Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Garden Potting Bench

How to build the best potting bench?  The most important element is height.  When six and a half foot Kenny built my garden bench--the counter top landed at armpit level.  Not easy when hoisting heavy pots.  Nothing a good saw and a couple patio blocks couldn't fix.

Wear gardening shoes when measuring up.  The bench should hit four to six inches below the waist to accomodate added container height.  Imagine placing an empty pot on a tabletop.  That's the level at which your arms will be working.  Lower benches are easier on shoulders and backs. 

Precut benches are available at the touch of a keyboard, but can be fragile and the lumber often lasts only a few seasons.  They're "one size fits all gardeners."  Reinforcing premades with extra braces and coating with exterior stain or polyurethane extends the life of the bench. 

Ten winters!
Wolmanized lumber is the optimal material for do it yourselfers.  After a winter season the wood fades to the color of warm rye toast. 

For the countertop, leave half inch gaps so soil does not accumulate in the breaks.  Add a shelf below for storage of flats pending their relocation to pots and beds.

At the side, include a storage bucket for long handled forks and spades.  Drill holes for drainage. 

When friends visit, brush off the top and break out the ice bucket.  Voila, an outdoor bar!

Just don't get potted.

More Articles of Interest:

Container Gardens -- Pots on the Spot

Four O'Clocks and Hollyhocks

Gardeners of the Court -- The Cycle of Life in the Garden