A Planted Pallet


Joan McDonald

I told you earlier in the week about the plant sale, Plantasia, put on by the Charleston Horticultural Society that I went to last Saturday. One of the things I enjoyed most about it, and in fact the only reason I went, was to attend three of the workshops held at the sale.

The first one I went to last Saturday morning was called the Planted Pallet by Joan McDonald who is a master gardener; has her own blog, Front Yard to Table; and contributes to some of the local magazines.



Joan’s recommendations for this project:

  1. Get a pallet with all boards in good condition and if you are going to use it for edibles (like herbs), then don’t use a pallet that has been treated with pesticides.
  2. Decide which side will be the front and top. The front should have openings of 2-3″. Check for loose nails and sand bad places.
  3. Get a piece of plywood the same size as the back of the pallet and nail that to the back of the pallet.
  4. Next, lay pallet face down and cut 3 or more of landscape fabric the size of the sides and bottom of the pallet, plus 3-4,” and then fold under and staple with 1/2″ staples to the sides and bottom of the pallet. You can also use landscape fabric along the back instead of plywood – personal preference.
  5. Place pallet, on it’s back, near where you will hang or lean it once it is full of soil and plants.
  6. Pour soil on to pallet starting at the bottom and push the soil into the bottom cavity.
  7. Place plants in between the first two board openings. Place plants in the opening so that they are tightly fitted into the opening.
  8. Fill up the next cavity with soil, plant more plants, and continue the process. Fill top opening with soil from the top. You can also plant plants here as well.
  9. Leave the pallet in place on the ground for at least a week to allow time for the roots to take hold. Water as needed and then place upright in desired location or hang from an obliging tree, porch, etc.
  10. Final note: you might want to plant succulents or herbs requiring less water at the bottom of the pallet. In addition, you can plant the whole pallet with seeds instead of plants!


Joan brought a pallet that she had already planted, which contained herbs and lettuce.


She then planted a pallet during the workshop to show us how to plant your own pallet and she even gave us a packet of seeds!


Finally, she brought along the window planter she had put together for the April 2013 issue of Charleston Magazine.

Joan had lots of great information and I thoroughly enjoyed her workshop. She made me want to become a master gardner! For now though, I will settle for planting a pallet and seeing how that works out for me.

Happy planting!


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