One of our Garden Volunteers, Matthew, has been buidling pallent planters for the Garden. Below he shares instructions on how to make one yourself! You may also want to check out Kathleen’s ideas for using pallets in the garden. Look out for a wee workshop on how to grow your own veg in contrainers.
You can make a raised bed from free or very cheap, recycled materials, using basic hand tools and simple techniques. We used 2 standard (1.2m x 1m) pallets that has been sitting around Tayport Community Garden, and a collection of galvanized nails that were at hand. Be sure to wear eye protection, safety gloves and stout shoes. Cost: £0.00
- Claw hammer
- Hand saw
- Tape measure
- Set square
You can often find free, or very cheap, pallets at builders’ merchants, garden centres or wholesalers – or on Gumtree. You need two pallets that are roughly the same i.e. the direction of the boards on the deck should match, and their number and size be similar. Now decide how deep the raised bed will be. We chose a depth of 30 cm, equal to the width of 3 boards.
1. Remove the second and third boards from one end of the pallet, using the hammer and prybar. Remove or hammer in any nails sticking out.
2. Nail these boards in, flush against the end board.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the opposite end.
4. Turn the whole pallet upside down.
5. If your pallet has cross pieces, remove them as shown.
6. Make sure that any nails sticking out are hammered flat into the wood.
7. Support the pallet on a solid bench or structure. Mark and saw as shown. The two end pieces are used to make the raised bed (as follows). The centre section provides spare timber as needed (see step 13.)
8. Repeat steps 1-7 with the second pallet.
9. Lay out the 4 sides of the bed. Place the 2 ends of one pallet upright sitting on their blocks as shown in the upper and lower part of the picture. Lay the other 2 sides flat, with blocks outwards, as shown to left and right of the picture.
10. Rotate the left side. Place it so that its block is directly above the block of the bottom side at the corner.
11. Nail through into the blocks.
12. Repeat on the other 3 corners.
13. You can use boards salvaged from the centre of the original pallets to strengthen the 2 sides which have only one vertical board. Using small nails, fix into place as shown.
14. The completed raised bed.