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Potting Shed Essentials Beginners’ Guide

A potting shed is the pallet for any gardener. It’s the one single place where hobby planters can create their masterpieces, potting up cuttings and raising seedlings – their hopes resting on the success of these miniature laboratories.


How Our Potting Shed Came to Be

We had a potting shed at our old house but we’re still in the throes of constructing one here. It wasn’t really planned as a potting shed; in fact, it was an outdoor kitchen for a failed business venture – but that’s another story.

This place, that we’ll call the potting shed, had a large stainless-steel bench at one end with a sink and running water. The sink sat at the far end of this bench and allowed me to throw all my pots into a bleaching solution and then once cleaned they could drain on the bench. Then I would stack the pots into their respective sizes ready for my next potting spree.

What Should a Potting Shed Have?

The beauty of this shed was that it kept it all indoors and out of the weather. So, no matter whether it decided to bucket down large hailstones, I could venture into my potting shed and start propagating some plants or pot up some seedlings. I was only limited by my imagination – and the number of pots I had.

Our new shed will also have an end dedicated to potting up some plants. Alas, this one won’t be plumbed so I shall have to fill the sink with buckets of water, but it will give me an area to work in.

What Should a Potting Shed Have

I’ve decided the potting shed needs to have these basic elements.

  • Sink that’s big enough to hold at least 20 – 50 pots.
  • Bench space to allow you to lay out enough pots that can be planted at once.
  • Storage for your potting mixes
  • Somewhere to drain and store your pots and seedling trays.
  • Storage compartments for your seeds, pot labels, string or tie wires, and a place to store your plastic covers.
  • And finally, a big window so that you can look out and enjoy the garden and dream of what it will look like with all your new seedlings planted.

That’s the potting shed – a place where a gardener's dreams come true (even if it may only be in their lucid imaginations).

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Gary Clarke

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