Monday, May 20, 2013

Pallet Flower Garden

I was the guinea pig for you! I LOVED the Pins on Pinterest. I wanted to know if they work like they're suppose too, if they were as beautiful ... AND if the dirt FELL OUT?

I originally followed a very cute blog; Life on a Balcony. She has great instructions. In the comments everyone is asking about THE DIRT and there wasn't a lot of answers. I loved the idea from the first time I saw it done with herbs and decided there's NO BETTER WAY to know if will work  - unless I JUST DO IT!

I've only had mine completed for 2weeks and one day thus far. I plan to make little updates... so stay tuned for the summer....

What you need for this beautiful project:
- Pallet. Where we live people give them away on Craigslist - my husband brings them home from work.... Most stores (Home Improvements especially) should have pallets that you could ask to have, if you don't have easy access to them.
- Landscape Fabric
- Staple gun and LOTS of staples
- Flowers
- Bags of soil. This pallet that I did took about 3, 2 cubic feet bags. (I still need to add a little more)

The extra steps I took....
- Extra boards (mine were from an old wooden fence)
- screws
My boards fit perfect to the pallet - you may need to cut down the boards depending on length of each.


First things first; look over your pallet. You will need to decide which is going to be the back and front, top and bottom. You will see I've labeled mine above in the picture. I chose the top because of the board that is cracked and missing... this is because I didn't want it breaking further if it were the bottom. The weight of the dirt, water and flowers will be standing on it. Keep that stuff in mind when looking at it.

With the Front laying face down, get your fabric. Lay the fabric over the pallet. My pallet was too wide/tall for the fabric to cover in one shot. I started at the top. Lay your fabric on the top, of the top board. If you wanted (I couldn't because of the board) you could start the fabric inside the top board bringing over the back - it might be more secure doing that. After your fabric is laid out, staple to secure, I started with Side 1, then moved to Side 2, then stapled the back boards - any that the fabric was covering.

In the picture below, you will see that I had to cut fabric to be flush with the boards. The fabric stopped midway in between boards, I didn't want to chance dirt falling through. You will also want to do this if your fabric is too short.

Next, you will repeat the process for the bottom of the pallet.... taking care to COVER THE BOTTOM. And starting where you've left off with the top fabric. You will need to staple the fabric to either the front of the bottom board or to the edge of the front bottom board. Obviously, if you don't do this, your dirt will just fall out.

After back is covered, you're going to COVER AGAIN. Staple and staple again to make sure that your fabric is SECURE! I first laid fabric horizontal to the pallet, then the second round, I laid the fabric vertical to the pallet.

Now, for the part that everyone is worried about. Either the dirt falling out the front or BUSTING through the back... I chose to add a couple steps to secure the busting out. I used two pieces of wood from an old fence going vertical to the length of the pallet. Then I added another board at the top - horizontal to help secure the top of fabric from being pulled down with weight. I ALSO, added two flimsy pieces of board to the bottom - this is to help secure the  bottom while it lays there - dirt will look like its busting at the seams. These, I believe are added steps that you should take into consideration if you don't have a flat back/wall to lean it against.
Very Important Step! Take your pallet and lay where you plan to have it after it's planted. I am SO glad I did that because it was a HEAVY boy when Alan and I moved it where I wanted it!
After you have it over there, make sure that you place somewhere that is flat and also a place that doesn't matter that you're leave it for a week or two.
NOW FOR THE FUN! flowers.....
I wasn't sure if this project was going to really work - so I bought mine on sale. Little pony pack of 4 for 58 cents each. I bought a variety not caring if the colors were matching. I also bought potting soil for the entire pallet - it did take 3 large bags! I wanted good soil to help hold moisture - that's A LOT of flowers all in one little space!
I planted little plants. So in all, there's around 70-80 plants! Imagine how beautiful it will be when they're grown!

Starting with the top, add a little dirt in the first slat. Add your flowers. Pack them tightly, it was hard for me because some were still premature. I added dirt through the first slat, packing the dirt up to the top from that slat. I won't lie, I started to get discouraged because the dirt wanted to come right out (as you can see in picture above), with bigger plants it would be much easier for this part!
Then, add dirt everywhere. I like to add most of my dirt in my pots. See post Planting your Pots, to get the idea of what I'm talking about. Take care to stuff and pack the slats with dirt. You don't want any loose dirt if you can help it.

MOST IMPORTANT STEP! and probably the hardest! WAIT! You have to let your dirt settle where it will and let the roots help bound the soil down. I waited a WEEK AND 5 DAYS before lifting mine vertical. It was hard but SO WORTH it! It's a lot of work to make it and it would be a shame to be so impatient and ruin the masterpiece! Wait, wait!
Take a look so far! I need to go in and add dirt. For this step I will water the pallet first then mix water to the soil that I'll be adding. Hopefully that will help bond it!
Good luck and happy beautifully planting!!! Don't be afraid to ask questions or leave comments!