There are many creative and fun ways to incorporate commonly discarded materials into your garden and repurpose them for functionality. This practice, known as upcycling, has inspired many people to experiment with inventive ways to use abandoned materials to enhance the aesthetic qualities of their gardens. One of these trends is the upcycling of pallets. Pallets can be used for many purposes in the garden either as planters, or be rebuilt for outdoor furniture and garden beds. Pallets can usually be acquired for free, found abandoned, or bought very cheaply. This article will examine a few ways that pallets can be upcycled for use in the garden. Some pallets are chemically treated, so be sure to study the markings on them to determine if they are safe to plant edibles in. Heat-treated pallets are generally safe for all uses and are marked with an “HT”.
A vertical pallet planter can easily be made with some basic tools and a staple gun. The first thing to do would be to sand the wood, and then perhaps paint it your desired color. The next step is to create pockets at the bottom of the horizontal slots. Landscaping fabric is best for making the pockets in order to limit weight and for accessibility considerations. Remember to wrap the bottom and sides of the pallet as well.
Basically the same thing as a vertical planter but laid flat on the sod. Landscaping fabric only needs to be stapled to the sides and back of the pallet. No pockets are required like on the vertical planter.
Many types of simple outdoor furniture can be made with pallets. Everything from tables, chairs, and benches to fences, containers, and box planters can be made from reused pallets. You are only limited by your imagination.
Pallets can be effectively used as privacy screens and fences. Many people have found creative ways to use pallets in this manner. This can be augmented by the use of vines and similar upward growing plants weaving through the pallets.
If you are feeling ambitious, pallets can be used to build small outdoor structures such as miniature greenhouses, sheds, storage boxes, compost bins, and overhead shelters.