Growing Up
Creating a vertical garden
Marissa Hermanson photos
Whether you’re tight on gardening space or are just looking to create a planting arrangement that is visually unique, vertical gardens are a quirky, fun way to display your verdant friends.

Supplies you'll need:
  • pallet
  • staple gun and 5/16-inch staples
  • roll of landscape fabric
  • roll of burlap fabric
  • potting soil
  • plants

1. Make friends  with a landscape architect (as I did) or ask your local garden center where you can find a recycled pallet.

2. Once you have your pallet, cut two pieces of landscaping fabric a few inches longer, layering them on top of one another and stapling to the back. Fold the excess landscape fabric at the bottom of the pallet over the base for reinforcement and staple. This is to ensure that potting soil won’t spill out of the bottom.

3. Next, cut burlap fabric to cover the landscaping fabric on the back and staple. You don’t need to do this step, but I suggest it for aesthetic purposes.

4. Lay the pallet flat on its back and pour potting soil into the slats, making sure to press it firmly against the pallet walls, but also making sure to leave enough room to plant annuals.

5. As you plant each annual, make sure to surround it with potting soil and secure in place. This is to ensure that when you tilt the pallet on its side, it firmly stays put. I planted nine 1-pint plants per row, totaling 45 plants. I chose alyssum, marigolds, and dianthus for flowers, and dusty miller and creeping jenny for greenery. Be sure to pick different colors, texture and heights for dimension and visual interest.

6. After you are done planting, water plants according to directions.

7. Wait two to three weeks so that roots take hold in the soil. Then turn the pallet on its side and lean against a wall. Voila, your vertical planter.

With the DIY and pallet obsession, I was dead set on turning my pallet garden into a vertical herb garden, but after some research, I found out that some pallets are treated with chemicals. So, be sure not to grow anything edible in your pallet garden to avoid toxins.
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