Make the most of every inch of space in your greenhouse - the more organised you are, the more productive you will be. Clever storage is vital.
Here are 10 practical ideas to transform your greenhouse into a functional space that is a pleasure to spend time in. Happy gardening!
Organising your greenhouse into “zones” will help you to use the space most efficiently. Consider a potting area, a storage area, and separate areas for edible and non-edible plants. Keep things you use regularly in one place, and you won’t waste precious time hunting for them.
Your greenhouse is for plants, so decide how you would like to organise the space to help them thrive. Many people set their staging up in neat rows, but you might prefer to group your plants by type, harvest time or watering requirements.
While you’re thinking about what zones to include in your greenhouse, be ruthless and get rid of all the clutter. Good ventilation is important for plant health. Also, the more junk you have, the easier it is for unwanted insects and pests to hide.
Shelving is a great way to make full use of the height of your greenhouse. Whether you choose freestanding shelves or wall-mounted (in a lean-to greenhouse), they’re the simplest way to store all your tools and equipment.
There’s no restriction on materials, but a slatted design allows light to permeate, air to circulate and excess water to drain away easily. As Alexandra Campbell, blogger at the Middle-Sized Garden says: “Gardening storage needs to be waterproof, dirt-proof and hardy.”
If you choose a freestanding shelving unit, go for one with height adjustable shelves so that you can store things more efficiently. A selection of clear plastic boxes will keep everything dry and easy to see, as well as keeping your surfaces free of clutter. Label each box clearly, but remember to store seeds in a cool, dry and dark place – preferably in an airtight container.
3. Potting bench
If you have space, create a potting table in your greenhouse with all your tools and equipment close to hand. More than just a work surface that will allow you to garden in all weather, indoor potting benches also provide useful storage.
Customise your bench by adding hooks and hanging buckets for small tools, dibbers, labels, string, ties and scissors - all the things that you’ll need when tending delicate seedlings or taking cuttings. Store your pots and compost underneath.
Potting benches are easy to find in garden centres, but you can easily upcycle one from an old wooden dresser; they look very stylish with a slick of bright, weatherproof paint. Or for a cheaper option, why not make one out of wooden pallets?
It’s often overlooked, but taking care of rubbish as you go saves time and keeps your greenhouse clean and organised. Set up two bins - one for compostable material and the other for general waste. If you have a large greenhouse, mount a bucket or bin on wheels so that you can pull it behind you as you work.
There are plenty of DIY storage options for your greenhouse, but you can also buy purpose-built staging in a variety of sizes. Some gardeners like wooden benches, but because insects and pests can overwinter in wood, many prefer plastic or steel.
Greenhouse staging is highly popular with gardeners - and for good reason. It’s strong and provides plenty of surface area for storing your seedlings and plants. Specialist seed racks, for example, stack vertically, allowing you to grow lots of seedlings in a relatively small amount of space.
Combination staging has a solid surface on top, with slat shelving beneath. It’s ideal for lighter weight items, such as watering cans, rolls of twine, and wellies. But if you plan to store big bags of compost, have a think about splashing out on galvanised steel staging; it’s a really strong option that’s worth the extra cost.
6. Hooks and hanging
Make good use of space by fixing hooks to rafters in wooden greenhouses. If you have an aluminium greenhouse, you can stick hooks to the frame. Hang small tools, watering cans, hanging baskets or use the space to dry herbs.
Be creative. Suspend large pegs or bulldog clips from the rafters or on lines strung along the greenhouse for clipping together things like gardening gloves or seed packets.
7. Plastic storage tubs
Keep your greenhouse floor tidy with stackable, flexible, plastic tubs. They are particularly good at controlling open bags of compost. Add a set of wheels, and you’ll have an easy way to move the tubs around the garden.
8. Hand tools
There are several clever ways to store the small gardening tools you’ll need regularly in your greenhouse. Clean out empty paint buckets and use them to carry tools. If you fill one of these buckets with a sand and oil mixture, metal hand tools (stored handle up) will stay rust free, clean and sharp.
Stash bigger tools on a purpose-built tool rack (either fixed to a wall or the back of the door) to keep them out of the way, but accessible. An old umbrella stand is a good alternative, if your wall space is already spoken for.
9. Seeds and planting
While gardening bloggers like Allotment Heaven or The Unconventional Gardener offer handy reminders about what to plant month-on-month, it’s also worth having your own system to keep track in the greenhouse.
An easy DIY planting calendar involves a simple length of ribbon. String up your ribbon and pin up the seed packets you need to plant at the start of each month. It’s an easy reminder, and looks good too.
10. All-purpose garden organisation
Many organisational solutions will already be in your home, just waiting to be re-purposed.
Wall mounted toilet roll holders or stand-up kitchen roll holders, for example, make easy, tangle-free storage for gardening twine. A wicker bike basket becomes a handy catch-all storage unit for items like gloves and secateurs when mounted to your potting bench or staging. A spare cutlery drawer organiser makes a great place to store small tools. Bungee cords strapped between a couple of hooks can keep lengths of bamboo upright and out of the way.
And remember the back of the door! You could buy a purpose-made organiser, which has plenty of pockets for storage, or just attach a load of hooks so you can hang up your gardening gear.
Now – make yourself a promise. You’ve emptied, planned and tidied your greenhouse to create a well organised space. Keep it that way! Take five minutes at the end of each gardening session to return everything to its rightful place. That way you’ll look forward to spending time there, and your plants will reap the reward.
What are your favourite greenhouse tidying tips? Let us know on our Facebook page, and share them with the world!
Lead image: azazello photo studio