just spray the plants with the hose.