Thursday, 15 August 2013

Incredible edible gardens

Congratulations - this year's 'Edible Open Gardens' was another triumph - only this time we had amazing sunshine to enjoy them all in. With fabulous refreshments and a wealth of unusual and innovative ideas to whet our appetites we really don't have any excuses NOT to be growing our own produce. As an 'homage' to the gardeners (I don't have any green fingers at all) I tried my hand at making some pallet planters. I was fairly pleased with the finished results and have been enjoying the fruits of my labour throughout the summer. Admittedly with the fine weather we've been enjoying the barbie has seen a lot more use recently and the herb pallet planter has taken quite a hit! If you weren't keen on growing edible things in pallets then you could try succulents....whatever you plant they look fab, plus they 'd even fit on a balcony if that's all you've got.

The planter on the left contains various herbs, on the right are salad leaves, strawberries and nasturtiums - always remember to wash anything picked from a container like this.

Step 1: Choose a smallish pallet (I asked a local business if they had any untreated pallets not being used). You will also need some waterproof material such as pond liner or in my case an old recycled gazebo cover as well as a large stapler plus of course your compost and plants!
Step 2: Fold your waterproof material around the pallet leaving the top open. Do it as if you were wrapping a Christmas present. Then staple along all the edges using one staple every 4-5 cm.
Step 3: Make sure all the sides are taut otherwise it will look like a pregnant sack!
Step 4: Stand upright and fill with compost to the first space on your pallet. Lean it back down and push your plants into the gap (be firm, you don't want them falling out). Then stand the pallet upright again and fill with compost to the next gap. Repeat the process until you've filled all the gaps.
Step 5: Once all the gaps are filled stand upright and plant the top row. Water well from the top, then lay your pallet at a 45° angle and water again. Leave at this angle for 3-4 days so the plants can 'settle' then place upright in your desired location....voilĂ !

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