Ideas for a Potting Bench

You can make a convenient center to handle and manage your seedlings and plantings with a potting bench. Potting benches can be a simple table or an elaborate unit with compartments and shelves. Once you start your garden and landscaping for the season with the use of a potting bench, you will see just how functional and useful a potting bench is.

A Simple Design

A four-legged table design with spaced wooden slats as the tabletop is an easy potting bench idea. The spaced slats will allow excess water and soil to fall down off the working surface. This is a useful feature when you are repotting plants or when you need to set your pots on the bench for a day or two before relocating them to their permanent homes.

Add a Shelf Underneath

A potting bench with an added shelf beneath the work surface increases its storage capacity such as for additional pots, soil bags, tools and fertilizer. Make this shelf also out of wood slats for easy drainage and aeration.

With a Back Wall

Increase your work-surface space by adding a back to your potting bench. Attach two posts to the sides of the workbench and close in the back with wood slats, lattice or just leave it open. Having a back wall in your workspace is a convenient way to add tool hooks for your gardening hand tools.

A Sliding Top

If you do not want water or soil to fall onto a lower shelf or the ground, then use a potting bench that has a collection bin under its countertop. This design has removable countertop panels that can slide to the left or right, depending on how you need to work. Remove the countertop panels to dump the collection bin.


Add one to two narrow shelves over your work surface to hold extra pots, plantings, garden gloves and gardening tools.


One to two drawers under the countertop will keep small supplies and tools handy and protected from the rain. Use the drawers to conceal the items that you do not want to leave out in the open.

Convert Furniture

With exterior enamel paint you can convert an old console table, writing desk or vanity into a potting bench. Keep it simple or add a backing with a shelf to it for extra storage and working space.

A Gas Grill

Convert an old gas grill into a potting bench. Use the grill grid as your work surface, the shelf underneath for extra soil or pots, the shelf in the front and on the sides to hold your pots and tools. Use the hooks on the side to hang your gardening tools, and when you are not using it, close the top of the grill for storage.

A Raised Garden Potting Bench

Make your potting bench a raised garden bed for a few plants, flowers or vegetables, such as tomatoes, herbs or lettuce. Build a rectangular box mounted to four legs with a ventilated bottom and side walls 8 inches high. Add a shelf underneath for added storage space. Fill the box with enriched soil, and grow your plants in your potting bench garden.

Keywords: potting bench ideas, custom potting bench, potting benches

About this Author

Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on eHow, Garden Guides, Trails, ConnectED, Helium and others. Manal received her B.S. degree in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.