How to Build a Portable Potting Bench / Garden Cart

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.

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”
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Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.


    • 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!

      • I am nearly done with my bench, but cant find the actual plans. I am having difficulty figuring out how to mount the bucket, as it is not clear from the picture in the article. I don’t see any links on the top, side and end view plan links.

        • Hi, Larry,
          Thanks for your interest in this project. This article is 13 years old, and it’s from an earlier version of our website.
          Unfortunately, we no longer have this information.
          We recommend following along with the video, or ordering plans from the many talented woodworkers online.
          Good luck with your project!

  1. 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.


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