All Things Gardening forum: What Are Your favorite Potting Bench Features?

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Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 29, 2016 7:35 PM CST
I am so lucky! A gardening friend has offered to build me a custom potting bench! He said, "You design it, I'll build it!" Whaaaaaaaaat?! How can I say no?! Hurray! Hurray!

Please give me some of your potting bench features that you love the most about your own potting bench and what you would change. For example, I found I do not like the recessed area to "catch" excess potting soil on my outside-exposed-to-the -elements potting bench, as it fills up with water when it rains. But I DO like a place for everything so everything I need is in it's place.
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Oct 31, 2016 12:20 AM CST
Waterproof surface, removable basin to sweep loose dirt into, watering source, good overhead lighting, right height, sturdy legs, a couple full sized shelves underneath. Hurray!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Oct 31, 2016 1:19 AM CST
I use a picnic table right now, so I'm watching this to see what I need. I was planning to ask DH to make one based on the workbench he made for his garage. I was just thinking work surface, shelf under, room under for bucket or tub of soil, someplace for pens and labels ...This would sit outside behind the garage so dirt gets swept off to the ground
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 2, 2016 7:51 AM CST
I LOVE mine! It has a hole in it that a plastic tub can rest in, that can be removed to sweep dirt away, through the hole. Has a curb-found sink at one end too. No longer pretty enough for someone's bathroom but still serviceable in the garden. Shown among many others here:

The thread "Potting Areas and Garden Sinks" in Garden Structures forum
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 2, 2016 4:59 PM CST
A potting bench is on my to-do list. I am still designing mine but the priority is for it to be in a covered area, protected from both rain and sun.

The top surface where the actual potting takes place will be the sturdy plastic bread trays. I have about 20 of these trays. They were featured in an idea by @Kathy547 here:
http://garden.org/ideas/view/K...

The trays will allow excess soil to fall into the plastic bin, a concrete mixing tub, on the lower shelf. Nothing wasted.

The lower shelf will hold the small plastic pots and the trays...here are some pots in an old milk crate. The shelf should be wide enough to hold 3 of these milk crates.
Thumb of 2016-11-02/greene/ebb43c

Then there is the top shelf to hold tools, sifters, rooting hormone, etc.



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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Nov 2, 2016 7:12 PM CST
The heighth is the most important for me.
Don't want to bend over, right height is so I can stand and work.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Nov 2, 2016 7:14 PM CST
I'll have to check out that thread, Tiffany.

Greene, good ideas. This spring after most spring planting/potting, I sorted my nursery pots into a crate, looks very much like you've got, stacks for each different size and depth. I love having the exact right size I want at any given time.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Nov 3, 2016 5:06 AM CST
I find 2 heights are helpful. The standard 30" top is good for most things involving pots, but when it comes to seeding, I like it higher.

And since I like to keep my flats close to the lights in my plant stand I built a number of 22"x11" plywood stands of various heights. One pair is 10" high. So when I want more height at the potting table, I just put those on the table and enjoy the not bending over very much.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 3, 2016 10:40 AM CST
I love these ideas. Keep them coming!! I have had the receptacle that holds the excess dirt before. But with the potting bench being outside, either I erect some type of cover over it, or a sealed cover for the bin, otherwise, I found water collecting in the bin. Not good. Mosquitoes love that! I use a stiff paintbrush and brush excess soil into a bucket. That cleans the top at the same time. Well, sometimes. That top never seems to be *clean* ever! I think I need a chair for this one this time and a place to store it underneath.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Nov 4, 2016 5:39 PM CST
ShadyGreenThumb said: ... For example, I found I do not like the recessed area to "catch" excess potting soil on my outside-exposed-to-the -elements potting bench, as it fills up with water when it rains. ...


How about a hole drilled in the lowest point of that recess so that rain water will drain away?

I wish I could sit at my bench (wheelbarrows) . Right now I minimize the work I do outside (standing up) even if I have to bring dust, grit and mud indoors so I can sit and sow and label.

Here I'm only using my "potting bench" to screen some juniper branches I was "chipping" with a lawn mower. The chips only went into a compost heap, not into potting mix.

Thumb of 2016-11-04/RickCorey/d77e31

Thumb of 2016-11-04/RickCorey/919d23


Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Nov 5, 2016 10:02 PM CST
ShadyGreenThumb said:I love these ideas. Keep them coming!! I have had the receptacle that holds the excess dirt before. But with the potting bench being outside, either I erect some type of cover over it, or a sealed cover for the bin, otherwise, I found water collecting in the bin. Not good. Mosquitoes love that! I use a stiff paintbrush and brush excess soil into a bucket. That cleans the top at the same time. Well, sometimes. That top never seems to be *clean* ever! I think I need a chair for this one this time and a place to store it underneath.


Arrange clear plastic sheet over your potting bench (I keep mine in the basement). Add a few sprinkles of mosquito bT in anything that might hold water.

Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 5, 2016 11:09 PM CST
Hmmmmm..."drill a hole", "clear plastic sheeting". You guys have me thinking in the right direction on this one! Thumbs up
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Nov 6, 2016 1:32 AM CST
OK, a lot depends on whether your potting table is outside or in. I like mine in the basement. My lighted plant stand is next to it, water is convenient from the laundry tub, seeds are in the older refrigerator next to it on the other side, I have the trash can full of my personal potting soil mix, I can sweep off and save spilled soil, and bad weather never disturbs me.

Does that sound good?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Nov 6, 2016 6:42 AM CST
that sounds very nice Yardenman. My 'indoor potting bench' is a large plastic tray or foil pan, just set the pot in catch the spilled mix. inotherwordds, no bench just temporary

For outdoors, I would plan to hang or overturn anything that would hold water.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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