01. June 2021

How to use pallet collars in your garden

For those of you who are completely new to gardening or live in a country where pallet collars aren't used as much – this is the post for you! I'll go through everything you need to know about how to use pallet collars in your garden here.

Dubbla pallkragar som står på en lastpall ute i trädgården. Use pallet collars in your garden, pallet collars on a pallet in my garden.

This is what a pallet collar  looks like (the wooden frame on top of the pallet).


Using wooden pallet collars is in my opinion the best way to get started on your own kitchen garden at home. All you need to get going is a few pallet collars and some soil!


En lastpall med två ihopvikta pallkragar och en katt ovanpå. Pallet collars, two folded pallet collars with cat.

Pallet collars are very easy to store, you simply fold them and stack them. I always keep a few pallet collars around. My cat approves.


Use pallet collars in your garden

You see pallet collars in almost every Swedish vegetable garden. Some gardens are built completely with the help of these wooden frames that have been propped up in different constellations. The pallet collars shape the entire layout of these gardens. Even though pallet collars are usually used for packaging, they're more commonly associated with gardening in many parts of the world.

So what is a pallet collar then? It's a stackable frame made out of wood with simple hinges in the corners. The collar is usually put on top of a pallet, creating a box you can use to ship things. You can stack the frames and adapt the height of the box this way. I used to spend a lot of time in a dockyard with my father when I was a child. I remember that the cargo ships used to bring new machine parts for the boats on pallets with pallets collars on top. The pallets are constructed in a way that makes them easy to move with a forklift. If the pallets are connected to pallet collars, the cargo will stay in its place. You can even buy lids to put on top.


Detaljbild på hur pallkragen satts över en lastpall. Pallet collar on top of a pallet.

The pallet collar is made with hinges to fit perfectly on top of a pallet.


Where can I buy pallet collars?

If you want to buy more than one pallet collar, you might as well contact the manufacturer and buy straight from them. Some manufacturers only sell to other businesses but I've been in touch with several companies that have been willing to make exceptions. Google "pallet collar manufacturers" to get a better idea of what kind of company you should contact when you want to use pallet collars in your garden.

You can sometimes also find pallet collars in the garden shop.

Pallet collars come in many different sizes. The standard measurement is usually around 2 ft 7 x 3 ft 11 and around 7 inches high. There are of course pallet collars in other sizes too, but they might be a bit harder to find. Swedish garden shops often sell pallet collars where the wooden boards are around 5/8 inches (1.6 centimeters) thick. This is slightly less than the pallet collars that are used for packaging, they're around 3/4 inches (1.9 centimeters) thick. I would however recommend that you use the thicker ones in your own garden.


Are pallet collars impregnated?

A lot of gardeners believe that the pallet collar wood has been impregnated. This would after all make perfect sense since the pallet collars are used to ship things all over the world. I called a man called Konrad who works at a large company that produces pallets and pallet collars. He told me that pallet collars actually aren't impregnated. Instead, they undergo heat treatment where the pallet collars are sent into a large heat chamber. The heat helps kill off any pests living inside the wood. This treatment is a must for all wood that's shipped outside the EU. The treatment doesn't affect the vegetables you will plant in the pallet collars in the future though.



En lastpall med pallkragar på fotograferad ovanifrån. A pallet with pallet collars on top.

The pallet collars you buy directly from the manufacturer is made with thicker wooden boards. They usually last about seven years if you use pallet collars in your garden.


En lastpall med två monterade pallkragar ovanpå. Pallet with two stacked pallet collars on top.

You can create raised beds with the help of pallet collars. Stack them to a height that suits you. You can also buy a lid for your pallet collar if you want to.


It's easy to use pallet collars

Using pallet collars might be the easiest way to build a garden, at least in my part of the world. You just need to fill the pallet collars with soil and you can stack them if you want to. Create paths between the pallet collars to make it look nice and neat.



I think that a pallet collar is the perfect tool when I want to create a new growing area in my garden. I fill my pallet collar with many different types of material (depending on what I want to grow there) and top if off with soil. You can of course also use home-made wooden frames too, but I like the pallet collars since I can fold them and move them around as I please. I hope this post has inspired you to use pallet collars in your garden too!
/Sara Bäckmo

6 responses to “How to use pallet collars in your garden”

  1. Catherine says:

    Sara, you are right, pallet collars are not a common garden item everywhere and I want to thank you for explaining this. They do seem like the perfect thing to get a garden up and growing in a short period of time. Have a great today! Catherine

  2. Jennifer says:

    I had never heard of Pallet Collars either but it seems that I did purchase the pallet collar corner hinges from Lee Valley in Canada when I built my own beds. You are able to customize the size you want by using whatever wood dimensions and species you want. We went with 4ftx8ft beds in cedar and they are going on 14 years now. Such an easy way to build raised beds that do not require a lot of wood working tools or skills!

  3. Marja says:

    Hi Sara, this is a lovely way to garden and when I move to Sweden next year 🙂 I'm going to try it!
    I was wondering how long the wood lasts in your environment? How often do you have to replace the pallet collars with new ones? I have been using thick branches (about 10 cm) in my garden here in Germany but they rot away in 2-3 years...

  4. Bethany Collins says:

    Do you recommend lining or treating with 'weather safe' paint before use?

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      Hi! You don´t actually need to line it or paint it at all. It is fine to use straight. Happy Gardening!

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