Some Thoughts On A Garden Potting Shed From My Experience
Most importantly I suppose, a garden potting shed suggests a more intimate relationship with gardening - seeding and nurturing plants - and less importance placed upon finding a spot to store the lawnmower. So I guess that means we either need to find someplace else for the lawnmower, or build a really big garden potting shed. I vote big shed (but that's just me).
A garden potting shed needs somewhere to pot things. So we need a bench. Preferably it will be a bench just at the right height for you to stand or sit on a very comfortable stool while working. If there are two of you working in the potting shed at very different heights, maybe one of you could volunteer to sit on the stool. Ah! A relationship building exercise.
You will need storage.
You need somewhere to put your pots, your soil, your seeds, your trowel, and your seed trays.
You might want to put up shelving and have everything very organized, or you might want to build an attic where things can be carelessly chucked until you need them again. (I recommend the former, but have done the latter)
More Key Features
Another key feature of your garden potting shed will be your light source. Especially if you are doing seeding in here in the spring, you will want to have windows so that your seedlings get enough light. Side windows will often be enough, but you can also think about skylights.
A word of caution: buy the right kind of skylight glass and don't position your skylights underneath the overhang of say, your house, if you live in a colder climate where you get things like snow. It's not a good idea. You might find yourself rescuing tiny seedlings in an ice storm as your skylights shatter on your head! Don't ask me how I know this, I will deny it.
Windows can also double as important ventilation.
Ventilation is key in a garden potting shed because otherwise you might find yourself trapped in a relatively small space breathing in a lot of dirt, dust and possibly other noxious things like chemical fertilizer that are not good for your respiratory system. So open a window, install some vents, whatever it takes to make sure the air quality is good for those chilly days when you want to leave the door closed in your cozy shed.
I like the idea of having lights in my sheds. That way I can work later, and if I get grow lights, my plants might grow a bit faster. Heat lamps are also a nice feature in the cooler months. In order to have lights though, you need to make sure to either include electricity in your building plans, or string an extension cord across the yard. This temporary stringing with extension cords is done by a great many home gardeners but is really not recommended for safety reasons.
A lovely luxury to have is a sink. With running water, preferably, but a basin with a hose through the open window will also do. Some people like to soak their pots and rinse out their seed packs. I've never been big on details like that (they're just going to get dirty again!) but each to his own. I like having a sink because I can wash my hands and water the seedlings without leaving the potting shed or hauling watering cans across the yard.
Finally, the ultimate luxury in a garden potting shed is a comfortable chair and a couple of good gardening books, all of which can be moved outside on a lovely day. And maybe a mini-fridge - for cold seed storage, of course.
Resources for This Article
This is what I mean when I talk garden potting shed! :-)
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