* MAKE SURE TO USE PALLETS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN CHEMICALLY TREATED.
1. Attach pallets at corners with bailing wire or string/cord.
2. Use burlap or other similar material stapled to the inside walls of your pallets to prevent soil from washing out through the slats.
3. Fill your new bed with at LEAST 12 inches of Wood to begin with. This can be a combination of split rounds, bark, chips, sticks, and twigs. This wood should be free of any chemical treatments. This wood will absorb moisture and keep the bed moist longer in dryer periods of weather. The decomposing wood will slowly add nutrients and also provide a more diverse environment for the microorganisms that help plants grow naturally.
4. *optional step: add a thick layer of straw around sides to insulate soil and add additional diversity to growing medium.
Side view of pallet raised bed garden. Note the layer of wood below the growing substrate.
5. Fill the rest of your ‘bed’ with a quality soil. If you are going to add amendments, now is the time to mix them in. I like to add a layer of straw on top of my soil to help retain moisture and provide good worm/spider habitat – I even like to collect worms after a rain storm and toss them into the raised beds!
6. Bend PVC or metal piping over your bed and secure with screw-on pipe fittings. This arc will allow you to cover your bed with insulating material for gardening during shoulder seasons.
7. GROW FOOD! The end.
* Additionally you can add all sorts of fancy-schmancy additions such as chicken wire, bamboo, or trellis depending on the particular crops you are growing. As an alternative to the hoops you can get two-layer, translucent greenhouse siding to lay flat across the top of your bed. This works best if you have not added too much soil, leaving perhaps 6-8 inches from the top of the soil to the lip of the pallets.