How To Build Your Own Container Garden From Reclaimed Shipping Pallets

pallet-container-garden.jpgWhat’s better than starting your very own container garden with fresh organic herbs and veggies?

Starting one for FREE!

This picture is an actual photo of the container garden I made out of reclaimed shipping pallets.

And I’m going to show you how to make one too…

So you think it’s too late to get started on a container garden?

Wrong.

Lots of herbs and vegetables can be planted through late summer, you just have to know which ones.

I got my container garden built and planted about 3 weeks ago.

I wanted to go all organic with my garden, so I planted a variety of Bonnie plants that I found at my local Home Depot.

Unfortunately, the pickings were slim as far as the organic Bonnie plants went, but that’s probably because I was getting quite a late start on this new garden.

 

Building A Garden Planter From Reclaimed Pallets

For this container I more or less followed these Instructable instructions that I showed you last month in 3 Free Container Garden Plans Using Reclaimed Pallets.

 

“No Nail Pulling Required”

One of the biggest hassles of working with reclaimed pallets is breaking them down. They’re usually nailed together with nails that have screw-like thread on the end, and the thin planks splinter when you attempt to pry them out.

This particular plan was touted as the “no nail pull method”… but was it really?

Yes, for awhile.

Since I don’t have a table saw, I bought a $6 carbide blade for my circular saw to cut through the nails, which worked great until I dulled it completely about halfway through the project. Luckily, the blade was still sharp enough to cut off the slats, just not cut through the stubborn nails.

No problem, all I had to do was hammer them back into the support pieces (which are the pieces you can see at the top and bottom of each side of the planter).

 

Building Your Own

Simply follow the instructions in the Instructable above and you’ll be ready to plant in no time.

It took me about 3 hours to construct mine — and most of that was spent in the breakdown process.

True, a table saw will make the job much easier, but you can use a circular saw as I did if you don’t have one.

 

NOTE: Always be sure to salvage non-pressure treated pallets if you plan on turning them into a container for planting. Pressure treated lumber will leach the chemicals used to treat it into your dirt and hence, your veggies.

UPDATE: See how I changed things a bit when I made another container garden from shipping pallets the following year.

Jeffrey

Yo. I'm Jeffrey. I think every little step is an awesome one when it comes to living green... but eco-snobbery sucks.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

Fun From Around the Web

  • Laura

    This is a great idea, if you don’t like the idea of the chemicals on your veggies…maybe you could make some of these and place them around your deck or under windows and plant some beautiful flowers in them.

    • http://www.EcoSnobberySucks.com Jeffrey Davis

      Awesome idea Laura. If you’re not confident in your ability to discern the difference between treated and non-treated pallets, using them as planters for flowers would be beautiful!

      • http://www.charlottepcs.com/ Jeremy Jackson

        Jeff

        Is there anyway you can make some of these and ship them this way. Several people, including myself, could benefit from these. Let me know.

        • http://www.EcoSnobberySucks.com Jeffrey Davis

          Hmmmm, i suppose I could but the shipping charges will probably be astronomical. Where are you located?

          • Jjackson

            Sorry dude, just responding. Charlotte, NC

  • http://mydeco.com/c/gardening/2444/ Gardening

    Container Gardening is an interesting choice for the home gardeners. Because there are no weeds, no digging, nor any need to rotate crops. These advantages are appealing to the gardener who hates to weed or is limited in any physical activity and for gardeners with limited time to dedicate to their hobby or indeed limited space in which to practice it. Most important is to choose large enough containers or pots (larger is better) and to water properly.

  • Muse_23

    Personally I like the irregularity of used wooden shipping crates to use as planters and container gardens. I find them often between where I work and where I live. I’ve got three at the moment, can’t wait to find more!

  • Muse_23

    Personally I like the irregularity of used wooden shipping crates to use as planters and container gardens. I find them often between where I work and where I live. I’ve got three at the moment, can’t wait to find more!

  • Muse_23

    I think lining the container with a weed fabric barrier, like I recently did in one of my shipping crate container gardens, is a a good way to help keep any chemicals in the wood from leaching in to your soil.

  • Muse_23

    I think lining the container with a weed fabric barrier, like I recently did in one of my shipping crate container gardens, is a a good way to help keep any chemicals in the wood from leaching in to your soil.

  • Muse_23

    After a year and a half of working in an organic produce warehouse I can tell you that the majority of the pallets I’ve seen there are NOT treated. Perhaps it’s because they come from organic farms? But who knows. You certainly do not want to use “chep” pallets. These are the ones that are usually painted blue and can be fork lifted from either side of the pallet, they are 40″x40″ where as most over full sized pallets are rectangular. (Other square ones are the smaller sized kind but can only be lifted from two sides, not all four.)

  • Muse_23

    After a year and a half of working in an organic produce warehouse I can tell you that the majority of the pallets I’ve seen there are NOT treated. Perhaps it’s because they come from organic farms? But who knows. You certainly do not want to use “chep” pallets. These are the ones that are usually painted blue and can be fork lifted from either side of the pallet, they are 40″x40″ where as most over full sized pallets are rectangular. (Other square ones are the smaller sized kind but can only be lifted from two sides, not all four.)

  • raw so’cal gal

    hi – great idea – and i just found two shipping crates on Craigslist!:) Can you please tell me how to tell if they are pressure-treated or not? Thanks!

  • Tyson

    Thank you so much for posting this! The Michigan Urban Farming initiative will be using this design to build 500 raised bed community gardens in Detroit. This saves us thousands of dollars. Check out our site to see the progress! http://www.miufi.com/#!projects

  • Melissa S

    Just found this article. Thanks so much, it will come in really handy! I’m also keeping my eyes out for shipping pallets which I’ve seen a few people around the neighbourhood use as container gardens. I’m getting ready for a productive summer here in NZ!