As spring draws us outdoors, avid gardeners — and those who just like playing in the dirt — will want their trowels and topsoil at the ready. We turned to Dr. Joe W. Willis, horticulture agent with LSU AgCenter, for some ideas on creating a potting shed space that’s both tranquil and functional. 

Potting Paradise

Wonder wall

No space for a potting shed? Repurpose an exterior wall! 




Top Tips from ‘Dr. Joe’

1. Electricity and easy access to water are highly recommended. Good lighting allows you to work early mornings and late nights, and it also enables you to see small items (like seeds) clearly. With a sink, you can wash things up and add moisture to potting mix.  

2. Peg boards are handy for hanging potting tools like trowels and measuring spoons near your work area. 

3. Have a trash can with a lid, but make sure it’s small enough that the trash bags are manageable to carry when filled with soil, roots, and clippings.

4. Keep a good airtight and waterproof container in your shed for storing a notebook, pens, and markers for labeling plants. 

Find a seat that’s a comfortable height for your potting table — you’ll be grateful when spending hours bent over seed trays and pots. 

5. Tools (e.g., hoes, rakes, pruners, and clippers) should be stored in your shed to protect them from weather.

Potting Paradise

Counter culture

Ample counter or tabletop space is an advantage in a potting shed, allowing space to spread out pots, plants and tools. Dr. Joe recommends a tabletop that’s at least 3-foot by 4-foot — large enough to hold a couple of gallon-sized pots and several seed trays.

Keep it collected

Choosing pots with a consistent color scheme or pattern will reduce visual clutter, while grouping pots on trays will help protect shelves and tabletops from moisture.

Double duty display

Look for attractive storage options that showcase pretty pots, cans, and seasonal items. According to Dr. Joe, if there’s no room in your shed, pots can be stored outside, as can potting mix (in a closed container).