I had long wanted a vertical herb garden on our balcony. Fresh herbs are just one of those things you buy that can quickly go to waste. Particularly if you’re in a one or two-person household. We’re two here, so I figured it was high time I got to building one.
If you’re an apartment dweller like me – you’d know that drilling into external walls is either not welcome, or simply not allowed. It’s the latter for us. Annoying, but these little challenges allow our imaginations to take over.
The solution for us then? A pallet vertical herb garden that could be hooked onto the wall with a bracket. No drilling required. I’m a big fan of using vertical gardens on apartment balconies. It means you can have a lot more plants in a smaller space.
Now, if you think this little project requires a lot of time and skill you’d be wrong. I am not much of a handy-lady – yet – so I look for creative workarounds. Trust me when I tell you if I can do it, you can most definitely do it. The whole thing really is just about putting a few sturdy bits and pieces together.
Steps to DIY a vertical herb garden
You’ll have your very own herb garden all set up and ready to go in just a few quick and easy steps.
STEP ONE – Measure up and see what equipment you’re going to need.
I recommend getting the pallet first, because you will need to know some of its dimensions before preparing your wall brackets. A roadside salvage for these is usually quite easy. If you can’t find one though, places like Reverse Garbage sell them for ~$5. Your local hardware store may also sell them. Then:
- Measure the width of your balcony ledge so you know the width of the brackets you’ll need.
- Measure how far down the wall the bracket needs to come to hook onto the back of the pallet.
STEP TWO – Gather the rest of your equipment
My herb garden cost me ~$170 AUD to make and aside from the pallet, the rest of the equipment I used was:
- Two different kinds of brackets. This will be different for everyone, but for some guidance – I used 2 x Carinya 300 x 300 x 40 x 6mm Galvanised Heavy Duty Angle Brackets along with 2 x Carinya 75 x 50 x 20 x 3.5mm Zinc Plated Angle Brackets
- Two hooks – I used 2 x Zenith 70mm Zinc Plated Universal Hooks
- Nuts/bolts to attach all the pieces together
- A couple of little pavers to give the pallet a bit of height and;
- Six planter boxes to hook on – I used 6 x Gardman 55cm Sisal and Fern Balcony Planters
- Soil, compost and herbs of choice. I have oregano, mint, chocolate mint, basil, holy basil, parsley, coriander, thyme and calendula in mine.
Note that price will vary (up or down) depending on the equipment you choose.
STEP THREE – Assemble your brackets.
You’ll see in the pics below I used those brackets and hooks to create something that will grip both the wall and the pallet. To do this:
- Attach one large and one small bracket together to hook on one side of the wall.
- Attach the hook to the other side of the bracket in-line with the plank of wood that would hook onto it on the back of the pallet.
- Do that all a second time because you need two brackets
Is it pretty? No. Is it secure and does it do the job? Yes indeed! You can’t see the bracket behind the pallet anyway so, no biggie.
STEP FOUR – Set pallet in place
Place pavers on the floor if using (we needed them for a little extra height). Then, hook your pallet onto the bracket. If the pallet you salvage doesn’t have enough slats on the back you can just nail on a plank of wood exactly where you need it. Super simple.
STEP FIVE – Set up your little garden
Hook your baskets onto the slats in any position you like. I like visual balance so we went with three and three.
Fill the pots with a mixture of soil and compost, plant your herbs of choice and enjoy your handywork! Plus, you can now enjoy the kitchen benefits of having your very own herb garden on hand.
We get frequent feathered friends on ours…. but mostly they like to be hand fed. Spoilt much?
If you get around to making your very own vertical herb garden let me know how you got on in the comments. Once you have a stack of herbs growing you can make your own condiments. Give my chimichurri sauce recipe a go!