A potting bench is a vital piece of furniture for all gardeners. It helps collect all the gardening tools, containers, potting soil, and fertilizers at one pale and also makes potting, transplanting, and weeding much easier. Whether you are an amateur gardener or a full time one, whether you look after a large garden or a small balcony or patio garden, you need a potting bench to ensure that you can easily carry out many of the gardening tasks without straining your back or spending time hunting for tools and equipment.
What to Look for in a Potting Bench
A potting bench should be made of high-quality wood that can withstand exposure to moisture and sunlight. Red cedar or other natural woods or pressure treated wood can be used to make a potting bench.
In addition, the potting bench should have a sturdy base that will be able to carry the weight of pots with soil, sacks of potting soil, fertilizer bags, a watering can, and some tools.
The main work surface of the potting bench should be slightly lower than your kitchen counter. This is because many of the pots you work with will be more than a foot in height. A very high potting bench will not let you see inside the pot when you are lining the base with gravel, charcoal, and other materials.
There should be multiple shelves that can hold a variety of tools and equipment that are required to make potting easier. The shelves should be place such that you have a clear four feet by two feet surface to place the pots on and work.
Built in Sink
Another salient feature is the built in sink. This can help collect debris, soil, and other material with ease for cleaning up. A sliding lid over the sink can increase the work surface while the sink is not needed. A detachable sink will make clean up much easier as the debris can simply be dumped in the compost bin.
Grate for Collecting Soil
Another feature that can help make a potting bench much easier to use is a grate for the work surface. This will help the potting soil fall through and collect in a bin below for reuse, ensuring that you do not have to worry about spilling potting soil or fertilizer.
Wire Mesh, Lattice, or Pegboard for Hanging Tools
While most potting benches have a shelf for keeping tools, some come with framed wire mesh, lattice back, or pegboard for hanging tools. This keeps the bench and work surface uncluttered and enables you to reach out for the tool you need with ease.
Some potting benches have built-in drawers to store tools and fertilizer. These can be left outside the garden shed and yet keep the tools dry and protected from the elements. It also helps you remain organized. Regarding the weather, extreme cold, humidity, and heat could wear down your tools. Putting them in drawers will help preserve them for many more years and even be suitable enough for your children to use.
Wheels and a handle can be of marvelous help if you have a large garden. Imagine the ease of gardening if you are able to wheel the potting bench to different sections of the garden instead of having to lug containers to the garden shed or potting bench for transplanting, repotting, or adding compost and fertilizer.
Paint or Sealant
Whether your potting bench is placed in the garden shed or outside, you need to ensure that it has multiple coats of waterproof paint or sealant. This will help protect the wood from exposure to moisture and sunlight.
Maintenance of your Potting Bench
Maintaining your potting bench is relatively easy. You need to wipe it dry after use and paint it once a year. Move the potting bench indoors, either to your garage or a garden shed in the winter months to help preserve it for longer.
Potting benches can be as simple and basic as you want with a working surface, a storage shelf, and a smaller shelf to keep tools. On the other hand, a potting bench with a framed mesh for hanging tools, wheels, and handles to help move it, a sink or grate to collect debris, and drawers or covered storage to hold potting soil, fertilizer, and tools can make it much more comfortable to carry out numerous gardening tasks.
Location of the Potting Bench
The potting bench can be placed in the garden shed or outdoors. However, you need to ensure that there is plenty of air circulation and light on the work surface.
If you are placing your potting bench in the garden shed, place it close to a window that lets in natural light and air. If you plan to locate your potting bench outdoors, try placing it under a tree or close to the walls of the house so that you will have some shelter from the elements as you work on potting, transplanting, and other constructive tasks.
If you enjoy spending time outdoors in your garden and love the ability to create a beautiful space in your yard, you need a few essential gardening tools and equipment to make your gardening tasks easier. Just as you order seeds and seedlings for your garden you also need to obtain a set of gardening tools that will be used throughout the years. As gardening tools will be needed year after year, you need to invest in the best quality tools you can.
Essential Gardening Tools and Equipment
You will need a few digging tools such as spades, round, and square shovels, and post hole diggers first. You will need to dig holes in the ground and in containers to plant the seeds and seedlings. As such you will probably need a couple of spades in varying sizes to ensure that you can work on both the land and smaller containers. Many plants need support in the form of posts – for instance pole beans. So attaining a post hole digger to enable you to plant these is also essential for any first timer gardener.
You will also need a set of pruning tools such as pruning shears, hedge clippers, tree pruners, and loppers. While you will need the pruning shears and hedge clippers within a year or two of planting your garden, you can postpone purchasing the tree pruners and loppers until your trees are mature enough to require pruning or lopping. This is unless your garden already has a few trees that need to be maintained.
You will need leaf rakes, shrub rakes, and landscaping rakes. If you begin gardening in the spring, plan to purchase the leaf rake by fall. The landscape and shrub rakes need to be purchased sooner.
Wheelbarrows or Carts
If you have a large garden you will need to invest in a wheel barrow or cart. This will help you transport fertilizer and soil or tools to the right spots with ease, and collect leaves and other garden waste for composting in a much easier fashion.
Another useful item to own when starting a garden is a spreader. This is of wonderful use if you plan on having a lawn as part of your landscaping. A spreader is used to spread fertilizer quickly and evenly across a lawn. You can choose from a broadcast spreader, drop spreader, or hand spreader depending on the size of your lawn.
You will also need smaller gardening tools such as weeders and trowels. These are used for smaller tasks and are easier to carry and store. These tools are essential even if you have a very small container garden on your patio or deck. They are also easy to hang in your shed or place in an outdoor closet.
For watering your garden you will need hoses. You can also install sprinklers to water your lawn with ease. While setting up the watering system for your garden consider installing a rain water barrel to reduce water consumption and still have a vibrant and lush garden.
Apart from the gardening tools and equipment above you will need gardening gloves, boots, and gardening overalls. If you plan to apply chemical pesticides, you will also have to invest in safety goggles and other equipment to keep you safe from inhaling the pesticides.
A lawn will look good only if it is mowed regularly. As such if you have planned a lawn as part of your landscape design you also need a lawn mower. Depending on the size of the lawn you can press the button for one that you ride on or one that you walk behind.
While those with a large garden can construct their own compost pit and generate compost using garden waste and mulch, if you have a small garden and still want to be eco friendly, you can install a compost bin that looks decorative and occupies less space.
Containers, Potting Bench
Apart from this, most gardens small and large have at least a few containers with plants. For this you need to purchase the containers and a potting bench so that you can easily plant and transplant plants.
While a great garden has many different design features and a variety of trees, plants, shrubs, and so on, all gardeners need to start their gardens with the right gardening tools and equipment. This will enable them to plan their gardens properly and also be able to perform the right tasks with ease.