You’ll need: 2 large bags of potting soil, a small roll of weed mat, a staple gun and sandpaper. You’ll also need an assortment of starter plants. Some delicious herbs are parsley, mint, chives and coriander, while oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley and thyme are also great for cooking and salads — and as mosquitoes don’t like the smell, they will help to keep those bloodsuckers away.
Pick up a pallet by checking with your local retailers and nurseries — they’re often happy to get rid of them. Make sure you find one made of untreated pine to avoid nasty chemicals. Once you get it home, sand back rough patches and remove any loose nails. If you plan to paint it, now is the time. But you can skip this step if you prefer the natural look.
Find a space in your garden or courtyard that gets some sun as your vertical garden will remain on its back in this space for several weeks while the seedling roots establish. This space should be close to where you intend to permanently keep your garden — such as near a sturdy fence or garden wall — as it will be heavy to lift once filled with soil. Lay your pallet face down, roll the weed mat across the back of the pallet and staple it into place across the back, bottom and sides so the soil will stay contained. Then turn the pallet over so it’s face up.
Pour the potting soil into the open face of the pallet and pack it in tight. Use a broom or brush, if necessary, to cram the soil into every opening and press it down tightly. Next, plant each row of your pallet with your seedlings and pack the soil tightly around each one. Once complete, give it a good watering.
Allow your pallet to lie flat for several weeks to let the plants take root. Remember to keep your garden well-watered as pallets tend to dry out faster than other containers. This can be a great job for the kids. Once established and set upright, the herbs will create a lush cascading effect as they grow, providing a beautiful backdrop to your alfresco area. Of course, you’re not restricted to herbs. You can also grow organic vegetables for your fresh summer spreads.