Collecting Local Resources
Look to your neighborhood businesses that might be getting things shipped in pallets. Here is a local pallet map we started for our neighborhood feel free to add some of your favorite spots!
Harvesting Pallet Wood
Breaking down pallets is pretty easy and fun! It can be done with basic hand tools such as a hand saw, pry bar, and hammer. We used a circular saw to cut along the dotted lines on either side of the pallet, and a pry bar and hammer to remove the board from the center runner. Then you only have to hammer out two nails and you have a recycled board to work with!
The disassembled wood can be easily reassembled to make the sides of a raised bed. It only takes 1 pallet to make 1 square raised bed! 3 pallets can make 2 rectangular beds. We built vegetable raised beds that were 2:1 rectangles and a square strawberry bed. Scrap 2×4’s can join pallet boards to double their length and for the corners. The Pallet runners are also a good thicker wood that can be cut to 1′ lengths and used in the corners to secure the 90.
Filling with Soil and Planting
If you are placing the raised bed in a grassy spot, be sure to lay down some cardboard, landscape fabric, or in our case, a thick layer of wet leaves, as a weed barrier. Then you can fill the bed in with your topsoil / compost mix, soak the soil or, plant it 6 hours before rain, and and mulch!