Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Pinterest Pallet Garden

Remember how I was confessing that I procrastinated long enough on getting my veggie garden in at the edge of the field that our drought had begun and the usual veggie garden area had turned to cement?  Well, after another week or so of debating how I was going to put in veggies, an afternoon spent trying to make the field workable, and an hour of staring at the old pallets in my barn...I decided to go for it and plant my veggies in the pallets along the north side of my barn like this cute little pallet garden I had spotted on Pinterest from the MicroGardener.
This is a spot that was rocky and uneven from years of rain coming off the barn roof and dogs digging.  I figure the rain running off the barn will be mostly good since we've gotten very little this year - I may regret that if we get a big pounding rain...  It is also nice because, as you can see, the big rotating sprinkler hits everything at the same time so no moving it back and forth and minimal time is needed to water.














I started by laying down a layer of newspaper 8-10 sheets thick.  This helps kill off any grass and weeds underneath and also decomposes to provide some nutrients to the soil.  I laid three pallets end-to-end to pretty much go the length of the barn wall.  


Then I rounded up some dirt and started filling the pallets.  It takes a lot more dirt then you think!  So far I have put in 2 giant bags of Miracle Grow potting soil, 7 bags of cheap topsoil, remnants of a bag of compost, and the soil from a few pots I had for annuals last year.  You would think I'd have endless supplies of compost with the horses and goat but because my barn is a run-in style, they drag a lot of it out and it washes down the hill with the rain into the hay field - good for the field and makes for less shoveling but doesn't leave much for me to work with and what I do have needs to age a good year in the elements to bring down the ammonia levels before its usable.  So for now I'll just be adding a bag at a time as they need more depth until they are level with the pallet boards on top.

After I rounded up what dirt I had on hand.  I laid out my plants still in the pots to figure out what would work the best.  I decided to put all the squash and night-shade family members at one end and the tomatoes at the other with the peppers in between to discourage the bugs.  I also planted the squash and pumpkins in a pallet that was missing boards so they would have more room to spread and grow wide at the base without being pinched between boards.  More stemmy plants like peppers and brussel sprouts can go in the more narrow slots.  Once I had them all spaced out, I started planting.  I planted them through the soaked newspaper so that they are actually accessing the ground underneath the pallets.  This should keep them from getting root bound or stunted by not having enough room to spread and should also help them access moisture below the pallets.




I also added trellises for the gourds, cucumbers and one of the tomatoes.  A few little pretties to bling it out and its looking pretty good as long as I can keep the dogs from laying on it.  Not sure what I'm putting in that cute little planter box yet, maybe some lettuce...
I sort of trenches these tomatoes in because they were getting leggy so they are laying sideways here.  I haven't decided if I'm going to let them lay, cage them or add some sort of climbing fence for them.



Overall I am pretty happy and so far this is one of the most care-free veggie gardens (besides needing more dirt) that I've ever had.

12 comments:

momto8blog said...

looks great! I have never considered the pallets before..how innovative! Thanks! I just spotted the dreaded cucumber beetle in my garden...
happy harvesting!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

April S. said...

Ugh - the bugs drive me nuts! I try to not use chemicals but there is so little for everything to feed on this year I may have to resort to Sevin dusting them. Thanks for the follow - I'm following you too! My husband is one of 12. :)

karen@somewhatquirky said...

I love this. I hope everything grows well for you! Isn't it amazing how much dirt it takes to fill stuff up? I have heard that caged tomatoes bear more fruit. Is that true?

April S. said...

Karen - I had not heard that but it does help with blemishes and bugs in my opinion. I don't usually use cages but I do run them on a string trellis between fence posts when I plant them in the big garden. Thanks for stopping by!

Bliss said...

Very interesting. Lord knows around here we need a easy care garden!

Thank you for linking to the Hot Fun in the Summertime party.

~Bliss~

Ashley said...

This is great! I plan on building raised beds eventually and I like the idea of using a pallet to keep things seperated.

April S. said...

Ashley - the part I liked most was that I didn't have to build anything - just throw it down and stick dirt in it - lazy I know. :)

Courtney said...

Love this!! Totally awesome use of pallets!! :) Thanks for linking it up with us. <3 Courtney BaxtronLife

Melissa said...

I am in LOVE with the pallet gardens. I love how simple this is & that rustic-wood look is exactly what I want in my own garden (my imaginary one, that is!) Thanks so much for linking up to The Pinterest Project! I'm gonna have to keep this one in mind when I finally do mine some day. Great job :)

Amber M. said...

Amazing! Such a good idea! I love all things Pallet!
Thanks for linking up to the pinterest project!

Kim, USA said...

Hi April, your post just answered my question on what to do with our pallets. Yesterday hubby told me he is going to burn it I told him no I have to do something. So glad to meet you here I am also from Michigan (SE). I may use this for my onions and garlic. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah E. said...

This is exactly the reason I can't wait to be not affiliated with the military anymore and have my own house!! I love to garden, but I have little to no room here in my duplex :( I love the pallets - I need to show this to my mom-in-law - she has been doing lots of pallet projects and she also loves to garden!

Thanks for linking up to TPP! Hope to see you again this week :)