Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's the best, free material to use for raised beds?


Pallets are accessible anywhere and everywhere for free. I would recommend using pallets to make your own house, compost bin, raised beds, or d├ęcor in your home. My partner found these pallets behind a country store; but you can find them behind any grocery store, big business and organization buildings (i.e. college campuses.) Pallets are all around us, it just takes some energy to go find them.

Considering these were readily accessible and free, my partner is making all of our raised beds out of pallets. For example, in the two pictures below, he has already built one wall on our first raised bed.

Here is the finished product of our first raised bed:

If you're interested in using recycled pallets for constructing your own raised beds or other projects, check out this video for some inspiration and to further your knowledge on how to use recyclable materials to make everything yourself (by kirstendirksen on youtube):

I mentioned that you can use pallets as decor in your home, check out this website's examples of using pallets at New Life On a Homestead: creative uses for free wooden pallets.

Below is another video to inspire you to use pallets, from


  1. How do you know whether the pallets were treated with chemicals or not? I'd be scared to grow food in them or bring them into my house or make first fir the kids out of them... How can you tell which are safe?

    1. The best way to find a safe pallet for your home project is to look for this stamp on your pallet. For example, there will be a code on the pallets, either "HT" which means the pallet was heat treated, possibly with harmful chemicals; or "MB" which indicates that the pallet was fumigated with methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide. Pallet makers are phasing out methyl bromide, but you may still see this mark on some older pallets.
      Also if pallets look more brown, grey, or green than usual, they most likely have been treated.
      Thank you for bringing up this issue-- it's very important to remember!

  2. Forts for the kids... Lots of cool ideas floating around out there

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