Over the past year I've come across scores of diy pallet projects, some of them intriguing and others not quite there yet but still having potential. One that I see time and again is the idea of using a single wooden pallet as a strawberry planter. Filled with soil and with plants inserted in the gaps they're usually leaned up against a wall but sometimes bolted on to keep from tumbling over. It's a clever idea but I've steered away from trying it myself because I suspect that they'll require constant watering and erosion control and also because I'm not convinced that they'll work long term. Almost every image I've found of pallet planters look to be newly planted rather than a tried and tested design.

Still I was interested in the idea and with the gift of eight pristine wooden pallets, I started scouring the internet looking for alternative tutorials. Ones that offered increased stability, more soil capacity and better aesthetics. Eventually, after finding nothing that really jumped out at me, I came to the conclusion that I'd have to come up with my own design. After thinking about the process for this post I'm quite sure that anyone who is comfortable using a hammer and hand-saw could complete this project too. Though I'll be honest and say it's much easier if you have a jigsaw and a few other extra tools.

For this project you will need the following materials:
- A suitable pallet as described in the next two steps
- A hand-saw or jigsaw
- Electric drill or hammer
- Two sizes of screws and nails - approx. lengths 4 cm (1-1/2") and 8cm (3")

- Heavy duty chisel/wedge and iron mallet
- Non-toxic paint and paintbrush

Step 1: Choosing Your Pallet

First of all, choosing pallets for diy projects involves a bit of know-how. You need pallets that are in good condition, without rot, and which have not been treated with chemical insecticides. Most people are probably not aware of this but pallets that cross international borders must be either heat treated or sprayed to stop the spread of foreign pests. Whether you think this is a good idea or not, you certainly do not want pesticide-soaked furniture or objects in your garden let alone your home. Not only can it kill off insects that eat your crops but it can indiscriminately kill all the beneficial insects too. There's also the possibility of your plants absorbing these chemicals into their tissues and into your tasty strawberries!

To help you find the right type of pallet for your project I've put together a diagram of what to look for when you spot one. By international law, a pallet must be stamped twice with certain information which includes whether it's been sprayed. Keep clear of any pallets that have been printed with the letters MB.
How do you fill the planter? I see straw but what else and in what order?<br><br>Thanks
Please visit my blog post on the project for planting information: <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/2013/05/how-to-make-better-strawberry-pallet.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.lovelygreens.com/2013/05/how-to-make-better-strawberry-pallet.html</a>
<p>I can't thank you enough for this guide! I just sourced a nearly endless supply of pallets and was trying to determine what I could use for which projects. Thank you thank you thank you!</p>
Looks awesome! Will try to make this in the upcoming weeks
<p>Fantastic ! Thank you. I now have my summer Project.</p>
<p>thank you very much, i realy like this planter. this was exactly where i was looking for. </p>
Best how to pick a pallet tutorial I've seen. Nice work.
I appreciate all the thought that has gone into a planter made out of what is basically scrap lumber. What I don't see is just how you isolate and plants all levels. I do see the straw in a photo and wire mesh in the bottom. I guess because of being new to this type of thing, it isn't all clear to me. A clarification please.
It's pretty simple...there are instructions on my blog.
A great idea. I will be looking forward to doing this soon. Hope tonight is our last freeze! Thank you for sharing.
Love this, now to find some pallets. I always get there after they are gone... <br>
you too?
It seems like there's always a few lying around JUST when you don't need them ;)
This article is excellent not only for gardner's that want to save space, but all of the info on pallets is truly helpful!
Hi, <br> <br>sincerely thanks for the quality of your explanations. <br>A good explanation on the safety pallet and last but not least a really precise explanation on how to cut it get it as a perfect box. <br> <br>Have a nice day and let us know if you still have other instructables of this quality ;-) <br> <br>Miguipda ;-)
I have other diy's on my blog and am thinking of putting them on here as well.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.lovelygreens.com/</a>
Thanks for sharing this rather helpful bit of information, on top of the nifty strawberry planter.
You're welcome :)
SO cool!! <br>And yes! Excellent info on the markings! That's a great thing to share. This is so nice. Well done!
You're welcome :)
Really like the simplicity of this project in that it could be done without much more than just the pallet itself and some hand tools. thanks for sharing.
You don't even need a ruler :)
To keep the wood from rotting prematurely a big box store (HD) sell a paint and stain called Ecowood and is is claim to not have a chemical base. I'have ordered some and give it a try.I hate to rebuild something every other year. LOL
Great to know!
Would you mind if I share the pallet info marking image on my facebook page? <br>I can do it any way you like, <br>With a link back to here, with your name, with a link to your fb page. <br>I'd just like my friends to have this information and your form is so simple and clear.
Absolutely :) And you're welcome to send the link to the original post on my blog if you'd like. There's more information on there for planting the planter up with strawberries:<br> <br> <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/2013/05/how-to-make-better-strawberry-pallet.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.lovelygreens.com/2013/05/how-to-make-better-strawberry-pallet.html</a>
If you sealed the wood before you planted anything would that stop any chemicals getting into the plants?
I doubt it.,,
Great info on the pallet markings. I had no idea!
A lot of people don't...I only know because of a bad experience of eating food cooked on a fire using pallet wood. It made me really sick and prompted the investigation. Through a builder friend I also heard that in less developed countries chemical compounds that include arsenic are also used though I wasn't able to find any legitimate references to that online.
I know that pressure treated wood use to contain arsenic here in the US but supposedly it does not anymore. Now, supposedly it has a copper based treatment. Anyway, thanks again for the great info.
Very very nice. Well done
Thanks :)
Cool stuff<br/>Did you do any post build sanding, staining or sealing?<br/><br/>Any idea what it weighs when filled with dirt?<br/><br/>Again, awesome idea. I anyways assumed I would completely disassemble my pallets before building things. This opens up a bunch of idea doors for me.
I've got more photos of planting it up on my blog at the below URL. Not sure how much it weights but it's still able to be moved around if you've got two people :)<br> <br> <a href="http://www.lovelygreens.com/2013/05/how-to-make-better-strawberry-pallet.html" rel="nofollow">Blog link</a>

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