Build a Vertical Garden from a Wooden Pallet

How to Build a Vertical Garden

Difficulty Level:  3 of 10
Source: Kate Pruitt at Design Sponge All photos by Kate Pruitt.

Total Cost: Estimated from $15 – $35 depending on plants chosen
Total Time:  2.5 hours

Vertical garden created from a wooden pallet

The finished project. 


  • Wooden pallet (there are several free at landscaping and/or home improvement stores or Recycle Centers  – suggest 25” x 38”
  • Roll of landscaping paper (you don’t need a whole role and consider looking for a restore or on line – you might use old burlap bags or heavy plastic bags
  • Sandpaper
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer and nails
  • Potting soil (about 2.5 cubic feet for 25 x 38 pallet)
  • Herbs, succulents or other plants of choice that can tolerate dry conditions – recommend pot sizes of 4″ or less for ease of fitting root ball through slats.


  1.  Sand down rough spots on your pallet. If the back of your pallet doesn’t have much support (if back is open) find scrap wood 3 to 4 inches wide by 1/4 inch thick and cut down to width of your pallet. Using 2 nails on each side, add supports so they are roughly even down the back of your pallet.
  2. Double or triple landscaping fabric or plastic 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.Sand pallet and attach supports to begin the vertical gardenStaple fabric onto pallet so that soil can't leak out
  3. Lay the pallet flat and pour potting soil through slats, pressing soil down firmly. Leave enough room to begin planting your herbs or succulents.
    Add soil through pallet slats
  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 soil as needed so plants are tightly packed at the end.
    Add plants and tamp down soil firmly
  5. Water your wall garden thoroughly and let your vertical garden remain horizontal for 1 to 2 weeks to allow plants to take root. After 1 to 2 weeks, you can set it upright.
    WateSet upright after 2 weeks.

Note: When you water your vertical garden, start at the top and water each subsequent section a little less, as your water will naturally seep through to the bottom-most plants. Alternatively, install drip irrigation and run as needed (not included in the cost of the materials.)

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