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DIY planting table – DIY instructions

A man is sitting at a table, in front of him a green plant in a pot, around him many other potted plants.
A DIY planting table makes it much easier for you to work with your plants, whether in the garden or in the greenhouse.
  • Difficulty
    medium
  • Cost
    < 108 £
  • Duration
    2-3 h

Introduction

We amateur gardeners are drawn out onto our patch of green, especially when the weather is nice. And there is plenty to do. Anyone who does a lot of gardening at home should attach importance to a comfortable work surface; otherwise, you could put excessive strain on your back and knees. A planting table makes sowing, repotting or weeding much easier.

It is important to consider in advance the height of your planting table and how much space you have available. For example, a planting table for a small garden or a flat with a balcony will probably be more compact than a DIY planting table for a large garden. From the beginning, you should know which type of work surface will enable you to work optimally and at the same time fit in with your home.

Otherwise, let your creative side run wild – the sky’s the limit! You can include drawers, shelves, hangers or even a collapsible frame for your planting table.

Whatever choices you make, we’ll help you create your own planting table with this useful step-by-step guide. You’ll find everything you need here: materials, tools and lots of helpful tips.

You need

Planning

Do you already have an initial idea of what your planting table should look like? Great! Then it’s best to make a note it right away so that you don’t forget anything later on. Once you have put your ideas down on paper, you may think of additional aspects that you would like to take into account while you’re building the table.

The right dimensions for your DIY planting table

As mentioned at the beginning, the height and size of the work surface are particularly important. Think carefully about how much space you have available for your planting table and how large the work surface should be so that you can work comfortably. Also pay attention to the maximum height of the work surface so that you can repot or plant comfortably while standing.

The ideal height of the work table depends on your height. You should be able to stand comfortably without having to tense up or lift your shoulders. At the same time, you should choose a depth for the table that gives you enough space for plants, pots and other items, but enables you to easily reach everything.

Upcycling reclaimed materials for your DIY work table project

It makes sense to reuse reclaimed materials for the planting table or work surface to help with sustainability and to save money. For example, do you have an old slatted frame that can serve as a structure for a back wall or as a shelf directly under the work surface? Do you have any pallets? They are useful when making the basic frame. You could use old fruit crates as a substitute for drawers. Check out our DIY section on upcycling: Giving old items a new lease on life. And here for ideas on  how to make stools out of fruit crates.

Check your collection of old materials closely before making a construction plan and a list of materials. If you plan carefully, you can save a lot of time and money right from the start.

Material tips for your planting table

If you want to build your own planting table, you have many choices when it comes to materials. Metal, wood, natural stone or even combinations of these materials are conceivable. However, in most cases, amateur gardeners choose to use wood. It is particularly easy to work with, fits perfectly into any garden and is also inexpensive.

It’s a good idea to use Douglas fir or pine. Both are robust, inexpensive and give your DIY planting table a rustic look. We recommend pretreating Douglas fir and pine so that you can enjoy your planting table for as long as possible, although there are certain types of wood that can be left untreated and used in the garden and on patios.

In many areas you can buy pretreated wood at a local DIY store. Alternatively, you can simply pretreat the boards and squared timbers yourself. You can also cover the work surface of your table with metal for extra protection. You can find the right type of sheet metal at your local DIY store. If you have any sheet metal lying around, you can use a angle grinder or a jigsaw to conveniently cut them to size. 

The perfect place for your DIY planting table

The location where you situate your own planting table is critical. After all, not every place is equally suitable. In addition, you should always keep the available space and flooring/ground in mind. Would you like to use the table outside next to your DIY raised bed? Should it be in a shed or under a roof? Or does the planting table have to fit into a greenhouse later? Speaking about upcycling, check out here how to build a small greenhouse using old windows.

Before you get started, carefully plan how and where you want to work. Where do you have enough space? Where is it convenient to set up the table? How does the space you’ve chosen affect the materials you’re using (varnish, outdoor wood paint, rust, etc.) and your level of working comfort (shade vs. sun)?

Ideally, you should have a water outlet near your planting table, for example, so that you can water newly sown plants directly or clean your hands and working materials. Proximity to a tool shed can also come in handy.

Useful features for your DIY planting table

A DIY planting table gives you the opportunity to design your workspace to meet your individual needs. For example, a folding table could be a good idea if you live in a flat in the city but still want to have a planting table for your balcony. You can put it away easily to save space when the work is done.

However, if space is not a problem, you can of course also build a planting table with all the bells and whistles. Ideally, this has a border around the work surface so that you don’t spill soil easily and working materials cannot fall down. Brackets for planting tools, drawers or additional storage space underneath the work surface are especially useful.

Vinkki
Use storage space wisely
You can place one or more fruit crates for different materials on the lower shelf to keep all the items you need to work on your planting table within easy reach.

Decorating your planting table

Like any workspace, your planting table should naturally inspire you to work. You can decorate your planting table however you like. Let your creativity run freely and make your outdoor workspace something very special. Add an individual touch to your new green workspace with small plants, vintage signs with matching sayings, a small garden gnome or even a DIY plant wall behind the table and other decorative items for more botanical flair.

Not feeling inspired? Then check out our ideas for DIY garden decor – and that’s just one of our many great tips for garden, patio and balcony.

Let’s get started – step-by-step instructions

If you have all the materials and tools ready, we can get started. You’ll be done in no time if you follow our step-by-step guide for a specific planting table design.

  • Cutting the squared timbers, boards and boards to size
  • Building the sides

What you will need: One 110 cm long squared timber (rear table leg), one 95 cm long squared timber (front table leg), two 50 cm long squared timbers (crosspieces).

If you plan to build a 90 cm high planting table, you will need to fasten the upper crosspiece 20 cm below the upper edge of the rear table leg. The lower crosspiece between the table legs can be attached as desired around 50 cm from the lower edge. Also make sure to place the top crosspiece 5 cm from the edge of the front table leg, measuring from the top. In this way, the board lies optimally for the later work surface.

If you are working with wood, you should first predrill the necessary holes to avoid splintering. Alternatively, the table can of course also be built using angles or wood glue. Or you can combine wood with metal.

  • Connecting the side elements with boards

The top board is screwed flush with the top edge between the two side elements. You should predrill the necessary holes here, too.

  • Place the wooden boards on the crosspieces of the side walls and screw them in place.
  • For better results, you should sand your DIY planting table and use a suitable varnish or oil to protect it from the elements. The wood of your table will be exposed to rain, sun and cold, especially if you want to use your new DIY planting table in the garden. 

By the way, we have many more ideas for DIY tables, such as a DIY picnic table, or a quick DIY balcony table .