Yes, I’ll admit it.  I’m hopelessly addicted to Pinterest.  But there are some positives to my condition. I get inspired to create. Great for the business, and also for my yard!  I recently hopped on the bandwagon and made a vertical pallet planter. If you want to give it a try, here’s how:

Supplies needed: pallet, roll of weed blocking fabric, staple gun, staples, scissors, 2 bags of potting soil – total of 5 cubic feet, shovel, trowel, plants – in no larger than 4″ pots, water.

Also recommended: board approx. same size as pallet, 4 bricks.

And possibly: power saw, power drill, screws.

for starters – the pallet

Step 1: Find a pallet!  We had just had supplies delivered on this pallet for our basement project, so I was in luck.  But I’ve heard there are lots of places, like Comcast near me, that store them behind their building waiting for trash day. My particular pallet had a lot of space between its boards and I was worried the dirt and plants would fall right out when I stood it up.  So I rounded up some scraps of strapping, again from our basement project, cut them to 4 feet long with that power saw you see in the background, and screwed them into the pallet. My hubby suggested using screws instead of nails because they’d hold better. See the power drill?  Makes the job so easy! Hopefully you won’t have to deal with this extra step if you find a better pallet I did.

my son lends a hand with the staple gun (anything with the word gun in there and he’s game!)

Step 2: Trim the weed blocking fabric long enough to wrap all the way around the sides of the pallet (and fold under if you’re a little anal like me).  Probably 4′ 10″ or so. I got my roll at Ocean State Job Lot.  It was only 3 feet wide, but it was also only $5.  The wider ones I had seen at Home Depot were $20 something.  So I had to cut two lengths.  It actually turned out to be a good thing to overlap the fabric for a double thick layer.  Decide which side of the pallet will be the front and which will be the back. With the back side facing up, use the staple gun (I used 1/4″ staples because thats what we had on hand, but you could use longer too) to attach the weed fabric to the back, around the sides (folding the edges for a neater look if you want to), and around the bottom of the pallet.  I put a staple in every 4″ or so. Remember to push down on the back of the staple gun (like my son is in the photo) to get the staples in good and deep.

this is what it will look like – this happens to be bottom up

Step 3: Lie the pallet down with the back (weed fabric covered side) on the ground.  Note: Be sure to move your pallet close to its final position now.  Its about to get really heavy so you don’t want to have to move it very far once its planted. You may also want to consider lying it on a board at this point. All that will be holding in all that heavy dirt and plantings is a thin layer of fabric and a few staples.  It will help keep everything in tact when you tip the pallet up.

get two 2.5 cubic foot bags of potting soil

Step 4: Go grab your dirt. A pallet is 4ft x 4ft and about 4″ deep, so 5 cubic feet of soil is perfect to fill it.  I used two 2.5 cubic foot bags of potting soil.

fill the pallet with soil

Step 5: Shovel or dump (if you’re strong enough to carry the bag of soil around) the soil onto the pallet, pushing and lightly packing it under the boards too.  I left the area beneath the top board fairly empty, figuring I’d fill it after I tipped it up. I even had a little extra soil left that I stored away for just that purpose.

plan out plant arrangement

Step 6: Now get your plants.  I used a mix of flowers and herbs: petunias, impatients, begonia, vinca vine, lobelia, 2 green plants that I can’t remember the name of, rosemary, oregano, basil, mint and romaine lettuce.  I put the smaller ones on the bottom so they wouldn’t droop all over the ground when the pallet is propped up.  I put some dangly ones for some visual interest. And I mixed the color fairly evenly among the greens.  Another note: when purchasing your plants, make sure they are in no larger than a 4″ pot or they won’t fit!

all planted

Step 6: Plant everything and water generously.  You can clean the dirt off the boards too (as you can see I did not!). Leave the pallet planter lying flat on the ground for 1 or 2 weeks until the plants are established.

tip the pallet up and lean it against a wall – done!

Step 7: After you’ve waited patiently for the week or two, stepping carefully over your planter (or in my yard, playing soccer around it), its time to tip it up! You will definitely need help for this part. Its very heavy. Remember lift with your legs not with your back! If you’ve taken my advice and put it right next to its permanent spot, and put a board under it, this will be much easier.  Lift and slide.  Then fill the top with the rest of the soil you had set aside and plant the last plants.  I put the romaine lettuce here for some height and more vinca vines that hang down the sides. Done.  Just remember to keep it watered and enjoy!

Ooops! I killed the grass!

Warning: Leaving the pallet on grass for a week or two will surely damage or even kill the grass.  Something I hadn’t considered but my husband did – a little too late! His suggestion is to let air circulate under the pallet by putting a couple bricks on the ground in the corner areas before you put the board and pallet down to fill with dirt.