To create a few simple, low-cost, raised-garden beds.
To create your planter boxes you’ll need the following:
5 lb baby sledge hammer (short single hand design)
Wooden pallets, number depending on how many planter boxes you wish to make.
Step One: Break down pallets and remove nails.
I started with about 15 pallets.
I broke down the first few boards by trying to neatly pry the nails out with a large crowbar. This damaged the wood and took longer than I intended to spend on this project.
Working from the underside of each board I used a small 5 lb short-handle sledge hammer to simply undo everything. This worked very well if you hit the boards evenly to avoid splitting. I only had about 5 boards that were damaged enough to be usable for this project.
Once in single pieces, I used the standard hammer to remove/pry the nails out. If you do this in a driveway like I did, be sure to keep these in a nice pile so you don’t end up with a flat tire.
I used a power miter saw to cut the 2′ x 4′ material to the width of 2 long boards from the broken down pallet. These were used as support as well as a base to which the sides would attach. These were roughly 7-8″ in length. I spaced 3 evenly on the ground. The middle segment is what I attached the horizontal sides to.
Line up the boards level with the base of the middle 2′ x 4′ support.
Place a single nail in each.
Set the boards up so they lay level with the ground. Once level, put an additional nail or two in the boards to secure them in place.
Place another board on each side on top of the bottom board. Nail these in place.
This will give you a double height box. If you want deeper boxes, just increase the length of the support boards and add sides to the desired height.
Repeat steps 2-6 and create another side.
Next attach the corner supports.
Repeat step seven on opposite side of rail.
Repeat steps seven and eight on the other side rail.
Install two planks on each end, enclosing your raised bed.
Optional – center support. I took a piece of 2′ x 4′ and secured it in the center for added support.
Once full of soil I wanted to avoid these bulging out in the center.
Half sized square box option if space is an issue.
I ended up building 4 full sized and 2 smaller ones for our boys to experiment/learn with.
These are pretty sturdy as they withstood repeated climbing, standing and stomping on without an issue.
Start to finish time: 4-5 hours if you have a nail gun. If you are nailing by hand, slightly longer.
Total cost: “$” – Couple of dollars for nails. 2″ nails worked perfect for this.
Skill level: Easy. The only cutting/measuring was for the 2′ x 4′ supports. This project utilized the existing lengths of wood so it made for a simple DIY project. Very little skill was required and a there was a large tolerance for error; small or medium gaps in the wood and being somewhat unleveled won’t effect the performance of your planter boxes. Happy gardening!