Spring has sprung & as the seedlings peep out, raising their little hands in the playful breeze, beautiful earth slips on her apple green sundress, weaves popcorn blossoms through her hair & sprays on her favorite perfume, the unmistakable scent of dew mixed with heaven. It is a perfect day to plant my pallet garden.
‘SOW SIMPLE‘ by Vanessa
1 – SOIL PREPARATION:
This is the first and most important step. The soil will stay underneath this pallet for many a season and so filling it with goodness is important. I mix 50% soil with 50% well matured animal manure & sprinkled over 1 cup of volcanic rock dust and 1 cup of earthworm castings.
*I love the Afmine range as it is totally organic even down to their hemp bag packaging – awesome!
I chose a spot next to my house that gets wonderful morning sun but soft shade from the trees in the afternoon that will protect my leafy salad garden from the strong afternoon sun which causes my greens to turn bitter. I sprinkled a layer of mulch over the area where I put the pallet, to help retain water.
My wonderful husband & daughter adapted my pallet & hammered extra planks along the sides so that the soil does not pour out and cut a hole for the inspection pipe, sticking unconventionally out of the ground. This double pallet will be able to hold an abundance of green delights to nourish my family.
I carefully filled the gaps between the pallet planks with soil and pushed it softly underneath the wooden strips so that the roots have room to grow laterally. The wooden planks help retain water by minimizing evaporation & create lines to plant perfect straight rows of green goodies.
The area beneath the pallet is very shallow so it is important to keep it moist. Water it well before you plant your seeds. The mulch underneath and the planks on top will help with moisture retention but water it more often than the rest of your garden especially if you place your pallet in full sun.
The pallet garden works best with shallow rooted vegetables like your leafy crops or herbs. I am filling mine with a bouquet of heirloom lettuce, Chinese cabbage, Swiss Chard and garlic, which is a good companion plant to leafy greens.
Bought lettuce can contain a lot of toxins and pesticides due to its high surface to weight ratio – scary since I eat this food to keep healthy. A pallet garden is the perfect way to grow organic, healthy leaves in abundance. I am also going to plant garlic in between, which is a natural pest repellent, so as to avoid spraying my crop with toxins.