Summer is waning, and since I am a die hard autumnal girl, I’d usually be very excited by now. But I have to be honest — this lush and vibrant pallet vertical garden is making me want to stay in summer for another month or two. There have been many pallet projects and many vertical garden projects, but none combine the two elements as well as this tutorial developed by Fern Richardson of Life on the Balcony and recreated by Steph of the local spoon. I like this so much, I might have to squeeze it in before I focus entirely on fall projects.
There is nothing more adorable than little baby succulents. I happened to have a teeny porch desperately in need of love that didn’t get a lot of sun, so succulents were the perfect low-water, low-light choice. I also loved the idea of making something out of a pallet, one of those items you see everywhere — you have to wonder what happens to all of them, and I was excited to give one a purpose and home on my neglected porch. It transformed the space and was easy and lots of fun to make (the best part of all might have been my trip to the nursery where I could buy adorable baby succulents to my heart’s content).
- a pallet (I found mine for free at a local garden store — mine measured 25 x 38 inches)
- roll of landscaping paper (this can be quite expensive, but you don’t need as much as comes in a typical landscaping roll, so you might be able to find someone’s excess on Craigslist or at a local garden shop)
- staple gun and staples
- hammer and nails
- potting soil (I used 2.5 cubic feet for the 25 x 38 pallet)
- adorable succulents or other plants of choice
1. Sand down any rough spots on your pallet. If the back of your pallet doesn’t have much support (mine was basically open on the back), find some scrap wood, roughly 3 to 4 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick (or the thickness of the rest of your supports) and cut it down to the width of your pallet. Using two nails on each side, add supports so they are roughly even down the back of your pallet.
2. Double or triple up your landscaping fabric and begin the stapling fun. Staple fabric along the back, bottom and sides of the pallet, taking care at the corners to fold in the fabric so no soil will spill out. (See photos for details on folding corners.)
3. Lay the pallet flat and pour potting soil through slats, pressing soil down firmly. Leave enough room to begin planting your succulents.
4. Begin planting, starting at the bottom of the pallet and ending at the top. Make sure soil is firmly packed in each layer as you move up. Add more soil as needed so that plants are tightly packed at the end.
5. Water your wall garden thoroughly and let it remain horizontal for 1 to 2 weeks to allow plants to take root. After 1 to 2 weeks, you can set it upright.
Note: Remember when you water to start at the top and water each subsequent section a little less, as your water will naturally seep through to the bottom-most plants.