Have you been wondering about the Pinterest Pallet Garden almost a year after this?
Well I am happy to report that it is still in fine shape and even improving. Before winter hit I moved my strawberries and a chunk of chives that had been in the previous veggie garden (now horse pasture) to the pallet garden. I think being somewhat insulated against the side of the barn and with a good pile of leaves over them, they fared winter very well.
Because of lessons learned last year on what worked and what didn't do so well, I decided to change where I planted some things. So I have spaced out herbs throughout the pallet garden to do a sort of companion planting to help keep the bugs at bay and give each plant the space and light it needs to grow to its best potential.
The tomatoes were planted on the west side last year and did very well but I am moving them to the east side this season to follow the rules of bug control. And I am planning to run a string trellis to keep them from sprawling out into the yard later in the season like they did here.
The soil has continued to settle and I think as the newspaper layer underneath has settled and disintegrated as well, some soil has settled in the void beneath the pallets that was there from past rain runoff from the barn roof. I have added more soil here and there as I have been planting and need a couple more bags to complete the larger pockets. I have used an even mix of potting soil and plain cheap garden soil when it is on sale. In a few weeks I will begin to add coffee grounds and compost around the base of plants to maintain the nutrients in the soil.
The lattice is just leaning for now as I haven't decided exactly where I want to plant everything but I like it here the best so far. I plan to use scrap trim from the new house as spacers when I nail this to the barn wall so I can use it to grow cucumbers vertically.
The runoff from the barn roof does seem to still help keep the pallet garden moist and I only had to water it the day I started some new seeds and the day after that. Normal rainfall has been sufficient the rest of the time. We did get a frost that zapped a couple things like the basil in the back there but the Italian parsley right next to it only lost a couple leaves.
I placed this large log at the east end to give a nice spot to sit and add some definition to the corner. There was an odd void here where I couldn't go quite another pallet long. I created a few larger planters out of old pots and an old crockpot that had the bottom broke out. I intend to use these for some of the veggies. Since my soil in other areas of the yard is very hard and contains a lot of clay and the pallet seems to work best for shallow-rooted plants, I plan to try carrots in the large deep pots. In the smaller spaces like the one to the left I have started lettuce and spinach from seed and it seems to be taking off well. Cilantro and dill are planted in the rear space to the right of the lettuce.
This shallow pot has garlic that I just planted by taking a hunk of garlic that had started to sprout in my pantry and separating each clove. Plant with the root side down. Not all of these cloves had leaves sprouting but from what I can tell they are all growing.
I also wanted to try potatoes but that obviously won't work in the pallet garden so I took this large rubbermaid tub that had been used and abused and was already cracked, and I cracked it along the bottom to make drainage. (The dogs have decided this is a cool place to lay in the afternoons.) Then I threw in a whole bunch of potato starts and topped it with straw. More straw, leaves and/or dried grass clippings will be added as the leaves come to the surface and it should make for easy potato harvesting. I am also hoping that this method will discourage the beetles from messing with them. I have done this with wire bins before and it seems to work pretty well so I'm hoping to get my best harvest yet. I also have an old wheelbarrow here but have not decided what to plant in that yet (I'm thinking of doing my summer squash and zucchini in there) so right now its just holding old hay that will be added to the potato bin. This area is sort of helping to define the edge of the yard from the field and hide a brush pile.
More pictures to come as the season progresses!