Whether you’re just starting our gardening, or you’ve had some experience, a dedicated potting bench makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to planting and garden maintenance. A proper potting table makes life a whole lot easier in the garden. You can opt for wooden potting benches, metal potting benches, wheeled potting benches or even a budget potting tray. Potting benches can be designed to stay outside all the time, reside in your greenhouse or polytunnel. A gorgeous potting bench can be a work of art in itself – make it the star of the show in barbecues or parties in the garden. In this article on the best potting benches, we’ll cover not just the best potting tables, but also the potting bench options, materials and maintenance that you should consider.
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You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a great potting bench, but it will make your vegetable gardening (and other gardening) a whole lot easier. We’ll cover the best potting benches available on the UK market and include a full potting bench buying guide that includes everything you should consider when choosing a potting bench. Then there’s also details on maintaining a potting bench to ensure that your investment – no matter how big or small – doesn’t go to waste.
But before we get into the guide and the detailed reviews of potting benches, here’s our top pick – the best potting bench in the UK – this potting bench has a useful working surface with a removable compost sink (you can use it to wash things too), really useful shelves underneath, a shelf for potted plants and a drawer for hand tools or other useful items. This fabulous wooden potting bench is made from premium fir and includes foot caps on the legs to protect both the wood and your flooring should you use it inside. Check it out and buy the UK’s best buy potting bench now.
The Best Potting Benches – UK Options
When I first started gardening, I potted plants, sowed seeds and generally made a mess on the kitchen table – which I’d first covered in a tarp. Still. It wasn’t ideal. My kitchen table (a fabulous old pine table) still survives, but my potting has moved on. Whether you decide to have a potting table that stays outside all the time, is in a greenhouse or polytunnel or is stylish enough to live in a conservatory or porch then having this dedicated piece of equipment for the garden will make your gardening experience so much better.
Best Potting Bench & Best Wooden Potting Bench
This best buy potting bench has a great large working area and includes a baffle panel to prevent items from falling down. There are also two tiers of slatted shelves on which you can conveniently store gardening items. The slatted shelves are great for airflow. There’s a drawer for storage as well as a removable plastic sink too. This is a great potting bench option and our best buy wooden potting bench. Buy our Best Potting Bench here.
Key features of the best wooden potting bench
- Large tabletop
- Convenient drawer to store gardening tools or seeds and more
- 3 fixed metal hooks on the side of the table for hanging tools, bags etc
- Removable dry sink for excess compost – can also be used for water or ice
- Made from durable treated fir wood with foot caps to prevent rot
- Size – Height: 121cm
- Worksurface height 80cm
- Worksurface measures 45cm x 115cm
- Sink measures 34cm x 24cm x 9cm
Best Potting Bench with Wheels
This best potting bench with wheels is a great option if you’re looking to be able to easily move your potting bench. As well as wheels it has a removable compost sink, a drawer and a baffle on three sides of the surface to stop things from falling off your potting table. There’s a single lower shelf – ideal for a bag of compost – and a small upper shelf for your potted plants. Buy the Best Potting Bench with wheels here.
Key features of the best wheeled potting bench
- Large work surface comes with integral removable sink
- Convenient drawer to store gardening tools or seeds and more
- Made from durable treated wood
- Complete with two wheels for easy moving
- Size: H120cm x W90cm x D42cm
Best Potting Bench with a Cupboard + Galvanised Worktop
This potting bench with a cupboard is a great option if you want to be able to store more inside. This potting bench also has a galvanised worktop for ease of cleaning and longevity. The galvanized metal tabletop doesn’t rust, is resistant to the sun and rain, and is easy to clean, making it ideal for an outdoor potting table. This galvanised metal surface potting bench is made of high-quality fir. The tabletop can support up to 50kg, while the shelf can bear a maximum weight of 20kg. There’s a drawer, cupboard and a lower and upper open shelf, plus a series of hooks on the side of the potting table. Buy the Best Potting Bench with a cupboard here.
Key features of the best potting bench with cupboard + galvanised worktop
- Large potting bench with a galvanised metal work surface
- Convenient drawer to store gardening tools or seeds and more
- Made from durable treated wood
- The table can support up to 50kg.
Best Metal Potting Bench
If you choose metal as your material of choice for your potting table then this metal potting bench is a great option. Manufactured by Outsunny (whose greenhouses we love) this potting bench made of metal can hold up to 60kg of weight on the table and 25kg on the lower mesh shelf. It also comes with two sturdy wheels and a side handle so it’s easy to move around. This metal potting table is rust-resistant and while it comes in white you can change the colour with metal paint. It’s a good basic design, which is extremely functional. Buy the Best Metal Potting Bench here.
Key features of the best wheeled metal potting bench
- Functional long-lasting design
- Comes with two wheels and a side handle for ease of movement.
- Holds up to 60kg on the work surface
- Bottle lattice shelf can support up to 25 kg.
- Bottom shelf: 90L x 55Wcm. From the ground: 24cm
- Size – 98 x 55 x 90 centimetres
Best Folding Potting Tray
This foldable potting tray is excellent if you are very very short on space or need adding potting space. Each pack contains two folding potting trays, designed to keep the compost all in one place while you’re working. The two sizes of folding potting mats are essentially tarps that measure 75 cm x 75cm and 50cm x 50cm – one in pink and one in black. A unique design provides two brass buckles at each of the four corners, which when buckled up create walls to prevent water and soil from leaking out. You can also use this to funnel the soil back into your compost bag. These folding potting trays are easy to clean and are made from premium quality waterproof and leak-proof Oxford cloth and PVC material, with a waterproof barrier and canvas on the outside. When you’re done potting you can also use them for craft projects too! Buy these excellent folding potting trays now!
Key features of folding potting trays
- Made of premium quality waterproof and leak-proof Oxford cloth and PVC material, with waterproof barrier and canvas on the outside
- Heavy-duty and durable, wear-resistant, highly tear-resistant
- Easy to clean
- Easy to store flat!
- Multi-purpose, clean and use for home crafting or kids projects
- Size – black = 75 cm x 75cm and pink = 50cm x 50cm
Best Solid Potting Tray
This solid potting tray is a versatile garden tray that can be used on any surface as a way to keep compost from spilling. This heavy plastic garden tray is great for potting, mixing and growing. It’s made from 100% recycled plastic and is easy to clean and reuse many times. If you’re on a tight budget then this solid potting tray is a great option. It measures 62cm x 20cm x 56cm. Buy this solid potting tray here now
Key features of this heavy-duty solid potting tray
- Made of 100% recycled plastic
- Easy to clean
- Size – 62cm x 20cm x 56cm.
Potting Bench Buyers Guide
It’s only when you start looking at all the options for potting tables in the UK that you realise there are a variety of factors to consider. So it’s best to take a short pause and think about the functions and features of a potting bench before selecting the right one for you. Here’s our buying guide for potting benches with all the considerations you’ll need to take.
What to look for in a potting bench
Here’s what you’ll need to consider when buying a potting bench – from design to location to material and more. If you want the TLDR: Potting Benches – then this is our best buy – here – it comes with a great set of features for a potting bench at a reasonable price and is great quality.
Potting Bench Design
If you pick the right potting bench then it’s something that you’ll keep for years and years. So you’ll want to pick a design of potting bench that is not just aesthetically pleasing but that is also functional and in keeping with the rest of where you’ll be locating it. There are potting benches that are rustic, wooden, metal, basic and contemporary. Consider where you’ll be placing your potting bench – inside – outside and what the prevailing weather is like where you’ll be placing it. Consider too what you’ll be using your potting bench for and what you need to store on it – do you need shelves or a cupboard? Do you need to store garden equipment (like garden hand tools) in it? Do you plan on moving it around and therefore need wheels on it?
Potting Bench Construction Material
Potting benches are made from wood, plastic or metal. Often it’s a design decision as to which material you go for. Plastic is the most durable but often doesn’t look so good. Metal is particularly durable, so long as it’s treated to prevent rust. Wood is the most common construction material for potting benches. The wood used to make potting benches tends to be extremely durable pressure-treated softwood, usually pine, fir or cedar. Regardless of the colour of the wood when your potting bench is delivered you can stain the wood to match other items of garden (or interior) furniture. The working surface on a wooden potting bench is either made from wood or there are also options of a galvanised metal worktop that can be more functional. It’s easier to wipe down and can add strength to its construction.
If you opt for a wooden potting bench then you should ensure that the wood is stained or treated before you put it outside. Some wooden potting benches are pre-treated, if so, check the length of time it’s recommended before re-treating.
The Weight of Potting Benches
How much a potting bench weighs is relevant if you plan on moving it around. And you’ll want to consider the weight when it’s laden because you’re unlikely to take all your gardening stuff off it to move it. So if you plan to move your potting bench around, then consider a potting bench with wheels.
Potting Bench Working Height
The height of a potting bench is key to a comfortable working position. Most potting benches work surfaces are around 80cm – which is just under the height of a standard kitchen counter at 91cm. If you’re taller than average then it’s possible to buy an adjustable height potting bench or raise your potting bench on wooden blocks or bricks.
The Cost of Potting Benches
In this guide to potting benches, we’ve covered the most basic potting trays, which come in around £10 up to several hundreds of pounds if you want a stunning designer model. As with all our gardening tool essentials and guides, it’s best to work out what you need, how long you’re likely to need it for and buy the best quality tools that you can afford.
Potting Bench Features to Consider and Look for
The most basic of potting benches are simply a potting table – and you can get away with any table. Add a potting tray to it and you’re done. But if you’re looking for something longer-term and more specialised, then consider some of these features of potting benches and decide if they’re a requirement for you.
Potting Bench drawers
Whether you use the drawers on your potting bench for tools (dried of course), string, gloves or even seeds if you don’t have a seed store like this they’re a seriously useful addition. Especially if you need somewhere that you know is cool and dry!
Utensil hooks & shelving for potting benches
Hooks for your gardening tools are a really useful addition to a potting bench. I particularly like being able to hang my hand garden trowel after I’ve washed it and it dries while hanging, rather than sitting wet in a drawer. Shelves are also a useful addition, meaning that I’m not cluttering up the main working area.
Metal or plastic feet on potting benches
If your potting bench is outside like most people and you’ve gone for a wooden or metal potting bench then you’ll want to consider raising it from the ground to prevent rusting or rotting. You can do this with bricks, or add plastic or galvanised metal feet.
Wheels on a potting bench
Having wheels on a potting bench means it’s much easier to move around – meaning that you can move the entire potting or repotting operation closer to where the action is.
Potting bench sinks
A sink in a potting bench is a seriously useful feature. Most of the activity that takes part on a potting bench is related to compost and being able to capture all of it in an easy to clean and easy to pour back into your compost bag is such a time saver. Most sinks in potting benches are detachable, so you can take them out, pour the excess compost back in, clean and return. You can find potting bench sinks with lids – or simply cut a bit of wood to fit to make a bigger working surface. And when you’re entertaining add some ice for a drinks cooling party option!
Potting Bench Maintenance
No matter what garden tools you buy you’ll prolong their useful life if you maintain them. Maintenance of potting benches isn’t difficult if you keep them clean as you go along. So wipe up any water as you go along. Clean up excess spills of compost.
Brush compost off with a brush – compost left on wood can rot the wood. Rot can infect your seedlings.
Wipe down the surface.
Once a year remove everything and give it a thorough disinfection.
If you have a wooden potting bench then be sure to apply a wood preserver or stain at least once a year. I tend to do this after the annual clean so that I know I’m not sealing in anything nasty.
I recommend too, if you’re not using your potting bench during the worst of the weather then you cover it up. This outdoor garden bench cover should cover virtually all potting benches and keep them from the worst of the winter weather.
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs about Potting Benches
Got questions about potting benches? Check out our frequently asked questions about potting tables and benches below, or ask us yours in the comments.
What is a potting bench used for?
A potting bench is a specifically design table for potting, repotting plants and storage of gardening equipment. Use potting benches to sow seeds in pots and to transplant seedlings
Where should I put my potting bench?
Potting benches can be located inside or outside. Depending on how exposed your garden is you may wish to locate your potting table in a shed, greenhouse, polytunnel or even a back porch. Most potting tables are designed to be kept outside.
What’s the best material for potting benches
Most potting benches are made from wood, but metal is also becoming a popular material. Either metal or wood is a good material for potting benches, it depends on which you prefer aesthetically and which features you require on a potting bench.
What is the height of a potting bench?
A standard potting bench height is 80 centimetres to the working surface. This is about 11 centimetres lower than a standard kitchen counter.
What is the best wood for a potting bench?
Most wooden potting benches in the UK are made from pressure-treated durable pine, fir or cedar. They are treated for longevity, but you should also treat them on an annual basis for maintenance.
Does a potting bench need a sink?
Whether you want a potting bench with a sink depends on your requirements. A sink in a potting bench tends to be a sink to collect excess compost. Sinks in potting benches don’t tend to be for running water – although you can use them for water if needed. Most sinks in potting benches are detachable so you can pour off the excess compost back into the compost bag.
All our guides to the best garden equipment
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- The best potting benches in the UK
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Final Words on the Best Potting Bench
If you’re looking to make your life in the garden easier, then a potting bench is a great addition to your gardening equipment. It makes potting and planting into pots and transplanting so much easier. The best potting bench is the one that meets all your needs – whether that’s a potting table with a sink, with shelves, with hooks or with a cupboard. I think our favourite potting bench here is such a great option, especially when getting started as it provides so many of the features that I find invaluable in a potting table and it comes in at a great affordable cost too.