Pallet Garden: 20 Clever Ideas For The Ultimate Upcycle • Insteading

Wooden pallets are more than “having a moment”. In recent years, they’ve made their way in and onto nearly surface imaginable.

From furniture to shutters, to walkways and light fixtures, wood pallets are one of the best upcycling opportunities around. And you can often get them for free. Not only are old pallets an eco-friendly option, but they also have many, many uses. Pallet garden builders have taken advantage of this versatility.


Gardening has traditionally been something that required a fair amount of space and workable land in order to make it functional and worthwhile. This meant that anyone living in apartments or condominiums, or who rented their homes instead of owned them, was left out of the loop when it came to having a garden of their own.

Enter the pallet garden, and several problems have been solved. They don’t require much space at all and can even be hung vertically aside walls and fences. Additionally, they can be easily dismantled when it comes time to move. Another benefit of using pallet wood in gardens is its built-in ability to create rows, which makes it simpler to plant and separate vegetables and herbs. Pallets are hard for weeds to get established in, which means less maintenance.

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Getting your hands on a few pallets is relatively simple. Ask your local recycling center where you can find them or contact businesses you know that receive shipments on pallets to find out what they do with them once they’ve unloaded their product.

If you haven’t given gardening a try because of a lack of space, or, because of the time and effort it requires, read on to see if any of these pallet garden options may have you considering growing radishes and carrots in your own backyard.

1. Traditional Pallet Garden

Making your own pallet garden requires little more than pallets (look for those that haven’t been treated with chemicals), soil, and seeds or plants. Pallet gardens can be as small as one pallet, or as large as you have room for. Simply lay in your chosen, sunny spot, fill with dirt, and plant your seeds or plants in the provided rows.

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2. Succulent Plant Pallet Wall

Before we get too far down the path of vegetable gardens, remember that pallets are also a fantastic option for flowers and other plants as well. Take a succulent wall, for instance. This is especially nice for anyone who is in love with succulents and needs to consider a vertical option to maximize space. The succulents are securely planted on black landscape fabric, providing an aesthetic background that’s quite elegant. Just make sure your pallet garden is installed on a sunny wall to ensure your succulents thrive.

3. Vertical Pallet Garden

To make the most of a vertical wood pallet garden, use straw within each layer to retain moisture.

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It’s hard to believe the large volume of herbs and vegetables that can come from such a small space.

4. Backyard Pallet Garden

Our backyards are a place of respite and relaxation. Incorporating a pallet garden into where you rest and play is an opportunity to spend even more time outside. Enjoy the fresh air and the bountiful harvest.

5. Vertical Herb Garden

For some, growing herbs is one of the first ways they get started in gardening. It’s also a nice option for the accomplished cook who’d like a low-maintenance, easily-accessible herb garden just outside the door. This vertical pallet herb garden is simple to make and looks lovely as well.

6. Large Stacked Pallet Garden

Saving space is one of the largest advantages of a pallet garden, and stacking them not only does exactly that, but it provides more growth opportunities than one may expect. These upcycled wood pallets act almost as a pallet planter, providing plenty of depth for plants with lots of roots.

7. Raised Bed Pallet Garden

This may take just a bit more time to create as it requires disassembling and reassembling pallets, but the results are raised pallet gardens that prove easy to work in, since they require less bending and stooping to tend them.

8. Flowering Pallet Wall

The visual effect of a flowering pallet wall is quite unexpected. This is an especially nice option if you like cascading varieties such as petunias. A flowering pallet wall fits nicely in virtually any spot, so it’s a good choice for those without much outdoor space to work with. Sooner or later, you’ll have flowers growing out of all of the slats!

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9. Hanging Pot Pallet Wall

If you’re interested in something a bit simpler, consider using a pallet as a wall to hang potted plants, flowers or herbs from.

10. Vine Grown Pallet Garden

People with smaller yards often avoid from growing things like squash and melons because they require so much space for their vines to spread. With a pallet garden, you can grow such things vertically, taking up a fraction of the space.

11. Painted Pallet Garden

To really dress up the look of your pallet garden, go ahead and splash a few shades of your favorite color on them to brighten up your outdoor space.

12. Pallet Garden Table

What about a multi-purpose way to upcycle a pallet? This clever table is a recycled pallet with a succulent garden built right in.

13. Supported Pallet Garden

If you’d prefer to use a pallet to grow your produce vertically, but have no wall or fence to work with, just give your pallets a little support.

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Now you can put them wherever they’ll get the right amount of sunlight in your yard.

14. Built-In Pallet Garden

Sometimes we’re looking for a creative way to display flowers, or perhaps herbs and plants. Check out this unique way of using pallets to work with roses within cedar wood chips. Rather than the pallet serving as a raised bed, it’s installed into the ground to let your garden’s soil provide the plants with nutrients.

15. Pallet Garden Walls

Create some separation by placing two or more vertical gardens at adjacent angles to provide privacy in the most beautiful way. This is a great way to make your patio more aesthetic while also creating a windbreak and more privacy!

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16. Lattice Pallet Wall

Pretty up your deck or patio with a pallet garden adorned with lattice to create a flowering wall. As compared to other projects, this garden utilizes just the pallet boards rather than the whole pallet.

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17. Small Pallet Garden

When you’re really only looking to grow a few herbs or some flowers in a smaller area, you can use portions of a pallet to build a mini garden. This is perfect for spaces like windowsills or balconies.

18. Backyard Pallet Garden Oasis

The more you can incorporate into your outdoor spaces alongside your pallet garden, the more time you’ll spend working and playing in your backyard oasis.

19. Pallet Compost Bins

Many gardeners choose to maintain a compost bin to take advantage of the nutrients compost provides to the soil. Pallets are a simple, economical way to create your own compost bin in a short amount of time.

For more information on how to make your own pallet garden, check out these easy steps.

20. Strawberry Pallet Planter

If you like to grow strawberries in your garden (and who doesn’t?), this pallet garden idea is definitely one worth considering! Plant the strawberries directly into the soil with some garden fabric or straw, and soon you’ll have enough of a harvest that you’ll be able to avoid going to the grocery store any time you want fresh strawberries!

With a little creative thinking and these DIY design plans from Lovely Greens, you’ll have a strawberry garden in no time.

Selecting Pallet Wood For Your Garden

Before you toss just any old pallet into your garden, its important to mention that there are some things you should keep in mind, especially if you’re growing edible plants in your pallet garden.

Many wood pallets are treated with methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide that can negatively affect your lungs. Air on the side of caution by utilizing wood pallets that are untreated, or heat treated.

Pallet Garden: 20 Clever Ideas For The Ultimate Upcycle • Insteading
various brennemans / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Additionally, avoid any pre-painted pallets. Latex paint is often used on pallets to indicate where they were manufactured, but could potentially pose a problem if you’re growing edible plants on them.

Finally, make sure to choose high-quality pallets that are in good condition. A new pallet isn’t necessary, but a lightly used pallet is ideal! They’ll last longer and look sharp in your yard![external_footer]