Wooden potting benches generally consist of a workbench-like structure, with built-in shelves, and sometimes additional features, such as a potting tray or storage hooks. Smaller designs are generally fairly mobile (some have wheels) and can be moved around your garden, shed or greenhouse.
The best potting benches not only offer a handy work surface and storage solutions, but also look great, and make for a stylish addition to your garden. Many landscaped garden designs feature a well-placed potting table, dressed with flowers, potted plants and a colourful watering can or two.
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If you’re looking to add a potting bench to your garden, read on for our compilation of 5 of the best wooden potting benches available today – based on their durability, appearance, storage features and value for money – to find the best new table on which to put your green fingers to work.
Our favourite potting bench is durable, stylish, affordable and has lots of great features
Topping our list of the best potting tables is this reasonably priced model from Christow. It’s made from a durable softwood and feels robust and high-quality. The design is compact and measures H120cm x W90cm x D42cm. It requires self-assembly, but isn’t difficult to put together, and should take the average user around 30 minutes.
Despite its slim design, this potting table is packed with useful features. There’s a narrow top shelf that’s perfect for storing and displaying pots, and a deeper lower shelf that can be used for heavier items, such as compost. It has a removable potting tray built into the work surface, and a raised edge around the back and sides, to contain compost. A single drawer offers a convenient place to store tools and smaller items.
It also has 2 wooden wheels on one side, which, combined with its lightweight and compact design, means it’s incredibly easy to move around – simply lift one side slightly off the ground, and roll it to wherever you want it. This makes it particularly suitable for gardeners who want to move their table around to follow the sun, as well as for elderly or less mobile gardeners.
The lightweight design does mean that it might not withstand high winds, and is probably best used in a sheltered area of the garden, or indoors – although you could easily weigh it down with some bags of compost on the lower shelf.
Other than that though, there’s really not much to criticise about this potting table – and especially considering the very reasonable price tag, we believe it’s more than deserving of our ‘top pick’ title.
- Made from durable softwood.
- Lots of storage, including 2 shelves and a drawer.
- Built for potting – features a removable plastic potting tray and a raised back and sides on the worktop to contain compost.
- 2 wheels mean it’s easy to move around.
- Compact size is perfect for smaller gardens, patios and terraces.
- Requires self-assembly.
- Lightweight design not built to withstand harsh weather.
- No built-in hooks.
Our best value bench shows off a simple, no-frills design
Offering a more affordable and less complicated design, this Garden Mile Bench by HomeZone still provides a convenient work surface for potting, along with a lower shelf for storage, or displaying plants.
Measuring H90cm x W70 x D41cm, it’s significantly shorter and slimmer than the Christow table, and is ideal for filling small spaces in garden sheds, greenhouses or patios. Its small size means this is another option that’s easy to move around and is great for those who want to be able to relocate their potting bench, depending on the weather.
The potting table is made from untreated, FSC certified natural fir wood, which gives the user reassurance as to the quality and sustainability of the product. We must point out that the design does not feel all that sturdy, and despite its name, the table is probably best suited to indoor use.
It does feature a metallic worktop, which is easy to wipe clean if you spill soil, and a raised back and sides, to contain said soil when potting. Other than the lower shelf though, there are no additional storage features such as hooks or drawers, so don’t expect to be able to keep a lot of equipment in this table.
Overall, if you’re looking for a basic potting bench for small gardening tasks, and to hold the essentials, or just something to fill a gap in your shed or greenhouse, then this is a reasonable quality option, which can’t be beaten for value for money.
- Made from FSC certified natural fir wood.
- Very lightweight and portable – easy to move around the garden.
- The raised edge around the sides and back to contain compost.
- The metallic top is easy to wipe clean.
- Our lowest priced option.
- The design feels a little flimsy and is best suited to inside use.
- Not many storage features – no drawers or hooks.
- Wood is untreated.
Our most expensive option – but it’s also the largest and sturdiest design
From one of our smallest to our largest design, this Rowlinson Potting Station is a masterpiece of strong and sturdy potting furniture, crafted from FSC certified timber, and treated to help ward off rot. It measures H162cm x W103cm x D53cm and is perfect for gardeners looking for a more comprehensive garden storage unit, perhaps in a garage environment.
There are an impressive 3 shelves for storage, the lower 2 of which are as deep as the unit itself, so there’s plenty of space for all your tools, potting trays and bags of compost. The top shelf is ideal for displaying potted plants and flowers, as well as other decorative items that you might want on display.
Under the top shelf is a row of hooks, which provide a convenient location to hang tools such as trowels, so they’ll be close at hand when potting. The work surface itself is made from zinc-coated steel, which is hard-wearing and easy to wipe clean if you spill compost or mulch.
The unit requires self-assembly, and this is where you might run into a little difficulty, as there are a couple of reports of the tongue and groove backing not fitting together properly, and needing to be adapted before it can be assembled. This model is also the most expensive option on our list – although it’s not hard to see why, considering the larger and more complex design.
These concerns aside, this is an excellent potting bench, that feels more like a sturdy storage cabinet than a table, has plenty of space for your garden equipment, and is solid and durable enough to stand the test of time.
- Strong and sturdy design.
- Made from FSC certified timber.
- Zinc-coated steel work surface – easy to wipe clean.
- Features 3 shelves and hooks for storage.
- Wood is treated to protect against rot.
- Comes from a reputable brand.
- Requires self-assembly – tongue and groove back may require adjusting to fit together properly.
- Our priciest option.
Another great potting bench, made from FSC timber and with lots of helpful features
This Kingfisher Potting Table features a similar design to our top pick, the Christow table, and is packed with features to help make your potting tasks easier. This one measures H120cm x W92cm x D45cm, and is the perfect working height for most users.
It’s made from FSC certified timber, and features a narrow top shelf suitable for storing and displaying small pots, and a deeper, slatted bottom shelf capable of holding larger pots, plant food and compost. The wooden worktop includes a built-in steel inset potting tray, as well as raised edges along the back and sides to contain compost when potting.
There are a couple of reasons we didn’t select this one as our top pick, including the fact that, unlike the Christow, there are no wheels to make it easy to move around the garden – a small but undeniably helpful feature. It also doesn’t feel quite as robust as the Christow, although it is still good quality.
Despite this, the PTABLE is a great value potting table, with a lot of user-friendly features, and will make a wonderful addition to your garden shed or greenhouse. It also takes well to being painted, so could be a great option for those looking to get creative and add colour to their garden via their potting table.
- Made from FSC certified timber.
- Includes 2 shelves and a storage drawer.
- Built-in steel inset potting tray.
- Raised edges around the work surface to contain compost.
- Best suited to indoor use, or outdoors in good weather only – with the possibility of the wood cracking.
- Unlike the Christow, there are no wheels for easy mobility.
A well-designed and highly affordable potting table, perfect for small spaces
For our final potting bench, we’re returning to a more basic style with this wooden table from Geezy. It’s another compact design, measuring in at H89cm x W77cm x D37cm, and is perfect for smaller sheds, patios and greenhouses.
It’s made from wood and is one of the only designs on our list which arrives pre-stained, which is great for those who don’t want the hassle of staining an untreated potting bench themselves. The design includes a metallic work surface, which is easy to clean, surrounded by raised sides and back, to keep compost in.
There are 2 shelves below the work surface, offering plenty of space to store pots, potting compost and other garden equipment. There are also 3 hooks, which can be installed on either side of the bench, and which allow you to keep potting tools easily accessible.
As with all the benches on this list, some self-assembly is required, and although this isn’t difficult, the provided screws are unfortunately not the best quality. There are also reports of users receiving pieces which are missing the pre-drilled holes, and having to drill them themselves, which is undoubtedly an inconvenience.
Overall though, taking into account the incredibly low price tag, along with the user-friendly design and storage features, we don’t think you can go too far wrong with this simple potting bench.
- Made from durable, stained wood.
- Features 2 shelves, and hooks to the side for tool storage.
- Metallic work surface is easy to wipe clean.
- Compact size is ideal for patios and small sheds.
- Provided screws are prone to breaking.
- Reports of pre-drilled holes missing, or in wrong places.
How To Use & Organise A Potting Bench
The best way to organise your potting bench will depend on the style of bench you’ve chosen, and what you intend to store in it. Gardening hand tools such as forks and trowels are generally best hung from hooks, either along the back or on the side of the bench. Drawers can also be used to store tools and other smaller items, including those which need to be protected from the elements, such as seeds and gloves.
Pots and potted plants can be placed on display on the main work surface of the bench, or on upper shelves, where they will benefit from more sunlight. Many gardeners also find it helpful to have a calendar on display on their bench, to help them keep track of planting and pruning. Heavier items such as bags of plant food and fertiliser, and rubbish bins, are best placed on lower shelves, where they will also be sheltered from the rain if your bench is outside.
Again, the best way to use your potting bench will vary, depending on what gardening tasks you’re undertaking. You can use it for storage or as garden décor, but the most common application is probably (as the name suggests) for potting and re-potting plants. Don’t be afraid to get the work surface dirty – most potting benches are durable and wipe-clean – and can withstand a little spilled mulch and compost.