A potting shed creates a warm and dry environment for plant growth, as well as handy benches for easy access. The best potting sheds create a space that can be enjoyed throughout the year and provide plenty of storage for gardening supplies.
While a potting shed is not a new idea, popularity has increased in recent years. The aim is to create an environment that protects plants and equipment from cold and rainfall. During the winter, plants are protected from freezing conditions and garden equipment avoids damage from the damp conditions. In the summer, large glazed windows let in plenty of sunlight to encourage growth.
A potting shed makes a great alternative to a greenhouse, providing an excellent location for plant growth whilst looking appealing in the middle of a garden. Essentially, a potting shed is a hybrid design somewhere in between a traditional shed and a greenhouse. As an outbuilding, it’s also extremely versatile and makes a great location for storing everything from garden furniture to extra bags of compost.
To get the most benefit from a potting shed, it should be positioned south-facing to let in plenty of sunlight. A structure with plenty of space will allow for work to be completed inside such as pruning plants or tending to seeds.
Best Potting Sheds
Garden buildings are available in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Everything from the quality of the timber to the fixtures & fittings is an important consideration. Let’s take a look at some of our favourite potting sheds to narrow down your search.
The Tiger Potting Shed
Tiger Sheds is one of our favourite online brands for garden buildings, with a huge collection of sheds available. The Tiger Potting Shed creates a cosy environment for keeping shrubs and garden essentials. With 12mm shiplap cladding, the building features a sturdy and smooth finish that will look great once painted. On the right side is a large window that lets in plenty of light, when positioned correctly, during the daytime. A large door provides easy access when carrying large items between the shed and garden.
The high-quality finish continues into the floor, where tongue & groove floorboard is used to provide a solid foundation for everything stored inside. Plenty of height creates a comfortable environment to spend time inside when watering and potting plants. The integrated shelf below the window makes good use of the space and creates the ideal environment for positioning flowers in the sun.
Shiplap Combi Potting Shed
The idea behind a potting shed is to get the benefits of both a greenhouse and a traditional shed. While most merge the space into one, this combi shed combines two separate areas. Waltons has a good reputation when it comes to garden buildings, and we like the choice of upgrades available when purchasing a shed. This model features a secure shed area which is perfect for storing garden tools and furniture. We recommend the optional security kit containing a hasp & staple lock for keeping the building secure. A separate area provides the perfect location for pruning plants separately, in an environment with plenty of light.
The construction features 12mm shiplap in a tongue & groove design for a durable building. Large windows on the sides are made from shatterproof styrene to protect against slight knocks and bumps from others in the garden. The roof can be upgraded to a superior felt that is 50% thicker than the base version. High-quality treatment from one of our favourite brands, Protek, can also be purchased at the same time.
Shire Pent Garden Potting Shed
The Shire Potting Shed is the ideal solution where storing garden furniture is just as important as taking care of plants. The stylish design is perfect for anyone that likes spending time between various activities in the garden. Several sizes are available including 6×8 and a larger 10×10 model. The shed is handmade using slow-grown timber throughout to create a robust and durable construction. Additional windows on the width of the shed add a contemporary feeling that we don’t find on many potting sheds.
The cladding features 12mm shiplap throughout, supported by a 34mm frame for increased rigidity. Mineral felt is used on the roof to keep the shed waterproof and plants dry inside. The shed features a key locking door to keep the contents inside secure. A 10-year anti-rot guarantee provides peace of mind that the Shire potting shed will look great in a garden for years into the future.
Forest Shiplap Potting Shed
The Forest Shiplap Potting Shed from Buy Sheds Direct provides plenty of space in a clever design, making a great choice when lots of storage is required. 12 windows let in plenty of light from several sides of the building. Two opening windows allow for ventilation in the winter and better temperature control during the summer. Using lots of smaller windows provides increased strength in the frame to reduce the chances of stress on the timber and warping. The building, including the 14mm floor, is pressure treated to protect against rot and mould from the weather.
Assembly of the Forest shed provides some flexibility, as the door can be positioned at either end and with a left or right swing opening. The exterior construction features 12mm cladding to provide a durable finish throughout. A preservative dip-treatment is applied before delivery, to provide protection deep into the timber.
Oren Modular Potting Shed
This modular potting shed from sheds.co.uk comes in a huge number of sizes to fit every garden. There are also several options for different roof styles, with our favourite being the apex design. The shed features plenty of space for plants, whilst still keeping the stylish design of a traditional shed. Multiple windows on three sides of the building let in plenty of light throughout the day during the summer months. The building also comes dip treated for long-term protection against the elements.
The apex roof creates a spacious feel, perfect if you plan to spend lots of time inside pruning plants and shrubs. The lockable key door keeps the building secure when unattended, and the galvanised hinges provide additional protection. Sustainability sourced Scandinavian timber is used, and the shed includes a 10-year anti-rot protection guarantee.
How to find the best potting shed
While many potting sheds use a similar design, the quality of the structure can be completely different between manufacturers. Remember that the lifespan of a shed should last for many years, and you don’t want to be making repairs to a leaking garden building in a few years time.
The best potting shed for you may be unique, depending on the space in the garden available and how the shed will be used.
Unlike an alternative greenhouse, potting sheds are built from timber, just like a traditional shed. There are two factors that have the most noticeable difference to the timber in a shed, which are the thickness and growth time.
Increased timber thickness will create a stronger and more durable building. As well as acting as an insulator from the conditions outside, thick timber provides plenty of support for storing heavy pots of plants or gardening equipment. Walls made from 12mm cladding provide plenty of rigidity and remain sturdy when in use.
The speed at which timber is grown can also affect how robust it is. Slow grown timber becomes increasingly dense, providing increased strength and lasting longer. Fast grown timber is used on low-cost garden buildings and is lightweight.
Most shed manufacturers will offer the option of pressure treating the building before it arrives. This makes a great option to increase the lifespan of the shed and protect against weather conditions throughout the year.
The process involves forcing preservative chemicals into the wood in a pressured chamber. The chemicals penetrate deep into the wood fibres to provide weatherproofing. Wood preservers are key to increasing the longevity of a timber structure and the pressure treatment allows the chemicals to penetrate deeper than applying them once in the garden.
Guide: How to weatherproof a shed
The size of a potting shed can create increased opportunities for use but also be limited by the amount of space available. We recommend going as big as your budget and space allows you to get the maximum use from the garden building. When leaving enough room to move around, the space inside a potting shed can quickly get taken up.
A large potting shed opens up new uses such as being able to sit inside during the warmer months. There will also be more space for pottering with plants or storing gardening equipment. As with any timber building, be sure to leave space around every side for maintenance in the future. The shed should leave enough space on each side for air to easily flow and avoid any damp issues.
Keeping the items inside safe is an important consideration when storing garden tools and furniture inside a shed. Unlike a house, a shed can go unnoticed for weeks at a time during the winter, and it’s often easier to gain access. While a shed alarm can be used, finding a secure potting shed will make it difficult for intruders to get inside.
Be sure to look out for high-quality hinges, locks and bolts on the door. Some shed doors will have the locking mechanism integrated into the door, whilst others will provide a separate padlock. The windows should also make it difficult to access from the outside and if they open should provide a method of locking.
When the big day arrives and it’s time for the shed to be constructed, installation can often be daunting. There’s a choice between installing the shed yourself or paying the garden manufacturer to complete the installation with delivery. The choice is up to you and will depend on your building skills and experience. Shed installation is a two-person job and requires skill to get all of the panels assembled perfectly.
Remember, the potting shed must be completely waterproof, and small gaps can see moisture getting through during heavy rainfall. While shed installation services can seem expensive, we recommend using them if you have not constructed a shed or similar structure before. Installation from the manufacturer provides peace of mind that the building is assembled correctly.
The choice of shed roof is often upgradeable from most garden building manufacturers. The felt is attached to the roof using nails to create a waterproof seal at the top of the building. Using a thick felt is important, particularly if the building is in direct sunlight. Timber can contract and expand slightly with moisture conditions in the air. If the felt is thin, this can create gaps around the nail and potentially lead to water ingress.
Increased thickness in a premium felt provides more durability to withstand weather conditions for longer. EPDM is even better, providing an extremely high-quality finish to the roof when installed correctly.
Useful tips for a new potting shed
Purchasing a shed is an exciting time, especially when the delivery day arrives. If you’ve chosen installation from the manufacturer, the potting shed will often be assembled within a few hours. For a DIY installation, be sure to check the weather is clear and leave a day to get the shed built, along with a friend.
Prepare the base first
A great base will provide the underlying foundations of the shed, and anything done after will be relying on the base remaining sturdy underneath. The advice we give to all new garden building owners is to ensure the base is both level and solid.
The potting shed will be manufactured to tight tolerances at the factory, so an uneven base may make assembly difficult if the panels don’t line up correctly. The result can often be doors and windows that don’t open easily or have gaps around the edges. Sheds can weigh hundreds of kilograms with everything inside, a solid base will be able to support the weight for years into the future without any movement.
Our favourite option is a concrete shed base. The concrete is poured to create a solid and level finish. As the base takes time to dry, the concrete is usually poured several weeks in advance of when the shed will be assembled on top. Alternative options include paving slabs or even ground screws if the area below is not on even land.
Treat the timber
To get a long lifespan from a timber building, it needs to be treated with a wood preserver once installed, and then a maintenance coat every few years. Timber is naturally porous, allowing moisture to get inside. Where the moisture doesn’t ventilate out, such as with poor airflow or an extremely wet winter, mould can begin to grow on the surface. Long-term, the mould can lead to rot which can leave the timber permanently damaged.
A wood preserver provides a number of benefits, including anti-fungal protection and creating a weatherproof layer between the wood and exterior surface. Lots of products are available including garden shed paints and wood stains that all provide similar benefits. Be sure to avoid clear coatings on their own as they will not provide any UV protection and the timber will eventually start to turn grey.
Ideally, the treatment should be applied within the first week of ownership, on a dry and clear day. If there has been rainfall previously, make sure the wood is completely dry. Leaving a gap around each side of the potting shed allows for maintenance in the future.
Guide: Best paint for a shed
A potting shed is a great solution to grow plants and store garden equipment. The design is a combination of the best aspects of a greenhouse and shed, whilst looking considerably more stylish than a greenhouse.
With lots of options available, there are plenty of choices when finding the best potting shed. We recommend choosing a building that has plenty of space and sturdy construction. Installation is often best completed by the manufacturer to ensure the shed is watertight and built correctly. A high-quality base provides the foundations of a potting shed and we recommend opting for concrete for best results.
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