The Ease of Pallet Gardening

Pallet Gardening

More and more people are going back to growing their own gardens. With the move to eating more organically, and taking care of our planet, many are reconnecting to the Earth. Nurturing and growing flowers, fruits and vegetables is increasing. From community to container gardening people are making the most of what they have to produce organic sustainable gardens.

For many though the challenge is space. With the newer houses and smaller yards – to put in a decent garden would take up a good part or all the yard space! Not to mention people who are in apartments or condos, where do you put it?

containergardenonstepsWith container gardening being one solution, the newest discovery is pallet gardening, using an old pallet to grow plants or vegetables in. When I first learned about this last year I thought this was a really great idea. It allowed me to put the pallet wherever I wanted, so it did not take up space on my grass, I could expand my garden and grow more! and it was using materials that were easy to find and inexpensive. I could also move it around if I wanted to, though a bit heavy it’s great to have that option.

To make your own pallet garden you need:

  • an old pallet
  • landscape fabric
  • stapler
  • dirt
  • whatever you would like to plant

When you are looking for a pallet, you want one that is in good condition, not rotting, nails sticking out or broken boards. (And if you are growing vegetables in it you should opt for one that is heat treat as opposed to fumigated).

Measure out landscape fabric so that it covers the back and up the sides. Do this twice, as using a double layer will make it more durable and stronger. Once you have the fabric to size, put both pieces on top of one another and staple along the bottom, doing one corner, then pulling it taught and securing the opposite corner, etc. until all corners are secured. Then go along the bottom edge of the rest of the pallet. Pull the fabric taught and staple the sides.

Flip the pallet over and fill it with dirt. I would recommend a bag of dirt from your local garden center as it will contain more nutrients than the soil from your garden/ yard. Soils like organic potting soil orΒ triple mix are excellent choices.

Plant your plants in rows between the slats of your pallet. You can start from seed or plant plants that have already been started inside or purchased. Water pallet well.

Stacking pallets

Stacking pallets

Now comes the fun part. If you have planted plants that are already started you can wait a few days until the roots are established then you can move your pallet. You can set it upright against a wall or fence. You could also plant another pallet and stack pallets on top of each other. This takes a bit of planning to ensure that everything is getting enough sun, but it is a great space saver and create a huge garden in a small space.

If you have planted from seed, you will have to wait longer if you wish to stack or put the pallet upright, as things need to be established before doing this.

Remember to water your pallet regularly as they tend to dry out much quicker than your regular garden.

plants-in-a-palletThe great thing about pallet gardening is that you can get really creative with it. You can create eye catching designs for vegetable, herb and flower gardens in just about any space! Morning Chores has a fabulous resource with 43 different ideas for all kinds of pallet gardens. There is no end to what you can with your pallet!

I also think this is a great way to garden with kids, as they can get really creative. Not only are they able to help you with planting but could also decorate the pallet by painting or suggesting ideas on what to create.

It is also easy and accessible for them. Both Luke and Chloe helped me plant our pallet this year and enjoyed picking the seeds to put in. We usually plant vegetables in our pallet as we love to eat the fresh veggies from the garden. This year we have green and yellow beans, spinach, two kinds of lettuce, and a variety of herbs. Some we started from seed and some were all ready small plants we had purchased.

It sits on our deck which gets lots of sun, but is a great place for the kids to ‘watch’ what is happening as we go by it everyday on our way out to the car. So far our beans have started to come up as well as the spinach. Looking forward to seeing what the harvest brings this year πŸ™‚

Going Beyond Earth Hour – Activities that Help Reduce Human Impact on the Planet

reduce human impact on the planet

Earth Hour is a global event that takes place near the end of March each year. In this hour of darkness, 152 countries in 7000 cities, hundreds of millions of people turn out all non-essential lights to show how a small act can make a difference.

activities that help reduce human impact on the planetBut that is not all Earth Hour is about. It’s not just about turning off your lights for an hour and seeing how much the power usage drops. The organizers of Earth Hour say that the measure of success and actual goal of Earth Hour is to go beyond the hour. Doing activities that help reduce the human impact on the planet everyday; demonstrating how small acts done on a regular basis contribute to a sustainable planet.

In 2011, the logo ’60’ which represented the 60 minutes of darkness; was changed to ’60 +’ to promote going beyond the hour. Projects were initiated all over the world, to help protect and sustain our planet. Projects such as planting 5000 trees in Uganda and protecting 3.4 million hectares of sea in Argentina and there are many more.

But it’s not just about the big global projects, though important, it’s also about doing what we can close to home, in our own backyards. We can make simple and easy changes to reduce our usage and impact on the planet.

10 Activities that Help Reduce Human Impact on the Planet

Here are 10 ways to help reduce your impact on a regular basis and are things you can easily involve children (the ambassadors of our planet) in doing:

  1. activities that help reduce human impact on the planetUse LED lightbulbs – studies have shown that this alone significantly reduces our power usuage. The cost to buy the bulb long outweighs the savings
  2. Install a programmable thermostat – these are more accurate and easy to use helps reduce your heating bill
  3. Recycle – this may seem obvious but there are still many people who don’t recycle. If you already do, go the extra mile such as recycling your coffee cup when you go out for coffee or get a refillable one
  4. Carpool – even sharing a ride with one other person saves one car. If you choose transit or foot, saves even more!
  5. Use reuseable cloth bags – get the kids to decorate the bags
  6. Have a candlelight dinner hour – the kids will love turning the lights and having dinner by candlelight. Or set the mood for later with your partner post bedtime πŸ™‚
  7. activities that help reduce human impact on the planetHave a picnic supper – serve a variety of cold dishes, such as yummy salads, fancy sandwiches and a no bake dessert
  8. Grow your own garden – even a small garden plot can be fun and rewarding. If you don’t have the yard space, get an old wooden pallet and put garden fabric on the back and fill it with dirt. Voila instant garden!
  9. Compost -many communities in Canada have a green cart program, but it’s easy to compost in your own backyard.
  10. Create your own Earth Hour project either with your family or within your community

Remember that each action, no matter how small, can contribute and reduce the overall impact on the planet. Start by picking one or two things that you would like to do and go from there. If we each do a little bit, it quickly becomes a lot.

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