If your gardening plans include starting flowers and vegetables from seed or creating a container garden, your first investment ought to be in a potting bench. A potting bench is a workbench set at a comfortable level at which the gardener can do small tasks easily, with the necessary tools, soil and containers right at hand. Think of it as the garden equivalent of a butcher block island in the kitchen, a functional feature for storage and organization that that can also be a pleasing design element.
Potting Bench Features
While there are as many types of potting benches as there are types of gardens, the most useful designs include a lower shelf for bags of potting soil, fertilizers, a watering can, larger pots, and the like; a work surface at a comfortable height; and further shelves and hooks for smaller tools, seeds, transplants, etc. Many potting benches also have a sink (wet or dry) embedded in the work surface to make handling soil easier and shelves with doors or sealable tubs for long-term storage.
Whatever the design, the potting bench will most like be exposed to the elements and come in frequent contact with dirt and water. It’s important the potting bench is made of materials that hold up in these conditions: woods like cedar or teak, plastic, or metals that won’t corrode. Wooden potting benches benefit from an annual coat of water sealer.
From these basics, there are numerous options for potting bench design. Some elaborate benches hook up to the water supply with a working sink or hose attached. Some potting benches include shelves to display potted flowers, and the workspace can double as an outdoor buffet. Bench designs are available in rustic, modern, industrial, or any other style. And it can set on your deck, patio or other common space, as much a piece of outdoor furniture as it is a garden tool.
To Buy or DIY?
Think about what you need in a potting bench. Do you need shelf space? Prefer something that can be folded up and stored away when not in use? Want something stylish or just the basics? There are as many price points for potting benches as there are designs. You’ll want to shop around to find one that best suits your requirements.
Building your own potting bench is a simple, economical and environmentally friendly DIY project. Though this approach does take more time, it allows you to customize your bench to provide the exact storage you need.
However you go about acquiring your potting bench, it is guaranteed to be a valuable and attractive addition to your garden.