How to Enhance Your Green Thumb and Your Potting Shed

Sheds have broken free from their stereotypical box. Nowadays sheds offer a wide variety of possibilities and opportunities for their actual use and function. It is an exciting reality that your dream hobby’s center of creativity can be just a stone’s throw away from your house. For those whose hobby is potting and gardening, your shed offers you a perfect spot to let your creative impulses run wild. Potting sheds are growing increasingly popular.

So, if you are a beginner in the green thumb world or recognize your hobby has outgrown your house, why not use your shed as a potting shed or low-grade greenhouse? Maybe you have already begun the search for a shed or are in the process of transforming your garden shed into a potting home base. If so, this blog post is for you!

In the world of gardening, there are some key aspects that are necessary to consider when preparing a spot for the creation of plants.  Let’s dig down deep and pull out some important tips for not only the preparation of your potting shed but also some important potting tips meant to either grow or sharpen your green thumb.

Fill Your Potting Shed with the Proper Lighting

It is a well-known fact that plants need sunlight to grow and to retain their vitality and color. But even with this commonly known fact, it helps to understand the options available in bringing the best possible lighting to your wood shed and its plants. Not every potting shed location and design are the same. It is helpful to know what the best lighting might be for your specific needs. There are two types of lighting; natural lighting and synthetic lighting.  Let’s take a moment to consider both and determine how you can utilize each to the fullest!

Natural Lighting for Your Potting Shed

You won’t get more natural lighting than the sun. And not only is it 100% natural, but sunlight is also free and space-efficient. So, in order to utilize the sun to its fullest potential let’s look at these helpful additions to your potting shed. These options are guaranteed to shed some light on the interior of your potting shed.


Windows are a seemingly obvious addition, but nevertheless important. If you are going to install more windows to your shed, make sure you install them facing south or west to bring in the most sunlight. Investing in plenty of large and insulated windows will draw the sun and its warmth into your little greenhouse. The more windows you add to your potting shed all the better!


Skylights are a wonderful invention for soaking up direct sunlight. Skylights can be used as a temporary replacement for your light bulbs during the day. Especially if you install more than one. Not only do skylights add natural lighting, but skylights add warmth during the colder months. If you invest in a ventilating skylight it will allow for airflow to move nicely throughout your potting shed. Learn more about which skylight is the right choice for your shed…tubular skylightfixed skylight, and ventilating skylight.


If you really want a greenhouse effect in your potting shed, go with a sunroof. The sunroof provides unrestricted light flow to your plants. You can opt for only a partial sunroof or go with a full sunroof. Either way, if you are potting sun-hungry plants, flowers, or vegetables, sunroofs will offer them satisfactory sunshine.

Other ways to bring in natural sunlight are sun tubes and dormers.

Friendly reminder: Take note of the landscape around your potting shed. Remove any branches or cut down trees that might be blocking the sun’s free access into your potting shed.

Synthetic Lighting for potting sheds

Sunshine might be the most natural option, but it isn’t the only option for bringing light to your plants. Depending on your situation, location, and plant needs, synthetic lighting might be the right choice for you. Below are the best and most commonly used synthetic lighting options available for your plants.

Fluorescent Bulbs for potting sheds

These bulbs are a great option especially if you are worried about overheating your plants. Fluorescent bulbs will provide light yet remain cool enough to be kept close to your plants. These lights are helpful if you are hoping to grow seedlings and young sprouting plants.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) For potting Sheds

HID lights are great for covering a large amount of space. These lights are perfect for being capable of filling the area needed while remaining close enough to your plants to make the lighting count.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) For Potting Sheds

If you work with smaller spaces, LED lights are great because they use less heat, which allows for them to be closer to your plants.

Incandescent Bulbs For Potting Sheds

This choice of lighting does well with leafy green plants and is better served with a group of plants instead of singles.

HID Lamps For potting sheds

This lighting choice is the most expensive of all the previous options, but it is also the brightest. The HID lamp comes ready to shine with its 1,000 watts which are set to last about 10,000 hours. Its brightness should cover a 7ft. square area which would fill a small potting shed nicely.

Natural or Synthetic Lighting For Potting shed?

There is no need to limit yourself to one option or the other. A combination of both natural and synthetic lighting can allow for optimal light coverage regardless of the time of year, rainy seasons, or nighttime darkness. Although it might take some time to figure out what the best combination of natural and synthetic lighting is right for your potting barn shed at least now you are equipped to make the best possible decision.

Germination tips for your potting success

Getting the process of germination off to a good start often begins before your hands ever touch any soil. It all starts with purchasing the right seeds. It is important to buy your seeds from a reliable and trusted company. Once you obtained quality seeds, it is beneficial to use a seed-starting mix. You can buy your own or make your own for less. Next when you purchase your pots or reuse plastic containers make sure they have holes on the bottom to allow for proper drainage. Also, make sure the holding pot is going to offer enough substantial depth for the specific plant designated for it. Once you plant your seeds, keep them warm and watered. Be cautious not to saturate the soil because the seeds do well with moist soil. Once the plants start poking their heads out, their next best friend will be sunshine or fluorescent lights.

If you go with fluorescent lights keep them one or two inches above your pot. When you first planted your seeds, warmth was necessary to give them a kick start, but now it is ideal to keep them in a cool and steady environment. The ideal temperature is in the high 60’s. In order to continue to give the sprouts their best chance, fertilize the soil weekly with organic or half-strength fertilizers. A good gauge for when to start fertilizing would be once the seedlings have one or two sets of leaves. And once you see multiple leaves growing, it is time to thin out the crop. Note the strongest one and cut off the rest.

Check out this quick video on how to speed up the germination process:

Tips and Ideas for potting sheds

Invest in a hand-held plug planter (bulb planter) if you enjoy potting bulbs. Buying one of these handy dandy tools will make bulb-planting or any other depth picky seeds a joy to plant!  It makes potting plant starts, plugs, or bulbs a breeze.  

Your living spaces are precious and should work for you, not against you. A potting shed offers you an organized and useful space to cultivate your love for the outdoors and nature. A potting shed in your backyard will be an instant attraction that draws your family and friends in with its beauty while showcasing your creativity and passion. No need to wait any longer, bring all your gardening and potting creativity together in your very own potting shed and feel competent, organized, and happier than ever!

Need a portable building to get started? Check out the sheds at Overholt and Sons and start cultivating your potting shed dream.

Happy SheShed Owner

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