A potting bench is a vital piece of furniture for all gardeners. It helps collect all the gardening tools, containers, potting soil, and fertilizers at one pale and also makes potting, transplanting, and weeding much easier. Whether you are an amateur gardener or a full time one, whether you look after a large garden or a small balcony or patio garden, you need a potting bench to ensure that you can easily carry out many of the gardening tasks without straining your back or spending time hunting for tools and equipment.
What to Look for in a Potting Bench
A potting bench should be made of high-quality wood that can withstand exposure to moisture and sunlight. Red cedar or other natural woods or pressure treated wood can be used to make a potting bench.
In addition, the potting bench should have a sturdy base that will be able to carry the weight of pots with soil, sacks of potting soil, fertilizer bags, a watering can, and some tools.
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The main work surface of the potting bench should be slightly lower than your kitchen counter. This is because many of the pots you work with will be more than a foot in height. A very high potting bench will not let you see inside the pot when you are lining the base with gravel, charcoal, and other materials.
There should be multiple shelves that can hold a variety of tools and equipment that are required to make potting easier. The shelves should be place such that you have a clear four feet by two feet surface to place the pots on and work.
Built in Sink
Another salient feature is the built in sink. This can help collect debris, soil, and other material with ease for cleaning up. A sliding lid over the sink can increase the work surface while the sink is not needed. A detachable sink will make clean up much easier as the debris can simply be dumped in the compost bin.
Grate for Collecting Soil
Another feature that can help make a potting bench much easier to use is a grate for the work surface. This will help the potting soil fall through and collect in a bin below for reuse, ensuring that you do not have to worry about spilling potting soil or fertilizer.
Wire Mesh, Lattice, or Pegboard for Hanging Tools
While most potting benches have a shelf for keeping tools, some come with framed wire mesh, lattice back, or pegboard for hanging tools. This keeps the bench and work surface uncluttered and enables you to reach out for the tool you need with ease.
Some potting benches have built-in drawers to store tools and fertilizer. These can be left outside the garden shed and yet keep the tools dry and protected from the elements. It also helps you remain organized. Regarding the weather, extreme cold, humidity, and heat could wear down your tools. Putting them in drawers will help preserve them for many more years and even be suitable enough for your children to use.
Wheels and a handle can be of marvelous help if you have a large garden. Imagine the ease of gardening if you are able to wheel the potting bench to different sections of the garden instead of having to lug containers to the garden shed or potting bench for transplanting, repotting, or adding compost and fertilizer.
Paint or Sealant
Whether your potting bench is placed in the garden shed or outside, you need to ensure that it has multiple coats of waterproof paint or sealant. This will help protect the wood from exposure to moisture and sunlight.
Maintenance of your Potting Bench
Maintaining your potting bench is relatively easy. You need to wipe it dry after use and paint it once a year. Move the potting bench indoors, either to your garage or a garden shed in the winter months to help preserve it for longer.
Potting benches can be as simple and basic as you want with a working surface, a storage shelf, and a smaller shelf to keep tools. On the other hand, a potting bench with a framed mesh for hanging tools, wheels, and handles to help move it, a sink or grate to collect debris, and drawers or covered storage to hold potting soil, fertilizer, and tools can make it much more comfortable to carry out numerous gardening tasks.
Location of the Potting Bench
The potting bench can be placed in the garden shed or outdoors. However, you need to ensure that there is plenty of air circulation and light on the work surface.
If you are placing your potting bench in the garden shed, place it close to a window that lets in natural light and air. If you plan to locate your potting bench outdoors, try placing it under a tree or close to the walls of the house so that you will have some shelter from the elements as you work on potting, transplanting, and other constructive tasks.