Starting seeds in flats and transplanting seedlings can be messy. Very few gardeners have their own greenhouse complete with a gardening workstation. A tabletop bench at a comfortable height makes it easy for the enthusiastic gardener to complete the necessary propagation tasks that go into growing healthy vegetables and beautiful flowers. Enter the potting bench.
The best potting benches offer enough space to perform basic planting tasks. Ahead, learn what to look for when shopping for a potting bench and find out why the following models are all well suited to backyard gardening.
- BEST OVERALL: Convenience Concepts Deluxe Potting Bench, Light Oak
- RUNNER UP: Aivituvin Potting Bench with PVC Layer, Outdoor
- BEST HIDDEN SINK: Best Choice Products Mobile Garden Potting Bench
- BEST MULTIPURPOSE: Best Choice Products 48in 2-Shelf Wood Console Table
- BEST STORAGE: YAHEETECH Outdoor Potting Bench
- BEST WITH CABINET: YAHEETECH Outdoor Garden Potting Bench
- BEST PORTABLE: LUCKYERMORE Potting Bench Table
- ALSO CONSIDER: Best Choice Products Outdoor Garden Potting Bench
- ALSO CONSIDER: VINGLI 4 Foot Folding Table with Adjustable Height
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Potting Benches
Potting benches are designed chiefly for function—offering the gardener a comfortable spot for performing limited planting duties that might otherwise require kneeling or sitting on the ground. Some provide additional outdoor storage for small items and accessories to help expedite gardening tasks. Best of all, a potting bench keeps the mess outdoors where it can be swept or hosed away.
Potting benches can be used in a garden shed, a greenhouse, or a garage. However, many are used outdoors, so they must be able to withstand the elements. Weather-resistant wood species, such as fir, cedar, or teak, are good options because they naturally resist warping and insect infestations. Wood is also relatively lightweight, making it relatively easy to move the bench from one spot in the garden to another.
Stainless steel potting benches are less common, but they also withstand the elements. Some of the newer material options feature polyresin shelving that’s both water resistant and durable. However, for longest-lasting results with any potting bench, consider storing it in a garage over the winter. Wood potting benches may also benefit from an application of penetrating sealer once a year to help keep them in top shape.
Most potting benches offer a work surface that ranges from 18 to 20 inches deep (front to back) and 32 to 40 inches wide. Working space needs will vary, so consider the type of projects the bench will be used for. Even for minimal gardening tasks, a potting bench should offer a surface area that’s large enough to hold a bowl of potting mix, a variety of pots or growing trays, a few packets of seeds, and some gardening tools.
A potting bench with a sink typically offers a smaller working surface, but on some sink models, sliding boards cover the sink when it’s not in use to provide additional surface area. For those who plan to keep the potting bench in a shed or garage, measure the available floor space before buying to ensure it fits.
Many potting benches come with one or two shelves beneath the working surface for storing gardening necessities, such as a watering can, transplanting tools, a bag of soil or potting mix, and additional items. Others offer a shallow upper shelf or two that’s convenient for holding a row of newly planted pots or small pails. While many potting bench shelves are open, some have a cabinet door to conceal items.
A drawer is another handy feature for storing smaller tools and items to help keep the bench organized. If the bench doesn’t have storage hooks on the side, they can be added later and will prove useful for hanging a variety of small items, such as hand trowels.
Outdoor potting benches don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, but the amenities they offer can make gardening tasks more comfortable.
- Slats or grates: Shelves made from slats or grates allow soil and water to drain away beneath the potting bench.
- Sink: Unless the potting bench is a high-end model, any sink it contains likely will be a dry sink, which means it doesn’t come with a faucet that attaches to a spigot. A sink is one of the handiest options for many gardeners, and it also can be used to hold dry or moist potting mix. A dry sink is removable for easy cleanup.
- Wheels: A set of wheels on one end of the potting bench allows the user to lift the other end and move the bench—much like pushing a wheelbarrow—to another spot in the garden when desired.
- Height: Buyers can choose from a variety of workbench heights, ranging from around 30 inches high up to 45 inches or higher. In comparison, the average kitchen counter is 36 inches tall.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a potting bench should be made from durable, weather-resistant materials and be solid and stable enough to hold a variety of pots, plants, and tools. The size and height of the work surface are mostly a matter of personal preference, but having adequate storage is essential. The following potting benches vary, but all are well suited to outdoor planting and repotting tasks.
Start seeds, transplant seedlings, and perform other plant and garden tasks on the ample work surface provided by the Convenience Concepts Deluxe Potting Bench. The top shelf of this bench stands 46 inches high. It comes with a molded plastic dry sink that lifts out for easy cleaning, and it features three additional shelves, two below the work surface and a narrow one at the top back. It also comes with hooks on the side and a drawer just below the work surface.
The Convenience Concepts potting bench is made from natural wood, and some assembly is required.
The Aivituvin Potting Bench features a removable sink with a lid, plus a full-width PVC layer that can be used to cover the entire work surface (including the sink) when a sizable waterproof surface is necessary. The Aivituvin bench is made from weather-resistant fir that can be left as-is or painted to suit the gardener’s style.
In addition to the dry sink, the bench comes with a pull-out drawer beneath the work surface and a full-width shelf for holding supplies. It also features a narrow shelf at the top back of the bench for holding small pots and tools. Assembly is required.
Now you see it; now you don’t. The dry sink on the Best Choice Products Outdoor Potting Bench is recessed in the middle of the work surface, and it can be covered with sliding tabletop panels to form a solid work surface when desired. Made from Chinese fir, the bench is designed to weather the elements. It features two small upper-back shelves for holding tools and supplies and comes with front hooks on both sides and a slatted bottom rack for extra storage.
This Best Choice Products bench requires assembly.
Made from eucalyptus, which is durable and weather-resistant, the Best Choice Products table can be used as a potting bench, a plant stand, or even to hold drinks and snacks for entertaining.
This all-purpose bench is suitable for several uses, including repotting plants and starting seeds in trays and pots. Both the top work surface and the full-width lower shelf are made from wood slats to allow water to drain through. The bench is countertop height and requires assembly.
Crafted from 100 percent weather-resistant fir, the YAHEETECH Outdoor Potting Bench offers space to store all the soil, seeds, and pots needed to perform multiple gardening tasks. The bench features a dry sink in the work surface, a narrow upper shelf, and two adjustable shelves below the tabletop. A pull-out drawer and three handy side hooks round out the storage options.
The YAHEETECH potting bench has a weathered gray look, but it can be painted to suit any outdoor decor. Assembly is required.
Those looking to store gardening supplies out of sight need to look no further than the YAHEETECH Outdoor Potting Bench, which comes with a slide-bolt cabinet to secure items. The bench also has a durable galvanized zinc work surface and a pull-out drawer to store small items. Side hooks, a narrow upper shelf, and a lower shelf round out the bench’s storage options.
The YAHEETECH bench is crafted from 100 percent weather-resistant fir. The addition of the enclosed cabinet helps reinforce the overall stability of the potting bench. Some assembly is required.
With two legs on wheels, the LUCKYERMORE Potting Bench is easy to relocate when desired. Just lift the other end and roll it along as you would a wheelbarrow. The LUCKYERMORE bench has storage hooks on the side of the work table, and it comes with both a dry sink and a pull-out drawer for additional storage. A narrow upper-back shelf and a full-length bottom shelf add space for storing pots and gardening supplies.
The bench is made from solid fir, and the dry sink is removable for easy cleaning. Some assembly is required.
This Best Choice Products Outdoor Garden Potting Bench has clean lines and a trellis-back support. The bench is made from durable fir that’s been sealed for extra weather resistance. In addition to the work surface, the bench comes with two shelves—a narrow upper-back shelf to hold small pots or tools and a full-length bottom shelf for storing larger items. Side hooks and a small pull-out drawer round out the storage options.
The Best Choice Products potting bench requires some assembly.
Those who might not have the room (or need) for a dedicated potting bench may want to check out the VINGLI Outdoor 4 Foot Folding Table. It provides a work surface for all potting and repotting chores and then folds away for easy storage. The VINGLI table has three adjustable heights, from 21.6 inches to 27.6 inches. The table is crafted from aluminum to resist weathering. When folded away, it measures less than 24 inches wide and long and less than 4 inches thick.
The table comes with a stainless steel hinge to steady it when open and anti-slip feet for stability, and it features a handle for easy carrying. No assembly is required—just fold and go.
FAQs About Potting Benches
Having a dedicated spot to store gardening tools and supplies tops many gardeners’ wish lists. A potting bench meets that need. If looking to organize gardening tasks, tools, and supplies in one area, you likely have a few questions. Keep reading to learn more about potting benches.
Q. How high should a potting bench be?
The potting bench should be a comfortable height for you. Potting benches range in height from around 30 to 45 inches.
Q. How long will a potting bench last?
A potting bench’s lifespan depends on the type of material it’s made from, the amount of upkeep it receives (such as an annual sealing), and its exposure to harsh elements, such as full sun, rain, and snow. A wooden potting bench in harsh conditions with no upkeep is likely to last only about 3 years; however, with an annual coating of wood sealant and winter storage out of the elements, it could last 20 years or more.
Q. What is the best wood for an outdoor potting bench?
A weather-resistant wood species, such as fir, redwood, cedar, or teak, is the best option for an outdoor potting bench.
Potting benches can be used in a garden shed, a greenhouse, or a garage. Since many are used outdoors, they must be able to withstand the elements. A tabletop bench at a comfortable height makes it easy for the enthusiastic gardener to complete the necessary propagation tasks that go into growing healthy vegetables and beautiful flowers. Even for minimal gardening tasks, a potting bench should offer a surface area that’s large enough to hold a bowl of potting mix, a variety of pots or growing trays, a few packets of seeds, and some gardening tools.