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Raised planter from Wooden pallets

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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 12, 2013
557 posts
243 upvotes
YEG

Raised planter from Wooden pallets

Hello All

Was trying to figure out if I can use the wood from the pallets to make a raised planter. Checked youtube videos. Would I be able to use this to grow vegetables or this can only be used for Flowers as I know the wooden pallets are chemically treated. This might be toxic for vegetables. Initially i thought of painting it with a non toxic paint but not sure if this makes a difference

share your ideas
7 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1901 posts
1638 upvotes
GTA
Depending on where the wood pallets are from and what they are made of sure!

If you have concerns with it, you can just line the insides or anywhere soil contact would be.

Also, do you get wood pallets for free? Do you have lots of free time to rip it apart, take out all the nails, and mill everything into useable pieces?

Raised planters can be had pretty affordably from most stores, but building stuff is fun Smiling Face With Open Mouth
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 12, 2013
557 posts
243 upvotes
YEG
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: Depending on where the wood pallets are from and what they are made of sure!

If you have concerns with it, you can just line the insides or anywhere soil contact would be.

Also, do you get wood pallets for free? Do you have lots of free time to rip it apart, take out all the nails, and mill everything into useable pieces?

Raised planters can be had pretty affordably from most stores, but building stuff is fun Smiling Face With Open Mouth
thanks for the info. Yes. I do get as many wood pallets as i want for free. I am planning to build at least 2 raised planters as of now. trying this for the first time

I do have some free time. During this winter, was planning to do it in the basement in my spare time.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1901 posts
1638 upvotes
GTA
glenn9090 wrote: thanks for the info. Yes. I do get as many wood pallets as i want for free. I am planning to build at least 2 raised planters as of now. trying this for the first time

I do have some free time. During this winter, was planning to do it in the basement in my spare time.
It should be pretty straight forward, reuse the larger members for corner and supports along longer lengths.

The annoying thing is always getting the nails out, because you'll probably want to rip the smaller pieces a little bit, so you can get them to butt up against each other nicely, but you could see how they sit without ripping.

Other than that, I would advise lining them, and trying to limit ground contact. Or if you're going to have ground contact you're going to want to treat those members a lot if you want them to last.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17679 posts
8406 upvotes
It's my understanding that for the most part pallets are NOW made with chemicals that dissipate within a month or so (to prevent mold). This leaves the concern about what was spilled on the pallet then (e.g. if it was shipping something toxic).

Personally I would first check if there are any stampings on the pallet on when it was made and who made it. I would then send a friendly email off to the manufacturer. If you cannot confirm the pallet is toxin free (whether by the manufacturer or what has been shipped on it) I would use a liner. When building them acquire your liners first so you can build that size.


That's just my opinion, I have little experience with pallets for home projects. But I'm pretty sure most pallets I have moved around are stamped (just whether the stamp tells you what's been done to the wood or who made it I don't know).
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2007
1279 posts
758 upvotes
GTA
I've tried the pallet route to make beds but in the end its easier just to buy 2x6's.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11739 posts
4274 upvotes
Saskatoon
Free is good but consider the time and effort spent on the project for something that won't last more than a couple seasons. I have a long planter at the side of the house made from treated 4x6's that I use as a flower bed and it was built over 15 years ago (still in perfect condition). I also have two huge oak barrel planters on the deck that are about the same age and still going strong.
Jr. Member
Aug 20, 2007
121 posts
97 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
All pallets are stamped.
Look for HT = Heat Treated
Stay away from MB = Methyl Bromide

Others (but less common) may be:
DB = Debarked or KD = Kiln Dried
these are safe too!

And of course, just because it is safe (from the stamp), doesn't mean that it's safe! Chemical spills are more common than you think.
And like my 'ol pa used to say, "You never know where an old pallet has been!" (but substitute pallet for something else)

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