DIY Projects

How to Build a Portable Potting Bench / Garden Cart

By: Danny Lipford

If you spend a lot of time gardening, you know how handy a potting bench can be. Not only does it give you a convenient place to work with your plants, it also keeps the inevitable mess that goes with it confined to one spot.

potting bench

Our potting bench has the added advantage of being portable. The wheels on the front and handles on the back allow you to move it outside when the weather is nice then store it out of the way in the garage when not in use.

For simplicity and durability, the bench was constructed entirely from 1” x 4” pressure treated pine. After cutting the sides of the top frame to length, a jigsaw was used to notch the end of the handles to make them easy to grip. The sides were then attached to the cross members with corrosion resistant screws to form a sturdy frame for the top.

A tray for gardening tools runs the width of the top while a five-gallon bucket mounted next to it can be used to store potting soil or fertilizer. A second frame was assembled to form the base, which also doubles as a storage area.

Once the two frames had been built, the legs were screwed to them. Boards were then screwed to the frames to form the top and storage rack, and a removable panel, held together from underneath by a brace, was installed in the top to cover the bucket.

After sanding off the rough edges and mounting the wheels to the base, our bench was ready for some serious gardening. To see how to build the potting bench, check out our plans:

Materials needed:

  • 105 linear feet pressure treated 1” x 4” pine
  • 2 – 8” wheels attached with axle or bolts
  • 1 – 5 gallon plastic bucket
  • Assorted screws

Cutting List for Potting Bench

(All materials are 1”x4” pressure treated pine)

Top Frame Sides 2 – 59½”
Top Frame Cross Members 4 – 22½”
Top Frame End 1 – 24”
Tray Bottom 1 – 22½”
Top Slats (outer) 4 – 46”
Top Slats (middle, long) 2 – 33”
Top Slats (middle, bucket) 2 – 13”
Bucket Slat Brace 1 – 11”
Bottom Frame Side Rails 2 – 46”
Bottom Frame Cross Members 4 – 22½”
Bottom Tray Sides 2 – 44½”
Bottom Tray End 1 – 24”
Bottom Tray Slats 5 – 46”
Legs (rear) 2 – 33¼”
Legs (front) 2 – 31¼”


Please Leave a Comment

4 Comments on “How to Build a Portable Potting Bench / Garden Cart”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Emlee Says:
    April 5th, 2016 at 10:19 am

    We have a potting bench/cart built like this. It is VERY heavy. Because it has no wheels at one end, you have to lift that end of the cart to move it. The wheels don’t swivel, so maneuvering it around on the deck is difficult. I suspect that on grass or pathways it would be even more difficult. I would suggest figuring out a way to install cart wheels that swivel on both ends, and heavy duty ones to make moving on rough terrain easier.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 15th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Tom,
    To see plans for the portable potting bench, click on the top, side, and end view plan links in the article above. Good luck with your project!

  • Tom Powley Says:
    January 15th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Where can I get the plans for your Portable Potting Bench/ Garden cart.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

 characters available

How to Build a Portable Potting Bench / Garden Cart