Green, Tofu Tuesday
Comments 17

Tofu Tuesday: Terraced Pallet Garden

Growing your own food is uniquely satisfying. I don’t know if it’s my age or the times but more and more of our friends are growing their own food. I’ve hinted at our vegetable garden before, but I didn’t want to share it until we started eating from it. That time has come.


If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll know I have a slight obsession with up-cycled pallets and vegetable gardens. We live in a rented villa so we didn’t want to spend much money on our garden in case we have to move. Both The Koala and I have day jobs that revolve around paper so we have free access to wood pallets. In hindsight, we should have started this garden when we moved in 5 years ago. I could “what if” at my 5 year old vegetable garden all day, but you gotta start somewhere and late is better than never.


The bottom of our garden has a gentle slope so we terraced the space using the pallets. Sloped ground drains water in random ways so terracing flattens sections to work with. We’ve never done anything like this before so it was all a learning curve but we are happy with how it turned out.

Terraced Pallet Garden

You will need:

  • Spade/shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Enough pallets to border each terrace
  • Strong arms and elbow grease
  • Trellis (optional)
  • Compost (see notes below)
  • Seeds or seedlings


  1. Lay out pallets end to end to plan the length of the walls.
  2. Dig a trench half a pallet deep and a little wider than you will need, removing any large rocks along the way. Enlist friends to help if they are willing.
  3. Insert pallets as straight as you can (a spirit level would have helped) and fill up front and back of each pallet with soil.
  4. Optional: Cut a trellis into sections to border garden from pets.
  5. Layer compost on top and start planting.


How much compost will I need?…is one of the trickier things to work out if you’ve never bought compost before. I can only share what we did and hopefully that will give you an idea for your own garden. Our vegetable garden is approximately 3.5 metres wide by 3 metres deep. We used 8 x 40 litre bags (320 litres) of compost to give a nice layer on top of our existing soil. We bought our compost from who make compost from hoof animal manure from our local zoos. They offer competitive prices and free home delivery.


5 tips for a terraced pallet garden:

  1. Every pallet is slightly different so measure the actual pallets (do not just x5).
  2. Plywood pallets are better than particle board pallets, but both are usable.
  3. Insert pallets leaning back every so slightly. Do not lean them forward as this may encourage them to fall forward.
  4. Plant herbs or strawberries in the pockets made by the pallet walls.
  5. If you want to paint or stain your pallets, do so before putting them in the ground.terraced-garden09


    • Oh, he could physically jump the trellis easy peasy but he only jumps to familiar territory like on/off the bed or the couch. He doesn’t have the same adventurous spirit he used to. I guess being blind is a big part of it. Leaping into the unknown can be scary.

      Even the trellis was recycled – we found it on the side of the road, so gave it a bright yellow paint job.

  1. I think it is one of the most satisfying feelings to walk out to the vege patch and grab a chilli and a handful of basil for you dinner !!, you should get a bay tree now its nearly winter, nothing like a fresh bayleaf in your casserole x

    ps – i think you invited me to join something recently and I never got back to you, i’m so sorry about that, one of my little bunnies started kinder and the other started school this year and its hectic I tell you, hectic 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping by, Paula. How exciting that your little bunnies are getting bigger. Pretty soon, they’ll be able to fend for themselves, though I’m sure they will always love mama’s cooking. I will do some research on bay trees, they aught to plant them in parks.

  2. That looks absolutely fantastic, good on you. It’s definitely got the brain working as we could expand our veggie garden like this to give us more space!

  3. This is awesome! Wish I have my own garden! Anyway, I think Tofu is scheming about ways on getting his paws on your patch ^^

  4. That’s awesome! I’m giving the gardening thing another go this year…I’m far from a natural. How time-consuming is it on a daily basis?

    • I’m a lazy gardener. I might weed for 10 minutes once a week and over the height of our summer, it was super dry so I watered once a week with a hose. But it’s raining again now so there’s really not all that much to do but harvest daily and eat 🙂

      • I am inspired by your success with lazy gardening! I’m not so much lazy as…neglectful, I guess is the right word. Enthusiastic but neglectful. 😉

  5. I love how Tofu is just sitting there trying to work out how to get in. I feel like, if he wanted to get in, he would. Such a cutie! You did such an incredible job on your garden. Don’t get caught up in the shoulds… they suck!

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