DIY garden bench

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No room in the garden for salad greens or herbs? Build a standing ‘garden bed’ to have fresh greens on hand year-round. It’s easy and inexpensive, yet the pay-offs are great. Position it close to the kitchen, on a sunny deck or patio, or right beside your vegetable garden.

DIY salad bench

Click to enlarge

You need:
5 x 1.2m x 150mm x 19mm fence palings
7 x 1.5m x 150mm x 19mm fence palings
4.8m x 75mm x 50mm fence railing
Galvanised fly mesh
Wire mesh
6 x galvanised handles
8g x 45mm galvanised screws
Power drill
Staple gun and staples
Wire cutters

DIY salad bench

1. Click to enlarge

1. Take 4 x 1.5m fence palings and 3 x 1.2m fence palings and cut a 50mm strip lengthways off each piece (see photo 1). Put aside.

2. For the boxes, cut from remaining fence palings: 6 x 400mm and
6 x 462mm. Put aside.

3. For the table frame: take 2 of the trimmed 1.5m palings from step 1
and cut 2 x 1320mm lengths. Take 2 of the trimmed 1.2mm palings from step 1 and cut to 4 x 515mm lengths.

DIY salad bench

4. Click to enlarge

4. Make up the table frame using cut lengths from step 3. Screw sides to front and back, then insert 2 dividers inside the box frame at an equal distance apart (see photo 4).

5. From the 50mm strips from step 1, cut 2 x 1320mm lengths and 4 x 450mm lengths. Fix lengths to bottom of table frame, with the overhang on the inside of the box. The overhang is what holds the boxes in place (see photo 5).

6. For the legs, cut 4 x 800mm lengths from the fence railing. Cut rebates into the top of each leg, 125mm long and 20mm (see photo 6).

DIY salad bench

5. Click to enlarge

DIY salad bench

6. Click to enlarge

DIY salad bench

7. Click to enlarge






7. Screw legs onto the table frame from the inside, using four screws per leg (see photo 7).

DIY salad bench

8. Click to enlarge

8. Make leg supports from remaining trimmed fence palings from step 1. We cut 2 x 620mm lengths and 2 x 1227mm lengths (NOTE: your measurement may be different, depending on where you fixed your legs to the table frame). Fix leg supports to frame, 180mm up from bottom of legs (see photo 8).

9. Make up boxes using the pieces set aside in step 2.

10. Turn boxes upside down and attach wire mesh to the bottom with staple gun. Trim edges with wire cutters.

DIY salad bench

11. Click to enlarge

11. Attach handles to top edge of boxes (see photo 11).

12. Cut 3 pieces of fly mesh to fit neatly inside each box on top of the wire mesh. This will hold your potting mix in place.

13. Add potting mix to boxes and plant up!



  1. Judith Cooper says

    Have you a Book on Herbs that I can purchase? I listened to your interview with Lynn Freeman on The Weekend” last Saturday 30th December 2019, but could not find the link.

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