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Make a vertical planter

By Mark Patterson BSc

These are easy and cheap to make and are ideal for those tight spaces where you have little room for pots or traditional planters. They are great for growing strawberries and trailing tomatoes. Herbs and many flowers will also grow happily in them.

Materials needed

  • Old wooden pallet
  • Wood preservative or paint
  • High gauge horticultural polythene (available at good garden centres and DIY stores)
  • Fabric for backing (geotextile liner, old carpet or hessian is fine)
  • Compost and plants
  • Staple gun and staples.


  1. Give your pallet a lick of paint. You can paint with any wood-stain or preservative, which come in a variety of colours. Here we have used red cedar.
  2. Line the inside of the pallet with the polythene, stapling it down across the slats and on the sides. Fit another piece of polythene on the inside back of the pallet to create a deep planting pouch inside the pallet body.
  3. Staple the fabric onto the back of the pallet and sides - this will re-enforce the planting pouch so it is less likely to tear the polythene and spill the compost.
  4. Stand the planter upright and fill with compost from the top. Push the compost right down inside the planter body to remove any air pockets and empty spaces.
  5. Stand your pallet against the wall or vertical surface you wish to hide or just where you want to place the pallet planter. You can fix to a wall using small brackets if you wish but they are usually heavy enough not to move and fall over.
  6. Using a gardening knife or pair of scissors make some slits in the polythene big enough to push your plant plugs inside. You may find that making a horizontal slit followed by a upward vertical slit midway creates a better shape for you to fit your plant plugs into.
  7. Push your plant plugs into the planting slits. You can also plant the top which you have left open. You can push seeds into the top section as well.These planters are ideal for planting with trailing tom thumb tomatoes, strawberries, nasturtiums, trailing petunias, herbs, alpines, ferns and grasses.

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