I am having a potting bench made. Is there any suggestions for my bench.
1. What are your two favorite things about this bench?
2. What don't you like that you would change?
3. Do you have a sink?
4. I think I will have a place where I can scrape my potting soil down into a bucket below the potting shelf?
Here's a picture of my when the shed was in progress. I like that there's a bucket to catch either dirt or water. I also like that I have cold water. I wish we had used a better grade of plywood for the counter. It's hard to clean the rough surface.
Wow! that's some bench. Usually you see plans that are about 4-5 feet wide. Mine is going on my deck. There's water out there. I have lots of cabinet area like yours in my basement, only they go across the room - not around the perimeter. I bought cheap vinyl flooring squares and glued them onto the surface of the cabinets. I bring in a lot of plants to winter over and that's where I put them. I have no access to water in the basement.
Thank you for showing me your bench. I am quite sure you enjoy it.
We built ours with 2x4 lumber for legs, and then put a shelf down below and a frame on top, which we covered with rat wire. It's about 23" deep and about 6' long. Along the edge of the top we put a strip of wood to protect clothing from the wire edges. We should possibly have used a few more cross pieces. We have one on either side and a potting bench we picked up at Tidewater Workshop at the rear. But that's in our greenhouse; in the arbor we have an old potting bench next to our old kitchen sink, which DH framed in for me. We use a bucket for the water, too, and then I take it out and use it to douse rose bushes or other plants in need of attention. Both of those setups are outside, which makes a difference in the look you want.
I have a two basin old sink but haven't used it for anything. I keep thinking I will figure out a way to use it for potting etc. It's on our patio which is below the deck just looking pitiful right now.
"We have one on either side" Do you mean a cross piece? I will have to ask my h. what a "cross piece" is.
I like having the potting bench on my deck as I don't have to go up and down steps so much. Plus, I have a gazebo type roof over a lot of the deck and it gives me much needed shade and is cooler.
I don't know what rat wire is either, but I will do a google search and see if I can find out what it is.
Thanks for your info.
Oh, sorry! We have two tables, one on either side of the greenhouse. By cross pieces, I meant the part of the frame on the top that spans from the front to the back. Now that the tables are a few years old, the rat wire sags a little. There are probably other names for it, but rat wire is a stiff mesh or screen that theoretically keeps out rats because of its strength.
When we replaced our kitchen sink DH was going to chuck it, and I told him it would be perfect for the arbor, next to the outdoor potting bench. I keep a stiff plastic cutting board over one of the basins for more working space, and under that is also a good place to leave knives and sponges and anything else you might want out of the weather. I normally have a (new) cat litter pan inside the part of the sink that I use for washing, so it can hold water and is more easily emptied once I'm done washing hands or veggies or four-packs for seedlings. I do trim and clean vegetables out there, too, so I don't have the dirt in my kitchen sink. It's amazingly handy.
Greenhouse: your set up sounds really nice. I really like the idea of using the sink and a cutting board, but my sinks are really wide across. I would have to come up with something else to cover up the one sink. I would want something that would handle water. I may have to set up my sink on the patio. Then, put my potting bench on my deck. Washing veggies outside would be really great!
Birder, my sink is a fairly standard-sized double basin model. I bought it to replace the old yellow porcelain-over-iron sink that we installed in the '70's when we built the house. The contractor first talked me into an acrylic sink, even though I was concerned that it might not hold up to the use I put it to, with my heavy iron frying pans and such. Sure enough it started to chip, so we had to take it out and put in a granite composite model instead. That one's not as pretty, but it does the job! Anyway it wasn't hard to find something that would cover the basin of the acrylic sink; what I have is wide enough to go from one side to the other of the basin but not quite broad enough to cover it front to back.
We also installed one of those white hoses that they sell for trailers and RVs, from the yard hydrant to the sink, so that the water would be potable, since it's nice to be able to grab a drink when you're working out in the garden. I don't know how much difference it really makes, but just in case...
Okay, here you go. You can get some idea of the size from the other things in the photo; the yard hydrant's in the foreground and my very early garden is in the background. I have wood chip paths between the rows and a brick walk, too. The sink is in our arbor, which is a good place to put it and to work because it has dappled shade. The cat pan under the sink fits - kind of - in the sink, and that way I don't have to use the stopper or quite so much water. I also use the water in the pail underneath to rinse things like seedling four-packs, and then I pour the water on something that needs it. To the left you can see the old potting bench, but we have a newer one in the greenhouse. I would have taken more pictures but the battery in my camera died. I'm charging it now!
Great Picture. I looked with my magnifier lens to see what the white object is under the bench. It is square with a lid. It least that is the way it looks to me.
"rinse 4 pack seedlings" I am not sure what that means. I know this is off topic, but I like to learn all I can.
Your garden area looks very nice and neat.
Thanks for the picture. I know what you mean about the battery quitting on you. That happened to me last week, and you are all motivated to take pictures!
The white object is a plastic container - I think it held birdseed once. It's square and has a lid, but I don't use the lid because it's there to catch water.
Four-cell seedling packs are those plastic thingies that nurseries and garden centers use to hold small plants - four-packs of marigolds or zinnias or whatever. Some places use really sturdy ones, and I rinse them after I put the plants in the ground, and stack them for next year so that when my tomatoes have their true leaves I can transplant them into the four-packs where they'll have more room to grow.
Here's a better view of the garden - the arbor is to the right, out of the picture. The newer potting bench is in the greenhouse; you can see it straight on. And to either side are the other benches my DH and DS made.
Whew! Really nice, I save the cell packs too. For some reason, I thought you were rinsing them when the plants that were in them and I thought maybe I was missing something. I don't rinse mine out, however. I use them for some of my winter sow plants that I grew from seed.
Thanks for the picture.
Thanks for all your information about your potting bench. I have a better idea of what I want now.
I do it 'cuz it's easiest. I have some of those styrofoam sets from Gardeners Supply, and the wicking action on those works well, but bottom watering seems just as good. Plus I can use a heat mat with that arrangement but it's not recommended with the styrofoam. The bottoms of the cells are probably too far away from the heat source for it to do any good.
I have two potting tables. The first one I got was a wooden slats kit I got at Big Lots. It has a nice table with a grid that lifts out to reveal a small pan underneath to catch the soil. That pan was really too small, so I removed it and on the bottom storage shelf, I put a large, deep kitty little pan which works out much better. The back of the table has a small "hutch" where I can set my "Off", wasp spray, little pots, etc.
A few weeks ago I got a stainless steel potting table on Craigslist for $20. It has a lower storage shelf and also two drawers under the main shelf. And then there are two large detachable metal pockets that hang on each side of the table. And believe me, the drawers and pockets are all full!
I also managed to snag a rubbermaid compost bin for free from Freecycle. It was like new! Old homeowners left it behind and the new homeowners didn't garden so they offered it to me. I use it for a soil bin next to the potting tables.
Here's a pic of my potting shed and maybe you can make out the tables.
I did just get a portable potting table on Craigslist for $5. It's really cool! It has an upper deck and lower deck. I usually load the lower deck with the plants I need to plant and I use the upper deck for trimming foliage, holding tools, garden designs, etc. It's made from an old lawn mower and wheels thru my gardens quite easily. Is that not just the cleverest thing?
Wow! Those are neat tables and what bargains!! Craig's list is not very active around here. The lawn mower one is really cute, and I think it will be really useful. Lucky you.
I did get my potting bench built and I like it.
Well, I never posted a picture of my potting bench, but I sure do like it. It's real simple but works for me. I am not very good at posting pictures.
Thanks for sharing your pictures of your benches.
I took pictures, but wasn't able to post them. Maybe, I can try again.
Now, that's a cool idea! Where did you get the dresser?
I keep great big storage containers for soil. One is for new seed starting soil, and the other is for soil that has been in pots or window boxes that I want to dump. I re-cycle the soil by adding a little Osmocot and the water crystals. I also keep several small flower pots under the bench, and a big can with a lid and handle for my bird seed. I also keep a car brush on my bench to brush away the soil that accumulates when one is transplanting etc.
I have several sheets of marble that lined a small shower in the house. After looking at these pics, I'm inclined to want to construct a potting table and use the marble for the top. I'd probably have to send it out to a stone mason to do the cutout for a double stainless steel sink I've held on to for my potting table.
Thanks for the wonderful ideas.
That potting station made from an old door is TO DIE FOR!!!! I could do that in a heartbeat and install the double sink on top!
Thank you. We thought the wheels would be a good idea when harding off plants in the spring. We plan on putting the plants on the potting bench and then wheel it in & out of the shade under our deck as needed.
Yes. We thought so. I was tired of dragging plants in & out and also tired of having them all over the patio tables. We also made the bench so that we can use it when entertaining. We used cedar for the wood and and Trex for the top. Not sure how the trex will hold up but thought we can put a metal top over if the trex gets ugly. The wood is sealed with Spar Varnish.
Glad to hear your sectional doubles for entertaining. I'm thinking along your lines, as I love things that provide "double duty".
I have several sheets of recaptured marble, and am considering using some for the top of my potting table. I also have a recaptured stainless steel double sink that I intend on using in the top. If I can do a cut-out without cracking the marble, I think I could make good use of it during some outdoor cooking as well.
Thanks for posting that beautiful piece.
P.S. I LOVE the use of the heads as a decorative feature.
We looked at stone or concrete as a working surface because of their durability factor and decided against it because we were concerned about the weight issue with moving the unit around. The Trex was heavy as it was.
If you are going to make it moveable then you might think of it as a two part cabinet. One part moveable and the second part stationary with the sink. If the cutting goes badly for the sink then you still have the large section left for the cabinet and can figure out what else to do for the sink.
We are still talking about shelves on the wall and about an outdoor sink. I came across a photo (possible DG) where a terracotta pot setting on a wooden plank was used as an outside sink basin. I'm letting that idea rattle around for a while to see what it might morf into.
We also talking about putting up shelves on the wall where the potting bench will be most of the time. A couple of possiblities are (1) 6x6 wire grid in a cedar frame hung on the wall with hooks to hang things off of the grid or (2) a couple of thick wooden planks as shelves with large industrial size screws screwed into the wood for hooks. Still looking to see what else is out there for ideas.
The bolts in the bench will also allow us to break down the bench if needed. Only the frames and the surface areas use screws.
Uh, I had a thought since I'm having my new fence installed with the horizontals on the inside of my yard.
I just had a whole French Cleat system installed in my garage. Instead of just plain horizontals to secure the fence, I can have the top of the horizontals beveled to a 45 degree angle (creating a French Cleat!!!), and then use portions of my entire fence as a hanging system, as I need to.
Gymgirl That is also interesting. Less of a high profile so might also work well in the area we have. It also reminder me of something that I saw when doing some reasearch on vertical gardens. If you did something like it on the fence you would have to make sure the fence and fence post installation was robust enough to handle the extra weight and torque
Yes. I love it also. Still thinking about where or how the concept might fit in the yard. Only concerns I have about it is are people going to be running into the boxes and is it going to be too much like being in a box.
I'm going with a standard, dog-earred stockade fence (I HATE them...). But, to move forward AND satisfy my neighbors (the fence is entirely mine...), it will be quite sturdy. Since the horizontals will be on the inside of my yard (I've learned that provides more security, since anyone trying to climb over won't have a foothold - not that that will stop 'em...), I can have them beveled and hang lightweight planter boxes, etc., from them, directly on the fence!
Check out this extreme use of a type of cleat system to organize a garage. I'm gonna borrow some using the French Cleats instead of the type of cleat he used here. Principal's the same, though.
I just came across this thread, and thought I'd share the table my DH made for me last summer. The cantilever design is important to me because I'm in a wheelchair, and this saves me a lot of knee-banging!
This space was originally an awkward corner of the garden. We removed an overgrown holly, laid some bluestone to match the patio, and then he built my table. And it was all his idea! :)
Just to the right of the photo we installed one of those hose bib extenders (the kind with the faucet and hose hanger...what the heck are those things called?) so I have water there. It's a great place to repot my orchids. I've got some plastic snap-top boxes to hold stuff I would otherwise have to store in the garage...saves me hauling the stuff out everyday.
To say that I'm happy with this doesn't even come close!!!!
koshki: Nice bench. Even nicer husband! Aren't they great? Give yours a big hug to thank him for making a potting bench for you!
Your water hose gadget is a little like mine. Check out the picture on June 12, 2011.
Wish I had never found this thread. Now I'm considering a potting bench which I truly need.
Regarding french cleat-I had window treatment bus. for 30 years and used this method to attach bed headboards to walls that I made and upholstered but had never heard them called that. Sounds great.
You have all done such a good job on your potting benches I really think I need one and I'm sure we have enough STUFF around here to build as least part of it and get the rest from Habitat or a thrift shop. Thanks so much.
Oh, I'm sure I would use it. Never thought about a garden shed and while I was away once my husb. built an addition on to his workshop and barn for a garden shed for me and I have it loaded with Kubota, lawn mower, about 300 nursery pots, and much other stuff. However it is in back yard and I wouldl ike a potting bench someplace in front yard where I always fill pots etc.
Got to think about that in future. Today I pulled all weeds and then cultivated my backyard vegie garden. It's 60 long and 30 feet wide. My biggest problem is rabbits. Put electric fence around it last year and didn't do any good. This week I'm going to look at tightly woven fence plus bury it into ground. Last year little buggers ate all plants that were 2" high off to the ground so I didn't get anything. I want to try again this year. We have lived here 46 years and never had this problem before. If anyone has any cheaper suggestions I sure would like to hear them.
Husb. wants to staple wire to 2X2's in 8' sections so I can move it as I have to get tractor in and out to work it. Plus fence posts etc. Also 2 X 2 along the bottom to keep it rigid. I'm sure this is going to run up cost. I've also tried the pellet repellent and that didn't help. Oh well one more year to try.
Happy gardening all.
Bonnie, I think you are on track with the bunny fence. I understand it has to be buried in the ground as well as above the ground (what a pain).
This DG is talking about a bunny fence in this post: You might want to read what she is doing. It's probably the same thing you are doing. It's written on September 25, 2012 by carolmo
It's in the Perennials forum, and I believe the title of the thread is "What new plants did you just plant"
I've got a lot stronger than a pellet gun but its not convenient to sit out in back yard all night instead of sleeping.
Believe it or not we never had this problem before because we always had a cat that slept in the garden. Last cat lived many years but passed away last year. I'd get another cat but my dog likes to chase them and they take off. If I could find an adult cat that was raised with a dog and wouldn't run from my lab and cuff her when she got too close my husb. thinks that would work. Took 1 year for that cat and my dog to become friends and then they were best buddies from then on.
My dog will chase a rabbit but rarely catches one before it runs thru pasture fence which dog can't get through.
We do have some coyotes here but don't know where to buy their urine. Maybe from a placelike Bass Pro Shop? I'll give them a call. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I have always had a vegie garden but not for 2 years now. If necessary I will try several of your ideas. Thanks much.
WONDERFUL NEWS; Took some old duct work to scrap yard last week and I found some grated metal pieces all framed around outside painted gray and looking just like new. Ea. piece is 4 ft. long and about 2 1/2 wide. Will be perfect for potting bench/pond filter pads washing table. Considering I use pressure washer to wash all pond filtration material it can't be made too high. I think we have enough to make back section that filter pads could be hung on hook along back. Not allowed to buy from scrap yard so supv. said he had to give it to me and he even loaded it into our truck. It's not all all heavy but I just said thank you.
After Christmas I will figure out construction details. Would like it on wheels but they would have to be very big as yard is dirt and grass.
Also new problem with rats and baby mice in our outbldgs. D-con is helping and I also set 8 traps which they seem to know how to empty and not get caught. Caught 6 of various sizes so far. Can only put D-con up in attic of my husb. workshop. We now have 2 little kittens in his shop and hopefully my dog will stop chasing them so we can turn them loose on the place and they can learn to get the mice and chase off rabbits. I'm hoping by next winter I will be able to have vegie garden out back again.
Someday hope to post pic of the table. I'm sure it will be very helpful and save my back. Merry Christmas to all and happy gardening.
Just learned my youngest son wants to build it for me once I design it. I told him wait until after Christmas when things slow down a bit. Right now too much going on to think straight.
I'm sure you are all runing the same as I am. Tomorrow I'll be 75 --when does life slow down. LOL
Better to burn out than rust out.
Table is built. Didn't take my husb. long to do it. Doesn't look like a potting table as it has to be all open so I can pressure wash all the pond filtration pieces plus the skimmers. I used it last week and what a huge help. I am also going to add hooks so I can hang up bags of filter material I cut into chunks. He bought a set of wheels and I can easily wheel it anywhere I need it. I can wheel it right to the compost pile when filling pots.
It's not much to look at but sure is handy.
Thank you all for giving me the boost I needed to get one done. I would have made it myself but he said he would do it so who am I to argue. The underside is 2 head rails from old verticles. 30 years window treatment bus. I've salvaged a lot of product for re-purpose.
Here you go: legs are from old folding table, wheels make it so I can move it all over the place. It's ideal for pressure washing out ponds filtration material which it has sitting on it now all clean to put in when I take out dirty ones. Actually it started out to be cleaning table for filter materials but its at a perfect height to fill pots. Two white tubs contain my mix of potting soil and peat moss. Works great Far right pic is part of my confederate jasmine growing on chain link fence that is around yeard.
I have been following everybody's experiences with potting sheds and benches. There are some great ideas here.
I like the wire grid top that Bonnie has. I have kitchen drawers with wire instead of wood drawers. It works great; all the crud falls through, and every 150 years I can take out the bottom drawer and clean up the dust and whatnot that has accumulated at the base. :-) Same deal with the potting table - let it fall through and sweep/hose the floor whenever you feel like it. Or not.
Wow, I've never seen drawers like that! Wouldn't small items fall through, though? I have to admit that cleaning out kitchen drawers isn't fun; I did a thorough job recently and the particles are creeping back already.