As I am sure almost everyone out there knows from experience, it is hard to keep going when your back hurts. And even if you force yourself to keep going, at the end of the day it is hard to have a smile on your face and even harder to sleep. So, I am hugely in favor of creating work spaces that are back savers. If that can be done quickly and at little cost, then that is even better.
After one sleepless, painful evening following one full day of bending over transplanting, I had a greenhouse full of beautiful plants and the determination to not do that again. As it was in the spring, with loads more plants to transplant, I needed a quick (and painfree) solution.
So – you guessed it – I headed to my pile of pallets. As you know, I use those babies for everything. Such a beautiful solution for so many things. I found a pallet that was (dimensions here). Wow – that would be awesome space for a potting bench, I decided. The slats were nicely spaced apart so pots could be set on it. No adjustments or additions to the slates needed.
Making the bench was easy as pie. I cut four 2×4 boards 32″ long. Then I used two 3- 1/2 star-headed screws to attach each leg at the corner. From previous work on greenhouse benches, I knew I had to attach a cross brace on the legs to stabilize the bench and I did so using scraps I had in my lumber pile. I wanted to make things even easier, and since I made the potting bench lickety split, I decided to make a smaller one to put pots and supplies on. Now I can plant and transplant and work with plants all day long and my back is happy.
While this bench is in a temporary location, it will find a permanent home when things slow down. I will probably seal it so that it lasts longer, but for now, I am loving every sitting down moment with the plants and my potting bench.
I had spare 2x4s that I used for the legs, but if you had to buy the wood, it would cost around $5.00-10.00 depending on the type that you get. The screws are about a dime each. I used 16, so that would have been a total cost of $ 1.60 for the bench. Even if you had to buy the screws and the 2×4 lumber, the cost of the potting bench would be less that $10.00. What a back saving deal that would be!!!
I hope this encourages you to come up with solutions that will make your life more enjoyable and your gardening less painful. You don’t have to build something complicated, expensive and time consuming. Problem solving can be as simple as slapping four legs on a pallet for a new potting bench. If you want to take the time to paint it – then by all means, do so. But, look for solutions that will allow you to re-use and re-cyle. It makes for a better life, better world. Let me know what exciting solutions you have come up with re-using and re-cycling. And, if you make a potting bench, let me know how much you love it!
As always, be sure to use pallets that are safe for you and your environment. If you are not sure how to make sure your pallets are safe, this post is short and very clear. In a nutshell, look for pallets that have the “HT,” heat-treated label.