Living in an urban metropolis can be a bit limiting when it comes to growing your own garden, and if you’re anything like me, you live in a one bedroom apartment with two dogs, and no room for a house plant let alone a space to grow. This simple DIY vertical pallet garden is a creative solution to the city living dilemma or a great addition to your already existing garden. Planting herbs that you would typically dish out cash for at your local grocery store could save you a small fortune, and serve as a beautiful display of your crazy awesome, do it yourself gardening skills.
What you’ll need:
6 6 inch Terra Cotta Pots
6 T-Bolt Clamps
6 U- Brackets
12 nails or wood screws ( phillips head )
1 Bag of Organic Potting Soil
Drill or hammer
Seed Packs of your preferred herbs ( Perennials work well any time of year)
Find an old pallet that needs up cycling:
Selecting a pallet could be as easy as finding one on the side of the road in need of some TLC, but what you need to consider if the pallet has an unknown origin,it potentially has been treated with toxic chemicals. To avoid this, use the pallet as a foundation rather than growing anything edible directly on its surface.
Ceramic pots or any container with drainage holes at the base will work just fine. At this point you will reinforce the container to the pallet, and depending on the type of container you selected there are different options. For the sake of simplicity, this example will use ceramic pots secured to the pallet with metal T-bolt band clamps and U-brackets (which can be found at your local hardware store). Fasten these clamps directly to the pallet surface using a U bracket. Your clamp size will depend on the diameter of the container you selected, you can use larger terra cotta planters if you prefer or if your desired herb likes the extra room to grow.
Time to Drill:
Mark the spaces where you intend to hang your pots with a pencil or marker pen. Place the U-bracket on top of the T-bolt clamp such that the openings are perpendicular to the clamp band. One opening should be above the band, and one underneath. Now hammer or drill the first nail/screw into the openings and of course the bracket should be vertical to pallet, not horizontal. At this point your clamp should look like a perfect cup holder, and you can always adjust if you feel its not aligned correctly. Doesn't have to be perfectly straight, but for those who like precision, by all means set it to your hearts content. You just want to be sure once your pot is sitting in the clamp there is not drooping or tilting, it looks a little disheveled that way, but hey who am I to judge what looks good to you? If you’re not comfortable using fancy tools such as drills or just don’t have one on hand, feel free to just use the nail and hammer method. Flat head nails will work just fine, and there’s nothing wrong with doing it the old fashioned way. The only difference is going to be the amount of elbow grease you use, because hammering a nail into a pallet isn’t the easiest due to the width and flexibility of the wood itself.
Down to the nitty-gritty:
Here’s the fun part! Now you can plant or transplant flowers, herbs or even greens if you would like. Just remember to do a little due diligence before planting to know what specific care or instructions vibe with your desired plant. After all, these are living, breathing organisms, and like us they have certain preferences.
Place your pots inside the clamps, they should fit in snug like a cup holder. If you are planting seeds, fill the pot leaving just the lip or about ½ of space at the top. If you’re transplanting then only fill ⅔ of the way, make room for your roots, and bury the top with soil up to the base of your plant. Pat the soil slightly firm at the base to ensure a snug, but comfortable fit. Never compact your soil, you want there to be an airiness underneath the surface.
Care and maintenance for your garden:
First step is to pour some love into it, plants grow best when they are interacting with us every day, so make sure you spend a little time just checking on them, even talk to them if you feel so inclined. Water regularly, I usually choose the morning time before the sun is out in full force. Once your plant is producing some yummy goodness, harvest your greens gently and frequently to promote new growth, this is called pruning. Fertilizing is an important step in the process of growing a delicious herb or green, compost works the best ( if available in your local community) or use an organic kelp dilution to add a little oomph. Once you get familiarized with what you’re growing, it becomes second nature, and it’s much easier to decipher what you are doing right and what you could do to improve the health of your plant. When in doubt, just keep it simple, silly!