Designing a greenhouse potting bench

Written by b.t. alo
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Designing a greenhouse potting bench
Design your greenhouse potting bench to suit your gardening style. (Garden fork leaning against greenhouse work bench image by Scott Latham from

Potting benches are a gardener's best friend in the greenhouse, organising your space, storing your tools and saving a lot of backache from bending over to do potting work on the ground. Greenhouse potting benches can incorporate many different elements into their design, from shelves to under-storage, tool draws to side hose reels and even warming pad sections. How you design your potting bench for the greenhouse should reflect what type of work you do most in the greenhouse, and utilise as many space- and work-saving elements as possible.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Yardstick
  • Paper
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Find out the dimensions you'll need for your potting bench. It should be at a comfortable height for you. The average kitchen bench is 35 inches tall, so this may be an indication. The potting bench should be able to fit through the greenhouse door, so measure the door and take off a couple of inches to give the width of the potting bench; 20 inches or so is a reasonable width.

  2. 2

    Assess your storage needs. If you want to be able to store empty pots, spades, seeds and smaller tools only, then a couple of under-trays is sufficient. If you want to stall bulkier things like potting mix or fertiliser in addition to your smaller items, then you may need to add a top shelving system combined with lower shelves.

  3. 3

    Think about how high-tech you want your potting bench to be. Do you want a heating pad area? An overhead light? A power plug? If so, you need to incorporate this into your plans -- and make sure there is a power source in a suitable location in the greenhouse.

  4. 4

    Decide on portability. Some gardeners like to be able to just wheel the potting bench over to the planting area, while others prefer a stationary bench. If you want a movable bench, you should incorporate wheels and handles in the design. For portable benches, weight is a factor, so a portable bench may need to compromise on top shelving to keep the weight within reasonable limits.

  5. 5

    Incorporate accessories into the design. Do you want a hose reel on the side? Or perhaps hooks for hanging up gardening gloves and spades? If you've gone for top shelving, perhaps the hooks aren't necessary, but for portable benches sans the shelves, they come in handy.

  6. 6

    Sketch the outline of the design onto your paper with a pencil, making sure to note all the chosen design features, as well as the proposed dimensions. You can either turn the design into DIY plans, or hand the design over to a woodworker, and he'll do the rest.

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