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Potting Tables - Potting Benches Metal, Plastic, Wood Bench

Updated on February 24, 2012

If you love to work in your garden then one of the most useful and practical pieces of garden furniture you can buy is a plastic, metal or wooden potting bench or potter's table as they are sometimes called.

These are not only a useful product for any casual gardener because they allow you to work on your plants without bending and crouching on the floor, but if you buy an attractive wooden one, they can become an attractive part of your garden decor.

What If The Benefit Of A Potting Table?

The benefits of potting benches are quite numerous and important to the gardener. As enjoyable as growing your own garden is, there is a lot of bending, crouching and lifting involved in growing your own vegetables or maintaining a beautiful garden area. You will find yourself spending a lot of time on your knees, hunched over or crouching down to your plants, especially when transplanting seedling and preparing for the new season.

A potting bench provides a raised workbench area so you can stand as you would at something like a kitchen work surface and do all your preparation right there without the constant bend, crouch, kneel, stand…and repeat which usually accompanies much of the preparation work before planting out and which leaves you aching all over at the end of the day or prevents you getting as much yardwork done as you would have wished.

Get yourself a garden seat high enough and you’ll be able to perform a lot of activities seated as well which is great if you find it hard to spend too long on your feet for one reason or another.

In addition, if you are one of those people who often finds themselves leaving tools lying around all over the garden simply because you are too tired and achy to clean up after a long session gardening, or if storage is otherwise an issue and you have trouble finding the tools you used last, then there are versions you can buy with storage space below the bench.

Most of these are designed to make it easy for you to store tools on them, either on shelving below the work surface or on clips and hooks arranged about the bench itself. There are usually several shelves ideal for storing bags of soil, plastic or earthenware plant pots, garden tools etc. and some come with enclosed areas to protect against the weather.

People use these for a multitude of purposes and not just for planting either. Of course, the main reason you would buy a potting table is as a gardening aid, to make it easier to prepare and plant your new vegetables, bedding plants, etc. but they are actually quite versatile. I have seen these used as food serving, carving and preparation areas on a deck, as a mini bar area for serving drinks beside a fire pit and also a decorative trellis for climbing roses and I'm sure there are more innovative uses for them. Portable potting benches on wheels are particularly versatile around the garden as they can be moved from place to place so use it for its intended purpose today, wash it off and it's a handy caddy area for your barbecue party tomorrow.

Types Of Potting Bench For Sale Online

Naturally, you will want to start shopping immediately but it is always a good idea to know exactly what is out there so you get the most bang for your buck. They come in a variety of styles, from lightweight portable plastic potting benches on wheels, to heavy duty wood and metal potting tables which are highly practical or the more decorative style which can be used to accent any garden with rustic wood or ornate cast iron metal loops and swirls which look beautiful with climbing roses growing up the back of them.

The cost is always an important consideration too as the price of one of these can run into the several hundreds of dollars range, or be under $20 although generally you get what you pay for. It is wise to make the right choice the first time and known what, if any, maintenance requirements or other issues might be associated with the purchase which may bump the cost up over time or prove to be a yearly hassle you'd rather not have.

I have divided the types up into some broad categories each with some recommended products to buy online in the following sections.

Classic Wooden Potting Benches

Wood potting benches have that classic rustic style and will fit in with any garden or gardening workspace. Of course natural wood must be protected against the elements using some form of weatherproof paint or varnish and need a little more care than say, a plastic one, but the pay off from that little bit of extra maintenance and care is worth it.

These are very attractive and the nice thing about wood is it is always easy to add modifications and upgrades to when you feel it is needed. It's simple to add a dropleaf flap to extend your work area or tack a wooden trellis or arbor on the back to grow a honeysuckle or climbing rose.

White and red cedar potting benches tend to dominate the market however as cedar is very weather resistant and will give you many years of use. You can also find redwood, pine and fir as popular choices.

Buy Plastic Potting Benches

The best thing about a molded plastic potting bench is that they are 100% weatherproof so you do not need to worry about things like rotting, mold or insect attacks or any of the other problems which can beset outdoor garden furniture and made from wood and other organic materials.

Vinyl and plastic weatherproof potting tables are a great addition to any garden and can be as aesthetically pleasing as wood without the maintenance requirements. Plastic also has the advantage of being very easy to clean after use, with a simple spray down with a garden hose or wash off with warm soapy water they’ll look as good as new in no time. Good quality ones will not fade or yellow over time and most come with very long warrantees to back this up too.

When looking to buy one of these ensure you look first at the eco-friendly options first as a recycled plastic potting bench is vastly more appealing from an environmental point of view than contributing more plastic waste to the world. That is the main issue with a plastic potters bench, the issue of the plastic itself. Opting for one made from recycled materials makes this a much more palatable prospect. You also have to make sure you are buying a good quality PVC potting bench or it runs the risk of looking cheap and tacky, which is fine if you are shoving it in some corner of the garden designated as a work area but for more eye-catching locations, you will want to find a higher quality, more visually pleasing model.

Metal Potting Benches For Sale

These can be a very decorative and attractive addition to any garden, as well as being both highly practical and useful. Metal potting benches can be designed in decorative wrought iron, with attractive swirls and whirls which will accent any garden area. Or you can find more functional galvanised steel potting benches instead which area perhaps more functional. Often you will also find a metal frame with both wooden shelves and a counter top work area.

Metal naturally also requires some maintenance to keep clean and free from rust and wear from the weather so there is a little extra care required here to keep some of these from succumbing to the elements. Most however, are built to be weather resistant.

Folding and Portable Potting Benches With Wheels

Depending on how you like to do your gardening and how much space you have available to allocate to new garden furniture and tools, you might like to look at the available options in the folding and portable potting bench category.

These are much lighter than a heavy fixed frame wooden one and are not designed to be located in one single location all year round. These foldable potting benches have the advantage of allowing you to wheel them around your garden or patio so you are closer to the actual area on which you are working. So, for example, if you are working on bedding plants at the back of your garden, you might want to wheel it closer rather than walking backwards and forwards with new plants all over and over. This will save time and effort and is generally quite desirable especially if you have a larger garden.

If you would rather not make one of these a permanent feature of your garden then the lightweight rolling models can be rolled away for storage so they are out of sight and safe from the elements. That means, come winter, you can wheel it off to a more protected location like a shed or under an awning to protect it better from inclement weather.

Folding potting benches also have those same benefits although many collapsible potting benches are not as stable. The benefit or being able to port it around and stow away when not needed is still quite a nice advantage.

How To Buid Your Own Potting Bench From Scratch

If you are feeling a little more adventurous then there is always the option to build one from scratch by purchasing potting bench plans, then building it from your own choice of materials. If you choose this method, be sure you have all the tools available or your project could become quite expensive. Potters table design schematics are not too expensive and will come with all the information you need so you can know beforehand if you have all the right tools.

An alternative to this is to pick up build it yourself kit which will come with all the parts you need but is unassembled and need to be put together by you upon receipt. Some of these DIY potting bench kit packs are already predrilled etc. and just need to be put together. You might save some money this way, plus as these are typically unfinished, untreated bare wood you can paint or decorate them in any way you wish to fit in with the general aesthetic of your garden area.

When you decide to build, design or make your own garden furniture and accessories this way you must ensure you protect the wood from the elements by using some form of wood sealer or weather proofing or you will quickly have problems with rot and other issues.

You can find detailed plans and advice on how to build your own at numerous places online, either as complete kits for sale or as downloadable instructions for sale by numerous outlets.

Potting Table With Sink Accessory & Other Useful Accessories

if you have a potting shed then you might want to consider a potting table with sink attached as this is a really nice optional add on if you don't mind doing the plumbing this will involve. Of course, you could have this outside as well but if you have hard winter weather an outdoor sink will require careful weatherproofing.

Many sinks are not plumbed in, as a dry sink is equally useful for planting and seeding purposes.

A drop leaf attachment is something which is also very useful as you can increase the amount of flat surface space available to you but can be folded away when you are done. Some come with this attachment as standard but if you have a wooden one then it is easy enough to drill a couple or holes and add your own hinged drop leaf attachment if yours does not.

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