The traditional potting shed design is not just a place to store garden tools, though that can be one of its functions. Space in the greenhouse is always at a premium so having a potting shed leaves the greenhouse free for what it is designed for - growing and displaying plants.
The main features to look for in your potting shed design are good big windows to allow as much light in as possible. The primary use of a potting shed is for propagating young plants from seeds. You will find, as I have, that if plants are allowed to grow beyond seedlings in a potting shed that they become 'leggy' and head for the light coming from the one direction.
Beyond having a larger windows, to allow in the maximum amount of light, a good solid bench, a set of small bins to hold your working supplies of potting materials and some racks for the storage of pots, pans, boxes and other containers.
The next choice is whether to have light and heat in the shed and water laid on. It is an advantage to have some form of heating both to keep the chill of you when you are working out there in the early part of the season and to ensure that the plants and soils are not chilled. If you can also run a water supply and install an old sink in or next to the shed this will be found to pay real dividends when it comes to pot washing, watering and so on.
If you are planning a small potting shed you will have to prioritise what you store inside. If you are looking to save space, surplus flowerpots can be stored out doors in winter but they must not be exposed to the weather as this will result in their becoming cracked, dirty, covered in green algae. A small lean-to to the side of the shed will protect stacks of pots and a cover with sacking or tarpaulin gives some amount of insulation from extremes of frost.
Looking at the types of shed design available, there are several to consider when you look around:
1. Perhaps the most luxurious is the combined potting shed and greenhouse. By attaching the shed onto the greenhouse you also have the benefit of an airlock effect that stops heat loss from the greenhouse when you come in and out of the door.
2. Secondly there is the half-shed half-greenhouse style. Now to some this may have to double as a full greenhouse, but you will find that the amount of light reflected from the back wall, even after it has been whitewashed will be substantially less than that which would enter through the north side of a span roof greenhouse. Therefore if you can, you should definitely choose to have a separate greenhouse over the lean-to, if you have the space.
3. Lastly the option that most of us will opt for is the separate wooden potting shed with big windows.
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