Safe lining for planting box for growing vegetables

Asked June 26, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

Greetings! We wish to expand our gardening space, and plan to re-purpose pallets to create planting boxes. I am wondering what would be a safe lining to use for this. For our prototype, we used some leftover pond liner (Firestone Pondgard); however, I would like to be sure we're on the right track with this before continuing. What do you recommend?

Also, would you validate this information about the safety of using pallets without a lining?

Connie Carter

Boulder County Colorado fruits and vegetables

3 Responses

Hello Connie, I was unable to find information in the CSU Extension fact sheets about the use of pallettes for garden beds, but did find an article from the University of Illinois Extension Service. Our recommendation for finding reliable, unbiased information the the Internet is to search sites with "EDU" domains. For example, you can use this input in Google to search only EDU domains for information on "wood pallettes in gardening". wood pallettes in gardeningWhen I did this, I found this article from the University of Illinois Extension Service: hope this helps! Thank you for contacting the CSU Master Gardener Extension program.--Jim

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your reply -- the article was indeed helpful, and I appreciate the advice about how to search .edu sites.

There was another part to my question that you did not address: safe liners for pallet planter boxes. Do you have any advice about this?


Hello Connie,

I looked into research on planter liners, and found that types of plastic liners have not been researched in the world of university extension services. However, I looked at the specs on the Firestone Pondguard and it is safe for both water, plants, and fish, so one could guess that it would make a reasonable liner. If you wanted to go further, you could also look for plastics that are food safe and as alternative. As you know from the article you attached, wood from pallets can have some residual chemicals (methyl bromide seems to be the one most frequently mentioned), so lining the planters would be the safest route if you are concerned about possible soil contaminants.

Liz Abbott
CSU Extension
Master Gardener Volunteer