Making a potting bench

As I was kneeling on the gravel washing seed trays, I thought there has to be a better way of doing this. So am going to make a potting bench that will double up as a pot and tray washing place. This is my design, any improvements you can think of would be gratefully received.image




  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,356

    Hi artjak, that looks wonderful - the curvy back sections really set it off. image

    The only thing I'd suggest is a solid area on the top bench near the bucket, rather than it all being slatted.  That way the inevitable spilt compost won't fall through and if you can make the top of the bucket flush with the surface (perhaps by supporting it from underneath) you can simply sweep the spillages back into the bucket. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Thank you Edd and Bob for both of those suggestions.

    I was going to use large gravel trays (60x40cm) on the slats, but would love a zinc top; where does one get zinc, how thin should it be so that I can hammer (?) it round the top? Could I cut it with the metal cutting blade on the jig saw?

    I have been puzzling over the support for the galvanised bucket I got, supporting it at the bottom is better than wedging it in at the top.image

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Looks great image  You might need a diagonal brace or two to keep it stable.  Do you want to be able to store bags/large tubs of compost or ingredients underneath?  If so it might be better without the shelf there.

    Reminds me of the washstands we used to make at Scout camp many years ago.  And we had to find the wood first!

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    I thought the same thing Steve image Bit of bamboo, bit of lashing, snake and square image We still make them at guides image

    Looks good Artjak image

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    I use Japanese and Filipino lashings all the time in the garden.  But proper square lashings when it really matters!

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Edd, I thought of a small caravan type sink, but I need to be able to remove the bucket to fill with compost/water, depending what job needs doing. There is a guy who works in metal on a local farm; I could ask him about zinc.image

    Steve, thank you for reminding me about diagonal braces - should I have two crossing at the back? And one on each side? I will only be storing pots and seed trays underneath.image

    Lashings are a bit of a closed book to me, I understand primitive carpentry betterimage

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    Don't forget tripod lashing too image V good for a wigwam/teepee image

    I'm no good at carpentry Artjak image

  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,098

    Looks fantastic artjak, look forward to seeing the finished project image

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 948
    Very impressed. If you need someone to trial a prototype, just ask....;)
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I only know about lashings of lemonade from Enid Blyton booksimage

    Looking at the design this a.m. it does look rather like a double bed head with outdoor urinal for someone with long legs. I might have to make some modifications...image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,159

    Your design looks very creative and attractive.  Is it for indoors or outdoors?  I'm just wondering about how well it will stand up to rain and winter wet and cold.

    I have long wanted a decent potting bench as the galvanised ones you get for greenhouses are just too small if, like me you're usually busy taking cuttings or dividing clumps for potting up as well as potting on seedlings.   I hit the junk shops and found a small table on a metal frame.   I've taken off the small top and put on a larger slab of marine ply covered in a plastic tablecloth.   

    I found an old ceramic sink which I have put on a support under the outside tap so I can wash pots and also stand newly planted pots in it for a good soaking.    There's space to store my bags of grit and compost underneath the table and buckets under the sink.   All my spare pots are stashed on shelving from ex mini plastic greenhouses and now I have an organised work area out of the way at the back of the garage.

    The Vendée, France
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    obelixx, it will be outdoors and made from pressure treated timber; total cost £38 ish plus £5 for galvanised bucket. It will go in fron of the double doors to the garage which is my studio. It will be used for potting, washing pots and seed trays and prepping garden veg so I don't have to take muddy veg into the kitchen.

    Your bench arrangement sounds very good; any chance of a photo?image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,159

    Maybe later when it stops peeing down.  Tuesday by all accounts.  Seriously fed up with being soggy.

    The Vendée, France
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Same here! I keep checking to see if I have developed webbed feetimage

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I now have all the equipment for making this bench, local metal worker will cover the top in aluminium. But while I psyche myself up to make it (I may be punching above my weight carpentry wise) I have made a primitive leaf mould container.


     Weighted down with stone at the base. I actually 'sewed' it together (no sniggering at the back thereimage) with plastic covered garden wire.

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,076

    Well done there Art, you may like to put a grow bag tray on the top. 

    It looks like something from an Edwardian kitchen, so when you have finished yours, can you make one for me.

    I can just see a little 12 year old kitchen maid standing at that.

    You have given me an idea now, I have a 3ft headboard just like that going spare. Knobs and all.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168


Sign In or Register to comment.