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Garden | Potting | Shed | Greenhouse

Updated on February 26, 2013
Potting Shed built in the 1930s
Potting Shed built in the 1930s
Windows open for open air and pollination.
Windows open for open air and pollination.
Wall to wall benches give plenty of room for plants to thrive.
Wall to wall benches give plenty of room for plants to thrive.
Potting shed built in the late 1800s
Potting shed built in the late 1800s
Potting shed built in 2003
Potting shed built in 2003

These potting sheds can last for decades even for centuries

Unlike a hoop style greenhouse these wood frame and shingled potting sheds fit well in with other structures even in restricted subdivisions.

The concept of a window lined potting shed is not new.

The pictures of the older potting sheds date back to the late 1800s into the early 1900s.

They are located at a living history museum in Texas.

The Historical George Ranch is located in Rosenberg Texas.

When people depended on gardens for the bulk of their yearly food supplies, starting and growing plants free of frost provided for a much longer growing season.

The structures were wood frame built on concrete and brick wall footings.

This allowed the floor to be gravel or lined with sand and brick for good drainage when watering plants.

In building a modern day structure the same building techniques can still be used, or built on a concrete slab sloped to a floor drain in the middle of the floor.

A potting shed can be as small as an 8’ X 8’ space built on the end or as a lean to on a garden shed.

Considering the main benches should be 2’ deep an 8’ X 8’ shed will allow a 4’ x 4’ open area to work comfortably with everything in reach.

A 2’ x 2’ PVC laundry sink is also very handy for washing hands and watering plants. If you’re able to have it hooked to running water even the better.

A frost proof yard hydrant located next to the sink will also be very handy in extreme zones where you have to worry about busted pipes.

You will get pretty tired of hauling in sprinkling cans to keep the plants watered. With the little amount of water that will drain out it can be piped outside into a gravel bed.

Now you can stand out and wash your hands with a garden hose, fill up a tub of water, wash the dog, and turn it over to drain in the yard with no problem.

But don’t brag your potting shed sink up to the local building inspector as any sink water is considered gray water and technically is required to be hooked into a main sewer.

Going out in the potting shed on a cold blistery winter day, turning on the radio and starting our spring veggies is probably one of my favorite part of the gardening process.

With insulation in the ceiling and walls around the windows, it doesn’t take much to heat. A small wall mounted gas heater, or even a heat lamp in milder zones will keep the freeze out.

Windows can be reclaimed; double pane insulated windows are the most ideal. Windows can be the biggest expense in building a potting shed.

Finding them at a surplus building supply can be a bargain, especially when you find the windows first and then design the shed around them.

Designing the shed first to certain window sizes will likely mean you will end up buying windows at full retail.

Don’t worry about the screens; you will want to open the windows up during warm periods to allow not only fresh air but the normal pollination from bees as if they were outdoors.

When the danger of frost has past our plants are nice and strong ready to set out in the garden.

It also saves us money by not having to go off to the nursery each spring and paying nearly a $1 or more for the same plants.

We are also are able to winter over our outdoor plants. I have kept geraniums’ for several seasons by moving them into the potting shed before winter arrives.

Shelves and the main bench can be made from reclaimed lumber built on 2 X 4 racks. To make the undersides of the bench most accessible, the legs can be angled back to the wall so that potting soil tubs can be pushed underneath, keeping the floor area clear.

Potting tubs on rollers allow easy roll out and back underneath the bench. We just lucked out and found commercial baking flour and sugar tubs on rollers at a garage sale.

Spacing the boards out across the bench allows for excess potting soil to fall through into an open tub. It also saves boards as the spacing can allow every other board to be left out.

Reclaimed wire rack shelving makes great over head storage for empty pots and potting supplies.

We had to hang some plastic mini blinds to actually control the heat, but we are in Texas where things tend to be a bit bigger and hotter.

Pictures Courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .com

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