How to Make a Pallet Garden in 7 Easy Steps

How to Make a Pallet Garden

Have you been thinking about giving your garden a new and fresh look?

Do you want something inexpensive, practical and good looking?

Well, I was thinking the same a while ago and came up with the perfect solution. I wanted to give my backyard a facelift and had a perfect area close to the wall of the house to turn into a vertical flower garden.

After a few ideas that ended up being too complicated, I came up with the simple solution - a pallet! And it ended up like it was made for that sole purpose only. Here’s how to make a pallet garden in seven easy steps:

The Infographic

Infographic How to Make a Pallet Garden in 7 Easy Steps

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Equipment You Will Need

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You can find a pallet almost anywhere, any grocery store or any store that is a bit bigger and better equipped has them. You can ask them if they have any spare they intended to throw away. Just don't take a rotten one that's on its way to fell apart.

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    One large bag of potting soil

You will need potting soil to fill up the empty places in the pallet to put the flowers in. One bigger bag should be just fine.

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    Staples and staple gun

Staple gun will be necessary to fix the fabric to the pallet. Take a pack of staples that should be enough to fix the whole fabric to the wood.

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    Sandpaper (rough)

To prepare the pallet for painting and to smooth out the rough edges, you will need a rough sandpaper to get it done. Take a couple of them, just in case.

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    Gloves for gardening​​​​

Take a pair of gardening gloves for protection and that look of a gardening professional!

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    Landscape fabric​​​​

This type of fabric is important for this kind of project. It keeps the roots going through the other side you don't want them to go through. Since this will be a vertical kind of a shelf garden, you will need the landscape fabric to keep the roots going to the back side.

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    Two size packs of flowers per open area on the pallet​​​​

There is not a lot of space on the pallet, so the best pick of flowers for this kind of garden would be shallow-rooted plants.

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    Paintbrushes and paint

To give the whole thing a special look to it, you can grab any paint you like and paint over the parts, or the complete pallet.

Step-by-step Creation

1. Sand the pallet

Most of the pallets are made out of very low-quality wood. And because of that, they have a lot of splinters. So it will require a lot of sanding to make the surface nice and smooth. This way the landscape fabric won't be torn by the rough surface. When sanding, make sure you use gloves and be careful not to sand through them, so that you don't stab yourself with splinters.

2. Painting

Paint the front-facing slats with a single color of with a combination of colors. It will make the wood look better, especially if it's in poor condition. Do note that the entire process of the project will have to wait for a day, for the paint to dry.

3. Measure the landscape fabric

Once the paint has dried, pick up the pallet and flip it over so that the side with fewer slates is facing up. Put the landscape fabric over it and measure it so that it overlaps a few inches over the length of the pallet. If the fabric is quite thin, then make it a double layer.

4. Staple the fabric to the pallet

Once you measured and cut the fabric, stretch it, so it's taut against the back of the pallet. Staple the fabric down along three sides and the back slats. Make the staples several inches apart and depending on the width of the fabric, repeat the process one more time to fully cover the pallet.

5. Cover the bottom edge with the fabric

Take up the pallet and flip it on its edge so you can tuck the extra fabric into the bottom of it. This way you will create a seal, so the dirt doesn't fall out of the pallet when you stand it up. Fold the fabric on the corner and staple it along the bottom of the pallet, if the pallet has a slat down the middle, cut a slit in the extra fabric to make two sections.

Tuck any extra fabric into the middle of the pallet, and you can staple it on the bottom slat. If your staple gun is not an unfoldable one, you can staple the extra fabric to the top or the bottom slat.

6. Fill the empty spots with dirt and plants

Move the pallet next to the location you want to set it up at. It's better to do it now, while the pallet is lighter and not loaded with dirt. Add the potting soil to the open slat areas. Plant the flowers and plants and make sure that they are tightly placed next to each other.

After you plant everything, leave the pallet on the ground for a few days, so the roots take hold. It would be best to leave it for a week, so the dirt doesn't fall out once you place it vertically.

7. Set it up to the desired location

After the roots took place and you think it’s the right time to stand the pallet up, get someone to help you to put it in its place. Carefully carry the whole thing next to a wall and stand it up with extra attention, it will not be as light as it may seem.


The only thing left to do is to admire that beautiful piece of your handwork!

Have you liked the tutorial? If so, tell me in the comments what do you think. I think this was the cheapest and fastest way to create a mini garden that will give a facelift to your backyard.

About the Author

I’m Emily and after a ten year career as a journalist I have moved on to share my passion for gardening. While getting out in the garden is one of my favourite hobbies, and helps me de-stress after a long day in the office, I often found myself frustrated at not getting the results I wanted from my plants. Through blogging, I have uncovered the answer to lots of common problems and now I want to share my knowledge with other horticulture enthusiasts.

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