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How to build a raised garden bed using pallets

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Difficulty: Intermediate

A fantastic raised garden bed for growing vegetables or other plants can be constructed from recycled pallet timber.

 

This project can be built for a minimal cost and be customised to suit your needs.

 

Follow our simple step-by-step instructions, and feel free to ask any questions about the build process in the comments section below.

Steps

Step 1

You’ll find pine pallets the easiest to work with for this project. They are readily available and last a significant amount of time out in the weather. It’s best to pick up pallets that are in a reasonable condition, avoiding those with damaged or warped and twisted boards.

 

After acquiring your pallets, disassemble them by removing the boards from the runner. Select the straightest timber runners as you’ll be using these for your frame. For each frame we will need two runners and two shorter cross pieces. The length of the cross pieces will determine the depth of your planter. The runners should be approximately 120cm from your pallet. The cross pieces will be a runner cut in half at 60cm.

 

1.1 Aquire some free pallet timber.jpg  1.2 Two full runners and one cut in half.jpg

Step 2

After cutting a runner in half to form shorter cross pieces pre-drill the end of the longer runners with a 6mm drill bit in two places. Drive in two of your longer bugle screws into the cross pieces end. Repeat this on all four corners. You’ll need to make two of these frames for the top and bottom.

 

2.1 Pre-drilling corners.jpg  2.2 Fixing with two screws.jpg  2.3 Two frames constructed.jpg

Step 3

Cut four upright posts at 50cm length. The length of these will determine the height of your planter. From the inside of the frame screw these uprights into the corners with your treated pine screws. From the outside add some additional screws for strength.

 

3.1 Four upright posts..jpg  3.2 Fixing Upright posts into place between two frames.jpg  3.3 Additional screws from outside being added.jpg  3.4 Frame constructed.jpg

Step 4

Begin laying out your boards. Fix the boards to the top and bottom timber on the frame with screws. You should use two screws in the top and two in the bottom of the board.

 

4.1 Begining to lay boards.jpg  4.2 Boards being screwed into place.jpg

Step 5

Once the boards are fixed in place, cut them flush with the top of the frame.

 

5.1 Cutting boards flush with frame.jpg  5.2 Boards trimmed flush.jpg

Step 6

Select some boards to use as capping pieces. These will be used to finish the top and hold the plastic liner in position. Cut the boards to size.

 

6.1 Selected capping pieces.jpg  6.2 Capping pieces cut to size.jpg

Step 7

Lay builder’s plastic into the planter. Sandwich the plastic in between the frame and the capping boards. Screw the boards in place. Trim the excess plastic off.

 

You’ve now completed your garden planter. For a fabulous addition, consider adding an additional vertical garden behind the planter. Our step-by-step guide How to build a vertical garden can show you how. 

 

7.1 Builders plastic laid in planter.jpg  7.2 Capping pieces fixed over plastic.jpg  7.3 Plastic cut to size.jpg  7.4 Plastic in postition.jpg    7.5 Finished.jpg

Materials

  • Four pallets
  • 25 galvanised bugle screws - size 14g x 100mm  
  • 150 treated pine screws – size 10 x 65mm  
  • One roll of builder’s plastic 2 x 5m  

Tools

  • Drill driver 
  • 6mm drill bit 
  • Handsaw or circular saw 

Images

1.1 Aquire some free pallet timber.jpg

1.2 Two full runners and one cut in half.jpg

2.1 Pre-drilling corners.jpg

2.2 Fixing with two screws.jpg

2.3 Two frames constructed.jpg

3.1 Four upright posts..jpg

3.2 Fixing Upright posts into place between two frames.jpg

3.3 Additional screws from outside being added.jpg

3.4 Frame constructed.jpg

4.1 Begining to lay boards.jpg

4.2 Boards being screwed into place.jpg

5.1 Cutting boards flush with frame.jpg

5.2 Boards trimmed flush.jpg

6.1 Selected capping pieces.jpg

6.2 Capping pieces cut to size.jpg

7.1 Builders plastic laid in planter.jpg

7.2 Capping pieces fixed over plastic.jpg

7.3 Plastic cut to size.jpg

7.4 Plastic in postition.jpg

7.5 Finished.jpg

11 Replies
rattle
Super Contributor

Good stuff @MitchellMc 👍

 

Very clear instructions.

I like the width of the capping so you can lean on it or even place things on it as you work.

Tairi
Newbie

Easy. Thanks for sharing. 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

@rattle,

 

Many thanks for your kind words.

 

My young daughter likes doing some gardening and the capping is great for her to lean/sit on.

 

Mitchell

 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Tairi. It's fabulous to have you join us and many thanks for jumping into the conversation.

 

Were you interested in building something like this for your backyard?

 

I trust our community would like to follow along with your build and we'd encourage you to let us know if you need any assistance or would like to share your results. I trust you'll find loads of inspiration from within the community as our creative members are sharing their projects here every day.

 

Mitchell

 

Nessa
New Contributor

Hi Mitchell and all,

 

Excuse my ignorance,  I am an absolute beginner.

When searching for the treated pine screws there were  10-8 × 65mm in results.  Are these the same as what you used for the garden bed?

Also, I would like to make the garden bed on a basic stand . Bad back. How would I  work out if the wood stand would be strong enough to support a filled garden bed?

 

There was a lot of would wood in the question, feels there should be a woodchuck thrown in.

Any advice from experienced folk on my questions would be appreciated. 

 

 

 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Nessa. It's terrific that you've joined us, and many thanks for your question.

 

Buildex 10-8 x 65mm Climacoat® 3 Countersunk Rib Head Treated Pine Screws - 50 Pack were the screws used in the project.

 

An issue with raising this style garden bed is that there's no bottom to it. You could add the pallet boards to the bottom, but that will be some weight they're supporting. If you were to build legs, I would suggest constructing them from solid timber, and perhaps you could use the runners from a spare pallet. Wet soil is quite heavy and the unit would need to be well supported.

 

There are quite a few options for raised garden beds that you might like to look through.

 

Mitchell

 

Nessa
New Contributor

@MitchellMc 

 

Thank you  for  clarifying the screw type for me.

I was thinking the same as you regarding the stand. The pallet support posts could be used.

Hopefully it will  still look as good as yours.

Thanks

Nessa

 

 

 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

I'll be looking to following along with your build and seeing your results @Nessa.

 

Please let us know if you need further assistance or had questions. We're here to help.

 

Mitchell

 

RDBuild
New Contributor

Hi MitchellMC, great article about using pallets for the garden bed.  Do Bunning's still give away free pallets and this is my next project and would like to get my hands on the required pallets?

Regards

StevieB
Projects Editor
Projects Editor

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @RDBuild. It's wonderful that you've joined us.

 

Most of our stores will happily provide you with free pallets when they are available. Just have a word with one of our helpful team members in the Timber Yard at your local store, and they will be able to point you in the right direction.

 

Be sure to check out our Top 10 most popular pallet projects and Top 10 most popular raised garden beds for inspiration. We can't wait to see what you come up with.

 

Stevie

 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hi @RDBuild, It's fantastic to have you join us and hear about your pallet project.

 

Please keep us updated, take plenty of pictures of the build and share your results when you are done. We all love a pallet project here and would be delighted to see what you come up with. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or get stuck.

 

Mitchell

 

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