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Building pallet projects for the garden

Even raised beds can be made from pallets!
Even raised beds can be made from pallets!
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Have you ever thought of using pallets to construct a gardening deck? It's just one of the pallet projects I plan to undertake this year. I've found that pallets are an excellent free resource for building a wide variety of garden structures. There are certain precautions I take when choosing pallets for projects like this. You'll find them below. Meanwhile, I'm really excited about the prospect of adding virtually free wooden pallet structures to my garden. Would you like to join me? Here's some helpful tips I've learned through my experiences along with some ideas for garden structures made with pallets.

Precautions when choosing pallets for garden use.

Make sure pallets are chemical free.

I always make sure the pallets I'm collecting are untreated. Otherwise, the chemicals can get into my garden soil. This is especially important when I'm using them for garden beds where I grow food products. That's not the only reason I have to be careful, though. Some plants simply won't grow in the presence of chemicals. Luckily, I've found a local business that advertises untreated pallets for free on a regular basis. I just watch for their ads on Craigslist when I need more pallets.

Keep in mind that pallet sizes are inconsistent.

Not all pallets are made alike. When I'm doing a large project requiring a lot of pallets, I look for pallets that are similar (or ideally, identical) in size and shape. It makes my construction job a lot simpler. It cuts down on adjusting the size and positioning of the slats. This detail isn't as important if I'm planning to use the slats only. Still, it helps either way.

Try not to get too complicated

I have a lot of ideas, but not a lot of time. Therefore, I try to use the pallets as is whenever possible. The garden deck I plan to make is a perfect example. When constructing it, I do have to level the ground where it will sit. Otherwise, it's just a matter of placing the pallets side by side to form the deck. Once they are in position, I'll nail a pallet slat border around the bottom of the group of pallets to hold them in place. Then, two more pallets, nailed upright into one end will form a pretty trellis, braced by pallet slats for stability. The whole thing will be painted a nice bright color for flair.

What exactly will the pallet garden deck be used for?

Potted plants will sit on the deck. Some will be planted in between pallet slats, with plenty of space to walk around. Hanging plants can be hung from the slats in the trellis. The trellis will also support a few pretty vines from pots planted at that end of the deck. I may place a couple small raised bed gardens on the deck too, depending on how it looks.

What are some other easy pallet projects?

*Pallet fence panels

*Raised beds

*Compost bins

*Potato growing bins

*Step garden shelves for potted plants

*Vined hideouts for kids

I've found that I can make practically any wooden garden structure with pallets. That's because I can easily take them apart to use the wood slats and bases as I wish. Plus, aside from a few nails and some paint, making pallet garden structures is free.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo! property.

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