Let’s see if I can put this photo in perspective for you. Our potting soil pile is off to the left, over there by the Donkey Barn. Many of our container grown plants are way out back by that beige building you see way in the background. But we’ve also got a smaller container area closer to the donkeys and by the way, the donkeys told me to tell you “Hello”. They want to do a video for you!
If you’ve been following me or any time at all you’ve probably seen famous “Legless Potting Bench”. It’s been around for years and it has been a big hit. Back when I had to load that potting bench by hand with a shovel it worked perfectly, but know that I have the luxury of a front end loader to move my potting soil around, the legless potting bench has been a bit of a challenge because unless you are really, really careful how you load the bench with the tractor it will flip backwards off of the saw horses.
Let’s start with how to build the legless potting bench.
Here’s the video.
And since we no longer do all of our potting right next to potting soil pile I can’t rest one end of the bench on the pile like I used to. Really old photos on this page of how that worked, some improvising was in order. So I built a stand for the potting bench, then I made a set of portable wheels to put under the stand so when we need to move the bench from one area of the nursery to another we just slip the wheels under the bench and away we go!
The first thing I did was flip the wooden stand upside down and cut two little notches in the bottom two by fours so when the axle is under the bench it can’t float around when you are pushing the bench to move it from one area to another.
Then I securely fastened the legless potting bench to the heavy duty wooden stand. Living in the north is a hoot during the winter. I actually had to use a chisel and a hammer to remove some frozen potting soil from the bench so I could get the screws where I needed them!
Next I found an old piece of angle iron that I had laying around. I cut it to length and welded two pieces of steel round stock that I picked up at the hardware store to serve as the axles. I drilled two holes on each of the axles so I could put flat washers and cotter pins to hold the wheels in place so they wouldn’t rub against the wooden frame.
The wheels and tires that I used are a type of soft rubber and wider than a hard rubber tire which is important when moving around in wet ground. However, these are the new style that never need to be re-inflated because they are filled with foam or something. They call them “never go flat” or something like that. That’s a huge benefit because so many of the inflatable tires seem to loose air way to often and too easily.
When we need to move the potting bench the first thing is to make sure the bench is empty, free of potting soil. Next raise up one end and slide the axle under the bench. Empty, the bench and the stand really aren’t that heavy. You can use a block and a bar to get leverage to raise the bench if you need to, especially if you are buy yourself. Just pry the bench up, slide a block under the bench and repeat the process if you need to get it higher. However, it’s really not that difficult for me to just lift the bench, tip it way up so the bench is balancing on itself which makes it almost, but not quite weightless, then slide the axle under the bench.
Once on the wheels, the bench is very easy to push around, even if the ground is a bit uneven. Get it where you want it and remove the wheels and start potting. We usually have at least two people around when we are potting so the process is quite easy with an extra person. But I move it by myself all the time.
This axle and wheels will serve double if not triple duty because I’ve got some railroad ties to move around this spring. Years ago when I worked with railroad ties all the time I made an axle with wheels just like this and it made moving railroad ties a breeze with just one person.
I might also make a device that will slip over this axle for moving around balled trees. It will be similar to hand truck, but designed for moving balled trees.
Questions? Comments? Wanna just say “Hey!” Post below and I’ll be around to answer questions.