Show me your potting benches !

DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

Well, we're gonna build a potting bench. Plan to recycle the tires off of a two-wheeled wheelbarrow, to make it portable, and some extra fence boards for the shelves and top. Since it is going to be "portable" it can't be too big and heavy. I've found some basic designs, but thought I'd get the input of those "that have gone before". What do you wish you'd done, what did you find you could live without. It's going to stay outside, so I don't think I want "drawers" , Florida rainstorms put water in places you'd never think it would get. I do want a wire mesh back of some sort to put "S" hooks on and lots of hooks on the sides and top to hang things from. Perhaps a small shelf, but worry about it getting top heavy while moving.
Pictures please if you have them!!

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I just built this Thanksgiving weekend. It measures 4' wide x 2' deep x 6' tall. I would make the work surface 3' deep if I were to build another one.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

Great!! I like how you reinforced the top self! One of the things we've been wondering about was the height of the work surface also. My other half is 6'4, and I'm 5'8, so we don't want to be bending over the work surface. Also the depth, but worried a bit about "weight". as we want to make it portable. By using the tires of an old double wheel wheelbarrow, we figured they would be sturdy enough. I've got some left over 1 in. x 16 ft pressure treated fence boards that we were going to use for flat surfaces and 2x4 legs. That coated "wire" on the back that we could just hang "S" hooks off of, and also brackets that hang off the top/front we're we could put a dowel rod to hang "hanging basket" plants while working on them.
I love your compost bin too!! We have horses, and lots of Live Oaks, so we have a big compost bin. Would be nice to have a small one to transfer some of it too while it's cooking.

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

I've made a couple of potting benches, one larger one for my daughter and a smaller one for my two granddaughters. I can't figure how to post more than one photo at a time so will send both separately. This is the larger one that I made from scrap cedar boards and 2x4s. It has a top and lower shelf. The bench top and lower shelf are heavy plywood. I treated the entire bench with water sealer. I can't recall the exact dimensions but I figured the height by measuring my own waist height from the floor up and adding an inch or two since she's taller than me. It's a simple and basic style. She's used it for quite some time now and it has held up well.

Thumbnail by gardenfinds
Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

This is the potting bench I put together for my two granddaughters, they love to garden too so I thought it would be nice for them to have their own. Everything is made from scrap lumber and other materials I've collected or saved for reuse. I don't have the exact dilmensions but figured the height from a little table and chairs they have at my house for coloring. I adjusted the height a bit for growth and the age difference between the two (3 & 6). It works perfect for them. The back is a frame from some old shelving the neighbor gave me and I fitted in a couple of old vinyl covered metal racks that came from a small greenhouse that bit the dust some time ago. I used a couple of old decorative L-brackets on the sides and some antique drawer knobs on either end for them to hang tools from. The top and lower shelf are heavy plywood. The stainless steel bowls set inside the top from holes cut into the plywood to fit. I found a large bbq cover at Big Lots for next to nothing that fit over the entire bench perfectly so they keep it covered outside during bad weather. I included a tub of potting soil and some old terracotta planters and they keep that stuff stored on the lower shelf.

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DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

Thank You for posting the pictures. I LOVE the one for your granddaughters!! What a great idea to use the shelf brackets.!! And drawer pulls for hooks. Dress it up a little!!

Bixby, OK(Zone 7a)

Hi Gardenfinds and mjsponies,
I love the thread and thanks for the wonderful ideas on the potting benches. Thank you for your inspiration, I have just joined DG and am having a wonderful time. I need advice on every topic, I have lots of land and a landscaped yard, that is without plants and without color and it drives me nuts!

Look forward to hearing from both of you ..... plz :)


DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

Hi Amie,
I've only been a member for two months and I have learned so much since. Lots of nice folks!!
Here's what we ended up with for the potting bench.
We looked at a LOT of plans and took what we liked from them to come up with it.
I'v very happy with it!!
Have Fun!!

This message was edited Jan 5, 2009 6:50 AM

Thumbnail by mjsponies
Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

Hey, mjsponies, it turned out great, good idea to use the wheels. I made a planting bench similar to yours with the handles and wheels for my daughter so she could wheel her plants around the yard. I'm sure it'll be handy for you.

Tiffin, OH(Zone 5a)

I don't have any pictures but my husband has made several portable potting benches out of "found materials".
He starts with a discarded gas grill on wheels, removes the cooking part and is left with a cart on wheels with a big hole where the grill was.
He uses scrap lumber to fashion a work top- Discarded vinyl counter top cut to size works well too. Just screw or bolt it on with heavy duty fasteners.
There is usually space to hang cooking utensils (or garden tools)along the sides, sometimes side shelves and a shelf underneath for supplies or a big tub for soil.
The wheels make it portable, cost is negligible, it's practically indestructable, you can hose it down to clean it and it recycles something that would otherwise go to the landfill. Watch for these discards on bulk trash pick-up day!!

Tomah, WI

This is my potting bench purchased many years ago at Sams Club. I have done a washed finish on it.

Thumbnail by mattsmom
DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

I like the drawers....someplace to keep markers and labels/plant tags. I used a covered rubbermaid tub for that.

Federal Way, WA

Here is my potting bench, I was going to turn that area into an outdoor potting shed, but our cats got an outdoor enclosure instead. It is water proof stained. The enclosure is 16x6x6. I will try again this summer. I got the bench from HD for $60, easy to put together. We got some great snow last winter, I hope so again this winter. Next tot he enclosure are my Bonsai in training, all made it through the winter.

Thumbnail by Tau10
Central, VA(Zone 7b)

Love your kitty enclosure. Hope you didn't just take that picture on 10/4 or you're in for some cold winter. LOL. Kitty looks happy!

Federal Way, WA

Hi Pam,

No this was taken last December here in the Puget Sound when we had two weeks of snow, a record for the normally wet Seattle area. The cats love the enclosure, wind, rain or snow they re out there, so you can guess the kind of mess I have to clean up. Above the tarp line is the bathroom window that is just the size to fit our cats through. A neighbor is going to build a permanent roof and double the size of their enclosure. Their x-mas, birthday presents (o: And I will have to get myself a potting shed next spring.

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7b)

Just found this thread. I found an old sideboard or dry sink and it has wheels and did a green wash on it. So here mine is for $25 total cost. I had the paint, just took some elbow grease getting mud off and some sanding and washing with tsp.

Thumbnail by curvesarein
Kingman, AZ(Zone 7b)

Here it is set up. It is getting rained on right now. It has rained all day, I need to get a tarp to cover it, this is rare for us.

Thumbnail by curvesarein
Kingman, AZ(Zone 7b)

thanks for the idea of a barbecue cover for my potting bench! Hubby never covers our barbecue, but it is stainless and metal, my potting bench is wood and needs protection right now in the rain.

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