Building a Vegetable Garden Planter

Two days ago I set about doing something I have never done before; build something from scratch.  Well, I guess a number of years ago back at school I did build a wall mountable bike rack and tool tray for a project, but that doesn’t count as it was designed and thought out, plus I had a teacher to guide me. Building something from nothing is very satisfying and upon completion of this little project I was very proud of my efforts.  So as you can tell from the title of the post, I built a Garden Planter, in which to grow vegetables.


Weeks prior whilst surfing the web I saw that people have used all sorts of things to grow things in, Pinterest was a very useful tool for this endeavour.  Anyway, as my readers here know I have been working on a compost now for just over 2 months, but strangely enough don’t have a garden on which to use the compost.  It has been coming for a long time; the idea of growing ones own vegetable, infact as a child I have always wanted to have a small vegetable patch. I picked up a seed planting guide from the local botanical gardens which seemed to be very helpful with gardening advice, but also with encouraging me that much further to start growing.  A later visit to OCN garden centre caused me to stock up on seeds and whilst talking with the friendly gardener lady, we discussed the use of pallets for a growing receptacle.

The Build

So, it was decided, a pallet is will be.  I was told that a local store had some around the back of their property and that I could happily take one.


I hadnt got the foggiest idea on how I was going to build something.  I had no idea of how it was going to look or what configuration it was going to take.  After thinking it through for a few minutes I came up with some idea, only to shake it from my head on seeing a nearby box that inspired the design.

Wooden Box for inspiration

After retrieving the pallet I laid it out in the yard and stroked my chin for a while. I took a pen and paper and started to sketch out an idea, marking off the pieces of wood on the pallet as I went – sort of like creating a jigsaw puzzle, but backwards.

design sketch garden planter

Once I had the plan sketched out it was time to take to saw to it.  As I began to cut, I realized that I wouldn’t need to dismantle all the parts as some of it could be used as it was.  The end pieces became the front and back quite conveniently, yet with some minor adjustments.

Starting the vegetable planter box

Then it was a matter of just sawing some pieces in half, removing nails, removing some more nails and then hammering semi-bent nails back in to the wood.
Not one new part or purchase was necessary to complete this construction.

garden planter box almost finished

I had some sore hands, a sore back and a realisation that I need to exercise more.  The lady at the garden centre said we should line any container we do use, with something to stop the loss of soil, so we had previously purchased some lining for a less than five dollars.

I used a staple gun from work and hey presto one vegetable garden planter.

complete garden vegetable planter box with lining

Now I’ve dded the soil and now its time to sow some seeds.

Home made Vegetable Garden planter box

I am now very proud of my small life achievement, it only took me a couple of hours, including blog post and I saved around $40 and managed to reclaim some old wood.

I hope you all now decide to go and make one yourself. I would love to know if any of you do make one of these, so any readers out there, please let me know.  Happy Gardening.



9 thoughts on “Building a Vegetable Garden Planter

  1. Great little project! There’s no end to what pallets can be used for, it seems. One thing to make sure you double check before building with pallets is that the wood used to make the pallet was heat treated, not fumigated. Because pallets are shipped internationally, the International Plant Protection Convention protects against introduced pests through strict regulations for wood treatment. It’s easy to tell – look for the IPPC symbol (found on all pallets) and you’ll find the letters “HT” for “heat treated.” If you don’t find “HT” but you do find “MB” then you know the wood has been treated with methyl bromide – not something you want in your soil. More information can be found here:

    1. Wow, just so many things to consider. I didn’t note any markings at all. I was aware they needed to not have paint on, which was one thing I took care with. I’ll check the next one, fingers crossed….. Thanks Josie.

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