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How To Make A Potting Bench More Efficient

An Outdoor Potting Bench makes transplanting flowers and plants so much easier, less back breaking and efficient. However, I’m sharing how we made one adjustment to our potting bench to make it even more efficient.

Do you have a potting bench? If not, I recommend that you get one.

My original potting table has plenty of room for working with plants and a sink which makes watering convenient.

But the clean up was always an issue.

All the potting soil and fertilizer that spilled onto the work surface had to be swept off and it was a mess.

Outdoor Potting Bench with sink, work station for outdoor plants, diy potting bench

Here’s what we did to make our outdoor potting bench even more efficient.

How To Make A Potting Bench More Efficient?

I love my potting bench, however the clean up was the problem.

Wet potting soil and plant fertilizer was hard to remove from the wooden top so we decided to open the top by cutting some drainage slots.

These slots will allow the debris to fall through into a tub underneath.

How to Make A Potting Bench More Efficient , area for water drainage in potting bench

This is a fairly easy and inexpensive solution.

Tools and Supplies

How Add Drainage Slots To The Potting Bench?

First, determine the location and size that you want your drainage slots .

The area should be approx. the size of your tub so that debris will fall into the tub.

Make sure the tub will sit properly on the lower shelf or under your cut out area.

Next, mark the area to be cut on the bench top.

How to Make A Potting Bench More Efficient , diy potting bench drainage and water saver

Using a large drill bit and a cordless drill, drill a hole through the top at two opposite corners of the area to be cut.

Drill holes in wooden top, diy potting bench using Ryobi tools

In addition, we decided to cut two slots to keep the bench top stable and to avoid having to reinforce the pieces of wood.

Drill holes to allow jigsaw to cut the slots, planning drainage area in a diy potting bench

Once you have your holes drilled, use a jig saw to cut out the two slots in the wooden top.

Cut slots with jig saw, Ryobi jigsaw

Each slot is cut from the center of an individual board, therefore leaving the top secure.

Cut Drainage Slots in Potting Bench, preparing for water saving tub in potting bench

How Do You Cover Over the New Drainage Slots?

There are several options for covering over the new drainage slots however an old grill grate fits perfectly over the area.

Cut Drainage Holes in Potting Bench and add a grate. Work area for potting bench watering drainage

I thought about attaching it to the potting bench top but I’m so glad that I didn’t.

With the grate loose, I can remove it to brush any dirt into the drainage slots.

How to Make A Potting Bench More Efficient . Ryobi tools. Water catching tub for potting bench.

With the tub underneath the area, I can easily transplant my flowers and the dropped dirt is easily removed afterwards.

You can also add the excess potting soil back to your potting supply which is more cost effective as well.

How to Make A Potting Bench More Efficient .DIY potting bench with water catching tub.

If you were building a bench from scratch, you could add narrow drainage slots and not need the addition of the grate on top.

You can see How to Make a Potting Table with Old Windows and How to Age New Clay Pots also.

How to Make A Potting Bench More Efficient by adding drainage slots

Now clean up is a breeze and I don’t waste as much soil.

Grill over drainage slots in potting table. Use a plastic tub to catch and save water.

I hope this gives you some ideas to help make your gardening and outdoor potting bench more efficient.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

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Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 11th of June 2022

I'm loving your potting bench Rachel. I need to really work on making mine more efficient. We did just add our old farm sink from the kitchen to it so hopefully, that will help.


Saturday 11th of June 2022

Kim, I'm sure it will.


Monday 6th of June 2022

That's a great idea and I've never thought of that. Our potting bench is about to fall apart so before I do this, I need to give it a little more love. Thanks!


Monday 6th of June 2022

Thanks Cindy. I think this will make it more functional.

Nan, Odessa, DE

Saturday 4th of June 2022

Why the windows on the back? Are they attached? You need to give us info and details. So enjoy your post!


Saturday 4th of June 2022

Hey Thanks so much! The windows are just propped on the back of the potting bench for decor. I had originally planned to attach them, but since it’s been a few years, I guess they work propped there. I appreciate you for stopping by.


Friday 3rd of June 2022

Oh I love the potting bench! Such a great idea!


Saturday 4th of June 2022

Thanks so much Stacy!


Friday 3rd of June 2022

Great idea! Thanks for the tip.


Saturday 4th of June 2022

Debbie, I'm glad you like it.