Crafting a DIY Potting Bench: A Step-by-Step Guide

Apr 3


Michael J. McGroarty

Michael J. McGroarty

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Creating a DIY potting bench can be a rewarding project for any gardening enthusiast. Not only does it provide a dedicated space for potting and planting, but it also helps keep your gardening area tidy. While pre-made potting benches can be expensive, building one yourself is a cost-effective and customizable alternative. This guide will walk you through constructing a simple yet sturdy potting bench that has been tried and tested in a backyard nursery, potting tens of thousands of plants.


Essential Tools and Materials

Before you begin,Crafting a DIY Potting Bench: A Step-by-Step Guide Articles gather the following tools and materials:


  • Screwdriver
  • Small box wrench or crescent wrench (a 1/4" drive socket set is ideal)
  • Tape measure
  • Small square
  • Drill
  • Power saw


  • One full sheet (4' x 8') of 3/4" treated plywood (for outdoor durability)
  • 15 metal angle brackets (corner brackets for right-angle connections)
  • 30 bolts with nuts (1-¼" long, sized to fit the angle brackets)
  • 60 flat washers (sized to fit the bolts)

The Design: Mike's Legless Potting Bench

The potting bench you're about to construct is known as "Mike's Legless Potting Bench." It's designed without legs for a reason: flexibility. You can place one end on your potting soil pile and the other on a stable support like concrete blocks, sawhorses, or milk crates. This design allows for easy access to soil and makes the bench simple to store and move.

Step-by-Step Construction

  1. Prepare the Plywood: Place the plywood on a flat surface and measure 16" from one end. Draw a line across and cut, creating a 16" x 48" piece.
  2. Create the Sides: Draw a diagonal line across the smaller piece of plywood and cut along it to form two right triangles. Trim the pointed ends by measuring 24" from the right angle along the 48" side, drawing a perpendicular line, and cutting. These are your side pieces.
  3. Form the Base and Back: Cut the remaining large piece of plywood into two parts: one 16" x 80" (the bottom) and one 32" x 80" (the back).
  4. Assemble the Bench: Stand the back piece on edge on top of the bottom piece. Mark and attach five angle brackets to join them. Install the two triangular side pieces to complete the frame.
  5. Safety Check: If the bolts protrude, consider cutting the ends and filing them smooth to prevent injury.

Customization and Usage

Without legs, the bench can be easily adapted to various heights and locations. When used as a table for making cuttings, simply place a sawhorse under each end. The bench's size allows for potting multiple plants simultaneously and holds a significant amount of soil.

Additional Resources

For those interested in more elaborate designs, including a potting bench with a flip-out feature, visit Free Plants for photos and step-by-step plans.


Mike's famous legless potting bench may not win beauty contests, but its functionality is unmatched. It's a testament to the idea that simplicity and practicality often trump aesthetics in the garden. With this guide, you can create a potting bench that meets your specific gardening needs without breaking the bank.

Remember, always prioritize safety when using power tools and ensure all materials are suitable for outdoor use to extend the life of your potting bench. Happy building and gardening!