Pallet Planters, Yea or Nay?

 

A quick search on the internet and you will find many DIY raised garden beds using recycled wood pallets but is that a good choice? Well, that depends on a few factors:

 

  • Are you going to use the planter for growing food or flowers?

  • What was the pallet used for during its work-life?

  • Was the pallet sprayed with any chemicals to kill nematodes?

  • How long to do you want the planter box to last?

  • You must consider the safety factor.

Pallets Can Contain Pests or Harmful Chemicals

All pallets that might be traveling internationally must be treated in some way to kill invasive insects. Be sure of your pallet source.


Some pallets are treated with a methyl bromide fumigation, you will see the letters MB stamped somewhere on the pallet.  You definitely do not want the MB pallets anywhere on your property.  They are considered toxic (hazardous waste) and must not come into contact with the food you may be growing, and they must never be burned.  


Other pallets are heat treated, you will see the letters HT. Heat treated pallets may be an okay choice if you are using the pallets for flowers or other non-edible plants, but I would not recommend using them to grow food.  Those pallets that have not been treated/stamped can harbor invasive pests, like microscopic nematodes, that can devastate your plants for years to come.


Safety First! 

You do not know where the pallets came from originally, what was transported on them, what has spilled on them, what kind of conditions they were stored in or what kind of wood was used in making them. Recycled pallets are usually ones that have fulfilled their work duty and are in disrepair so you may have to modify and repair the pallet. On average, the useful life of a recycled pallet as a planter box is only about a year or two.

 

Once the pallets start to fall apart you will have to deal with rusty nails or staples; you certainly do not want anyone to step on them, especially children playing in the garden.


Why take the chance when there are so many other options? Investing in a raised planter box is worth the health of your plants and family. See our products below.


Want to learn even more about our products? Aaron explains his favorite features and why you'll love our elevated planter boxes too! See the video here.