DIY: pallet planter box
The Equinox is upon us, are you ready for Spring?
The extent of my gardening used to be sweeping the dead leaves off the patio and hiding my dying plants to cover up my crimes against botany.
My grandmother has a legendary green thumb, which I have yet to inherit. With the same Birds of Paradise in her solarium blooming year after year since the 1960s, her home is a tropical jungle in the city. She used to give me clippings from her Jade Plants (a resilient and idiot-proof houseplant) to teach me the baby steps of gardening, but gave up after I repeatedly killed them.
I have changed my ways since then, my brown thumb is slowly greening while trying to sustain life on my patio. It began with finding free cedar planks on Used.ca and building planter boxes, and has now turned into a gardening obsession. Tomatoes, nasturtiums, and a few vines on trellises have transformed my barren ground floor apartment patio into another oasis in the city.
DIY pallet planter video
The cost of soil, fertilizer, and the plants themselves can create quite an expensive gardening hobby. Rather than spend even more on simple planter boxes I decided to make a DIY planter for my spring tulips from free wooden pallets.
What you’ll need:
- One or two wooden pallets
- Plastic sheet to line the planter box
Many businesses have an endless supply of pallets from shipments bringing in inventory. Check your local Used.ca site because usually there is a surplus of pallets just waiting to be picked up from local shops and industrial areas.
Only use pallets with the symbols HT and DB, which stand for Heat Treated and Debarked. If you happen to come across a pallet with an MB symbol, which stands for Methyl Bromide, it has been fumigated and shouldn’t be used.
Creating a plan
The length of the planter is determined by how much wood you are able to salvage.
I recommend making a plan after taking the pallet apart because some of the wood pieces may break while deconstructing. For this planter box I made three equal length panels, held together with scrap pieces and the cutoffs from the planks that broke.
On the sides of the planter box I simply measured the gap between the front and back panels, and cut pieces to fit over the ends.
Before adding plants to the planter be sure to add a layer of plastic to contain the moisture from the soil. Unlike cedar the wood from the pallet is untreated and will rot over time from wet soil.
Find free pallets and more on your local Used.ca site.