Good day to you, dear readers! What a long and trying winter this has been, hasn't it? While I normally don't mind the cold and snow much because of the fun it brings with it, this winter has certainly been a lot of work with not so much time left in the day to play. In fact, it has been so busy that I have been neglectful of you all. My mother prodded me by gently asking if I still had a blog, lol. Time flies....
I'm guessing quite a few of you are like me and have started to daydream of green shoots, twittering birds, and any other sign of spring. The seed catalogs have begun to arrive and the feed store racks are full of garden planning magazines. I've noticed an increase in gardening posts (and generally anything with the sun in it!) on Pinterest so I thought perhaps this would be a good time to discuss a few of the things I've learned about pallet gardening through my own experimenting.
The considerations on placing your pallet garden in my book are:
- Sun exposure
- Wind exposure
- Water sources
I have found that having mine along the side of a building (in this case my barn) is a benefit for several reasons:
- it provides close storage for my tools
- it shelters one side of the plants thereby reducing wind stress on taller and more delicate plants
- it provides shade at certain times of the day - important for plants that need help keeping roots cool and conserving water in dry weather
- it provides an easy way to trellis certain plants
- in winter it aides the perennials such as strawberries and herbs by reducing exposure and providing add insulation
Convenience really matters when it comes to watering as well. Having the garden where the barn roof slopes toward the garden helps capture the rainwater (really helpful two years ago when we had the drought). Since I am running the hose out there a couple times a week to water animals, I can usually hook up the sprinkler to run for 15 minutes on the same nights and not have to water the rest of the week (my garden is about 24 feet long so a decent sprinkler can reach the whole thing). The pallets do help conserve water because the sun is not drying out the soil around the base of the plants so watering does not need to happen as frequently (remember that when planting things sensitive to rot like squash though). If things look a little dry in a certain area or I am cleaning out the mucky water from the bottom of the stock tank, I can always use a bucket to scoop water from the stock tank to water the garden.
And then we get to the visual factor. As I said, this was an area I wanted to cover and pretty up a bit. I couldn't dig a garden bed here due to the rocks (Ok I could but not without a pick-ax). This was a solution that took very little time to put together and is very easy to maintain throughout the year. If you want to see more about the evolution of my little pallet garden, click here, here, here, here or here lol!