The Top 69 Pallet Garden Ideas – Landscaping Design
“The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.” – Issey Miyake
Using an upcycled wood pallet to create a garden is the ultimate eco-friendly way to reuse, repurpose, and recycle.
Retailers use—and discard—millions of wood pallets each year when moving goods from place to place. Pallets end up occupying a lot of room in landfills. That’s unfortunate because pallet wood is an excellent raw material that you can reuse in countless imaginative ways. DIYers have long enjoyed using pallet wood to make innovative creations.
Old pallet wood is an excellent material to repurpose into a planter box, vertical planter, raised garden bed, or even a pallet swing. Not only are pallets a good source of upcycled wood, but this material is inexpensive—often entirely free. Scroll through the following pallet gardening ideas and find out how to start your own impressive pallet garden today.
1. Pallet Garden Ideas for Herbs
Recycled pallet wood might contain a chemical treatment, so before you use it to grow herbs, make sure it is the right kind. Manufacturers treat pallet boards to avoid invasive species, either by heat treatment or fumigation. Heat-treated pallets will bear the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) logo along with an “HT.” Fumigated pallet wood will have an “MB,” which stands for methyl bromide, the chemical used for fumigation.
Always wash any pallet with hot, soapy water before using it for edible plants. Seal it with linseed oil or paint it with a water-based latex paint. Most herbs do well in pallet gardens, including mint, basil, thyme, and oregano. Lavender also grows well in a pallet herb garden and you can use it as an herb or a fragrant cut flower.
2. Freestanding Pallet Planter Garden Ideas
You can build a freestanding pallet garden bed by nailing a pallet to the front of an A-frame structure. This movable garden is ideal if you need to shuffle your flower or herb garden to a sunnier spot in the yard. Add caster wheels to the bottom of the freestanding pallet garden bed for easy movement.
Anyone can construct a DIY pallet planter with multiple shelves from wood upcycled from two pallets. Use chalkboard paint to make erasable tags in front of each section of a freestanding vertical garden. This is particularly helpful with an herb garden, where what you plant in each section of the pallet may frequently change.
3. Creative Pallet Garden Design Ideas
Pallet garden ideas can be extremely creative for something that is basically just a garden in a wooden box. A vertical pallet garden hangs on a wall, making it one of the best ways to garden in a small space. Paint your pallet planter any number of colors, or add wooden cutouts, stencil designs, metal flowers, or other decorative embellishments.
You can break a pallet into several small wooden pallet planter units to hang along a wall or fence. Like small flower boxes, you can fill them with succulents, flowering plants, or decorative herbs. You can use the pallet as a frame of sorts and hang metal buckets that contain your actual plants. Use the wood from one or more pallets to build a simple box planter that doesn’t look like a pallet, as shown in this video:
4. Pallet Flower Box Garden Ideas
Flower box pallet garden ideas are nearly limitless. You can use an entire pallet to make a vertical garden full of your favorite flowers. You can also split a pallet into several smaller vertical pallet units that serve as individual flower boxes. You might also use a pallet as a flower pot shelf. This idea works particularly well if you prefer housing your flowering plants in pots instead of planting them directly into the pallet.
Flowers can enhance nearly any pallet garden idea. A vertical pallet garden can serve as a backdrop for larger plants in ceramic pots or planters set directly on the ground. Instead of hanging a basic rectangular flower box under your windows, nail an entire vertical pallet to the wall. It will become a stacked flower box, giving you three or more rows of flowers beneath your window sills instead of just one.
5. Pallet Garden Raised Bed and Plant Box Ideas
Pallet wood is ideal for building a simple garden bed in your yard. Large or small, this is one of the best pallet garden ideas if you want to use reclaimed wood but desire a more refined finished product. Stain or paint the wood to match other wood elements on your home or in your garden.
Raised garden beds made from pallets help make gardening easier for those with arthritis or who otherwise struggle getting up and down from ground level. If dampness is an issue in your yard, build raised pallet garden beds with legs. Note that these wood containers will need lining—landscape fabric works best—and filling with potting soil before use.
6. Upcycled Pallet Garden Ideas
There are many ways to upcycle pallets for use in the garden. In fact, because they’re so economical, you may find that they help you creatively use areas of your yard where nothing existed before. Use the wood to make a compost bin or a stacked, multi-level planter box. Pallet garden ideas may include breaking down an additional pallet and using the wood to make a potting bench.
Attach a vertical trellis to a flat pallet garden, and you can grow beans and other plants that require a trellis for climbing. Make two matching pallet planter boxes and stand a metal trellis between the two. Place it somewhere in your garden where you wish to define two separate areas. As vines grow up the trellis, it creates a living screen that is beautiful and functional.
Upcycling pallets in the garden isn’t limited to creating shelves, planters, and fences. Cut pallet slats into random lengths and lay them onto gravel to make an attractive wooden garden path. Use pallet wood to build a bench beneath a window that will coordinate with your other pallet pieces. Reinforce two pallets with 2×4 lumber, top it with a covered mattress, and hang this new swing with sturdy rope.
7. Wall Pallet Garden Ideas
Wall pallet gardening is a creative way to upcycle pallets into useful features. Vertical pallet garden ideas may involve creating an herb garden, flower garden, vegetable garden, or succulent display. Just make sure to place your vertical pallet garden in an area that receives full sunlight.
Vertical gardening is a perfect planter idea for people in apartments, condos, or other small dwellings who wish to begin gardening but lack the room. All you need is a small outdoor space, such as a balcony or patio. You can make a DIY pallet garden in under an hour.
Note that a wall-mounted pallet planter box is quite heavy when filled with wet soil. Therefore, make sure to mount it securely with large wood screws, metal brackets, or cleats. You can also rest the vertical pallet garden on the ground for additional support. A DIY vertical garden is easy to construct, as shown in this video:
8. Shelf and Pot Hanger Pallet Garden Ideas
Using a pallet to make a shelf or pot hanger is one of the more unique garden pallet projects you can do. Although pallet shelves are narrow by design, they are large enough to accommodate small flower or herb pots. For a rustic look, plant herbs in mason jars and set them on the pallet shelves. Smaller wooden or metal boxes also fit onto pallet shelves and can hold a variety of little plants.
Pallet shelves can be freestanding, placed on the ground itself. If you prefer, you can hang your pallet shelves on a patio wall or attach them to a fence. Depending on how you design your pallet garden, you can use the slats for shelves or as flat planks from which you hang pots and baskets. Continue the recycling theme by cutting plastic soda or water bottles in half and nailing them to the pallet slats to serve as plant pots.
For a really dramatic garden feature, use vertically stacked pallet panels to make a tall fence. Randomly hang galvanized buckets of herbs or trailing ivies along the rustic fence you created. Add hooks to hold your gardening tools, watering can, pruning shears, and other useful items. Finish decorating your pallet fence with a metal letter monogram or hang old metal advertising signs for a rustic, country vibe.
9. Pallet Fence Garden Ideas
Hang up a whole pallet, or cut it into several pallet planter boxes and hang them along your wooden fence. Trailing plants look particularly beautiful as they flow down from high-mounted pallet garden boxes, adding color and life to an ordinarily dull garden area. When pallet gardening, alternate vivid flowers or herbs with ivy for a variety of textures and colors.
Broken-down wood pallets can also become the fence itself. This is perhaps one of the most economical ways to build a wooden fence, and it’s a truly creative recycling idea. Hang fairy lights from your pallet planter or fence to add a magical charm to the area at night.
Pallet Garden FAQs
Many plants grow well in a pallet. Generally, look for plants that have a shallow root system. Great choices for your wood pallet garden include:
- Green onions
- Nearly any flower
Wooden pallet gardens tend to dry out quickly. Therefore, you should plan to water your pallet garden daily with a watering can or garden hose. To conserve moisture in your pallet planter, turn to straw. Pack straw between the pallet planks and around the base of each flower or plant—this idea will also prevent soil from washing away.
Many businesses can provide you with a wood pallet or two, for free or at a low cost. Free pallets are likely to be odd sizes or have a poor appearance. Try to find pallets in good condition, with dry, clean wood—and always ask before taking.
Look for wood pallets at:
- Small retailers including stationery shops and pet stores
- Bars and pubs
- Feed and tack stores
- Liquor stores
- Construction sites