As much as it irritates you, you knew that it was only a matter of time before Fido or Fluffy decided that they needed to investigate your planting bench. Not to mention every other bug, grub, or pest that has a pulse now wants a part of the action that your plants have. The result, alas, is dead plants because your beloved cat thinks it is the perfect potty, or destroyed cats because your dog wanted to see if the planter was, in fact, a magic portal, or dead plants that have been killed by bugs having at them, and eventually nesting in your bench.

Regardless of what is bugging you (pun intended), there are several different ways to make sure nothing gets in your potting bench. The first thing you should absolutely do during your bench assembly phase is to take the time to paint or stain every facet of wood – be it exposed or not. Staining or painting your wood bench is the best way to protect the integrity of your wood: by staining or painting even the parts that will be covered deep in dirt, you will be creating a barrier by which bugs, critters, and other things that want to bore in your wood will be unable to – and protecting the structure of your wood for generations to come.

Once you have done that, it is now time to protect your potting bench plants against the pets that would have at it. The easiest way to protect plants against your pets is to put up wiring around your potting bench, so that your animals can not get inside to get at your plants. Your local hardware stores sell simple wire fencing to put up in your plants, and even tomato rings will work well.

Perhaps you do not want to deal with the constant hassle and maintenance that wire fencing brings, especially for such a small and enclosed space. Yes, it will help to deter your pets from being inside the business, but it isn’t a complete solution to what you need. You want a comprehensive solution – requiring a comprehensive plan that will keep your plants locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

To keep both bugs and animals out of your potting bench, one of the best ways to do that is to lay a special cloth over your plants. These materials are sold at your local hardware store, and are easy to apply. To put in your box, all you have to do is cut to size, tuck into your area that you want to cover, cut out a hole for the plant, and water. While the water will go down into the planting box, to be enjoyed by the plant, both weeds and bugs will not be able to get down into the dirt – nor will your pets. To cover up the cloth topping, use decorative stones, as this will add a touch of class and charm to your otherwise bland covering.

Keeping all the unwanted personalities out of your planting bench is simply done with a little know-how and some preventative work. By working on this now, you will be preventing a lot more work for yourself as time goes on, allowing you to enjoy your potting bench for years to come.