Organizing a Potting Shed

A potting shed is any out-building or portion of one used to organize gardening supplies, materials, and implements. Having a potting shed not only provides a way to organize and store materials used in outdoor gardens, such as flower gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards, berry patches, etc., but—depending on design—it can also allow you to plant, transplant, and otherwise care for house plants without having to use an area in the house.

A potting shed can be a lath house, an outdoor cupboard, or an armoire. Your available space and use requirements will help guide you in deciding which possible elements of a potting shed will serve your situation.


One approach to the potting shed is to simply have a small enclosed area to store the implements and materials used in gardening. In this case, you will want to provide the following:

  • a dry place for the storage of bags or other containers of fertilizer, soil, compost, mulch, plant food, perlite, vermiculite, sand, and stones

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  • space for parking a lawn mower, wheelbarrow, rototiller, wagon, and other garden conveyances, with a ramp if the shed floor is above ground level

  • rack or bin to hold long-handled tools, such as rakes, hoes, broom.

  • space to stack stakes, including tomato stakes

  • rack for garden hose and shelving for sprinklers, watering cans, and misters

  • pegs for hanging hand tools such as trowels, bulb planters, hand hoes, shears, clippers, etc., as well as gardening gloves, kneeling pads, and a sunhat

  • cool, dark storage with air circulation for bulbs

  • shelves for clay pots, saucers, peat pots, and other sprouting pots

  • shelves to store window boxes and flower barrels during the winter

  • a small jar or box for labels and an indelible marker

  • shelves to store dormant plants or plants

  • shelves for gardening references

  • drawers or files to hold seed packets, sunscreen, and a garden journal

  • a nook or corner to store gardening shoes when not gardening, and regular shoes when gardening

  • a basket or holder for flower arranging materials

  • a shelf for vases


    A potting shed can also serve as not just the storage area, but also the place to propagate plants. In this case, there are some additional features that may be desirable.

    • A sturdy, washable work area at a good height and of sufficient depth to serve as a potting bench, where one can, plant, transplant, divide bulbs, and prune
    • A work light
    • Electricity to plug in grow lights while seedlings are getting started
    • Running water to fill watering cans and misters
    • Stool, to be able to sit during an extended potting session

    If you have the luxury of a large area, you may take other steps to make it double as an inviting haven, as well as a functional workspace.

  • Written by Mary Elizabeth