Here is a step by step guide on building raised garden beds from old pallets. We use this way of building raised beds because it is as good as free.
It is easy and simple and anyone who can handle a hammer and a saw can build one of these in no time!
These beds are surprisingly durable. Some of ours are at least 4 years old and are still as good as on day one! Cover them with hoops and some floating row covers like these and you will have a raised bed producing vegetables for you for most of the year.
Here is what you need:
Using the full height of a pallet would require a lot of material for filling the raised bed afterwards. So I recommend that you cut them in half. Choose the better side and cut along the middle stringer. You need the side with two stringers for building the bed.
From the other side saw off some pieces of top board. You will need them to nail the pallets together. Keep the left over stringer as a brace so the weight of the soil does not push the bed apart in the middle.
Arrange the pallets where you are going to build the bed. Measure the width and align them accordingly.
Use the cut offs to nail the pallets together at the top and bottom. Use the stringer as a brace. Depending on the length of your bed you might need several of them.
We used some old landscape fabric to line the bed. Whatever you use should be water-permeable and strong enough not to tear. Use staples to fix it to the pallets.
You can fill the bed with a mixture of top soil and compost. Alternatively, you can turn your raised bed into a hugelkultur style bed. For this just add some wood at the bottom. This will act like a sponge for water and nutrients for the plants. Cover the wood with soil.
We turned our raised beds into hotbeds with a mixture of horse manure and waste hay covered with a layer of bagged potting compost.
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