I’ll Show You My Plants, If You’ll . . . (Part I)

Everyone I know keeps asking me, “What are you growing in your greenhouse?”  So for this post, I thought I’d try something different: less words and more pictures. 

First, this is the greenhouse/potting shed.  I started most of  the seeds in February.  This, of course, depends on the seeds.  I will break up the planting schedule based on germination time, bloom time, and last frost date.  See the Library page for my guidebooks.  There is a space heater in there, as well as heat mats for the seedlings.  I have hung plastic to keep the heat in the growing area; the other area is for storage of yard equipment.  The best times are when it’s snowing outside, and I’m in the shed in 75 degrees.  There is no running water, so I carry water in.

This has been a cool spring, so the heater has stayed on longer than usual, especially at night.  In warmer weather, I take down the plastic, open the Dutch door, and realease heat out of the vents up top. 

I purchased the seeds through Park Seed.  Usually, I purchase seeds through a variety of sources, but this year I felt the need to simplify and save some money.  Ordering from less catalogs meant less shipping and handling charges. 

Now for the seedlings.  Hope you enjoy them!


42 thoughts on “I’ll Show You My Plants, If You’ll . . . (Part I)

  1. I love that greenhouse! will send you a pic of our greenhouse. any ideas on watering seedlings without having to run in and out 3x a day. i was thinking of some type of mist system, but have not seen one that is not complicated.

    • My problem is that I didn’t want to go to the hassle of running plumbing and water out to the shed. I worried about having to drain lines to prepare for winter, which is when I would need the water. So, I settled on some large watering cans and carrying the water into the greenhouse. When just starting the seeds, I tend to water from below to avoid compacting the soil. When the seedling sprout, I will also mist the leaves with a spray bottle. For more humidity, I’ll fill a tray with water and let it evaporate.

      As for systems, here is a resource that might help: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/4-greenhouse-watering-systems

    • Hi Lori. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my potting shed. My partner actually designed the shed. He drew the plans on a yellow legal pad. The shed roughly measures 10′ x 10′, and the ceiling is about 12′ high. There is a loft space on the door side. I’ll see of I can find his original drawing and get it to you — if not, I’ll ask if he can draw it again. There isn’t any heat or running water, but I do use a space heater and heat mats.

    • Hi Marlo. The shed did not come from a kit — it was designed by my partner and we built it from scratch. I’m glad you found my site and the shed — it’s truly my therapy place, even when things aren’t growing in it. I’ll look for our actual sketches. Hopefully that will help you out. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I have to echo the previous comments, truly wonderful building, great design and choice of building materials. Would love to see the design for this. Much Kudos to your partner for this build. I feel more relaxed already.

    • Hi Joe. My partner’s head is starting to swell with all of this attention. 🙂 The shed, though, truly meets my needs. Right now, we’re searching the house for his original sketch. If we can’t find it, we — and when I say we, I mean him — will draw up something more specific. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I had a greenhouse at our last house. We built a salad table for it. It was a potting table, sort of, that had about four inches of soil for growing lettuce in the winter. You need one!

    • Hi Vicky. I agree. Friends of mine have tables like that outside, where they grow salad and herbs. It’s certainly easy on the back! Definitely something on my wish list. Thanks for commenting.

      • I too luv your Shed, I could make it my plant / readin place,,, would luv a copy of it if possible please.. Thank You.

      • Hi Lady Di. Thanks for your kind words. All of the shed details can be found on the Potting Shed link just below the header. Hope this helps.

  4. your partner must be very talented. was the greenhouse was added on to an existing shed? or was the shed/greenhouse constructed at the same time? the greenhouse light panels are glass or plastic?

    • Hi Dennis. Yes, he’s talented — and he had the idea to build the potting shed and designed it. We built the whole structure from scratch on a cement block foundation. It has a patio block floor, except where the growing is done. I used gravel there, so any water can drain. The panels are glass, 16 inches wide so that they fit in metal tracks that are attached to the 2 x 8 roof rafters and 2 x 6 wall studs. Since there’s so much interest in the shed, I will try to put together a post together that is shed specific. Be well.

  5. I must add my compliments on the shed/greenhouse combo. it has really inspired me to to have a go at adding a greenhouse onto my existing shed which I’m going to renovate this year. many thanks

  6. Have been working toward this end for a couple years collecting windows and doors. Your sunshed is everything I want……I just don’t have the building know how to get started.

    • Hi Kady. I’m so glad you liked my potting shed. I’m working on Joe (since he’s the builder) to get some info together for everyone who is interested in the shed. Be well.

  7. Hi,
    I love your shed!! I think it would be perfect for us. I can see this post is old, so I was wondering if there is a plan on this page already?

    • Hi Jelena. I’m sorry I do not have an actual plan. My partner actually came up with the idea and built it from scratch. I’ve been nagging him to put something in writing so I can share it. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Oh, you are welcome. Its a pleasure to see something so practical and beautiful! You don’t need to pester your partner for the plans, I know its time consuming to draw them. But could you post a few more pictures of the sides perhaps, and rough dimensions? We have all the material (except glass), and I was looking for something I like for a long time. Its a perfect combo of storage and greenhouse that we need in our garden and to top it it looks perfect!

  9. Your shed is so beautifull. With a little help I think someone can make this for me.
    And I’ll tell everybody it is the copy of your invention 🙂
    Could you send me measures? Height?
    If you have a plan, that might be an enormous help, but if not some good advice could do too.
    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Nicole. I’m so glad you liked the shed. I’m away right now, but I will get something together when I get back home. The truth is that my partner designed the shed on a napkin and we can’t find the napkin. I’ll get him to do something a little more professional. 🙂

  10. Thank you ahead of time for when you post the design of the shed. It truly is a well designed and thought out structure.

    • Hi Tommy. I’m glad and flattered that you like the shed. It’s pretty simple and suits what I need it for. I’ll nag Joe about drawing actual plans for readers.

  11. Can’t wait to see the post for the greenhouse! This is incredible and we are at the early stages of planning our own shed/greenhouse. Joy

  12. Your potting garden shed is the most beautiful one we have seen when you do have a plan available could you please forward it to me i am looking forward to hearing from you i have been wanting to build one for my wife for a long time thanks again Rich

    • Hi Rich. Thanks for your kind words. A detailed post about the potting shed is on my to-do list (or rather my long overdue to-do list). 🙂

      • Hello just wondering if there are any plans yet for the garden shed Thanks Rich

      • Hi Rich. I owe you a) an apology for taking so long to get that post completed and b) a big thank you for lighting a fire under my you-know-what to get that post done. As we speak, Joe is outside measuring every inch of the shed so he can draw it all out. The post is definitely going to happen soon — and I will keep it as a page on the blog for easy reference.

  13. i have a similar green house. My problem is the heat during the summer. Our panels are glass and do not open. Any recommendations?

    • Hi Laurie. I always had that issue in the heat of summer. The glass panels do not open. But vents in the attic/loft space, as well as keeping the top half of the Dutch door open kept it cool enough for me to walk in. If you have electricity in your send, you may want to set up a fan just to keep the air circulating. In the summer, though, there’s really no need for me to spend too much time in the potting shed. The green stuff is outside. I really needed it to be warm in the other three seasons. Hope this helps.

  14. Hi Kevin,
    Your greenhouse/shed is absolutely gorgeous! I take my hat off to Joe. What a beautiful creations – only love and a desire to make your partner ‘s dream come true is able to creat something this beautiful.

    Can you please share your/Joe’s idea? I live in North Carolina on the mountain and it is considered a rain forest due to the abundance of rain, but not like Portland where there is moss everywhere. I would like to put like a window box that could be used for storage by placing a “lid” with hinges and then thick padding/cushion to creat a place to lay down to read/nap. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Also could you please share info about how you heat the seedlings from the bottom? What did you use and can you share where you purchased it?

    I think you water the seedlings from the bottom? Do you let them dry in the gravel area before placing them in the heating area?

    Did you buy trays to plant with trays that allow you to soak? If so, can you please share from where? If not how do you do this?

    Any words of wisdom you might share? Is there something you might have done differently looking back?

    I thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to my questions. As you can see I am as green as a granny smith apple about what is needed to creat a practical greenhouse. I am hoping my dear friend,Mike would be able to find the time to help me yet one last time.
    Thank you again to both.

    • Hi Juana. Thank for stopping by and all of your questions. I think the beauty of this shed is that you can make it whatever you’d like it to be. Now, for your questions:
      1. To heat the seedlings, I used a heating mat specifically designed to heat the soil the seedlings were in. This was done long before Amazon was on the horizon, so I purchased these through a gardeners’ supply catalog. I used these in conjunction with a thermostat. The thermostat would be inserted into the soil and then plugged into the heating mat so it could maintain an even temperature. The seed trays are placed directly on the rubber heat mat. I would also supplement the temperature with a space heater so the air would be warm. Seedlings generally like warm soil to germinate. By now, technology may have changed so you may find even better ideas with Google searches.
      Yes, seedlings are watered from the bottom. This keeps the growing media from compacting so roots can easily grow. I would place the seed trays in trays that hold water and keep on eye on the soil. I wanted the soil to be moist, but not mud. Sometimes, I would use a spray bottle to mist the surface of the soil. When I removed the seed trays from the water tray, I would place these right back on the rubber heat mats. The mats were designed to be wet, and any water that dripped on them and evaporated helped to create humidity, also an essential ingredient.
      3. Most of the trays I used were the black seeds cells & trays I saved each time I purchased bedding plants from a nursery. I would clean them, let them dry, and save them for seed starting use. Occasionally, I would order smaller pots or trays from a supply catalog. Again, this was done so long ago, there’s a possibility my sources are no longer in business. A Google search can point you in the right direction.
      4. My words of wisdom: Just have fun with it. It can be a challenge to create the right environment to start seeds in February or March — but I loved the challenge. I also loved the potting up part. For example, I would plant five geranium seeds in a small pot. They would sprout and then once they had their first true leaves, I would carefully remove them and transplant them into a pot of their own. For me, it was therapeutic. If you’re nervous, start with easy seeds — like zinnias and marigolds and sunflowers. As you get more comfortable, graduate to something a little tougher, like geraniums and impatiens. It can be addictive, especially because seeds give you more variety than plants normally available in nurseries.
      Another option is to look into a kit. There is so much more available than when I started. Good luck — and remember it’s all about fun.

  15. Yet more questions. Can you share where you purchased glass panel, what type of glass? Thee metal tracks where did you purchase them? Could you have used recycled glass windows? What are your thoughts in using recycled glass windows vs glass panel are 16 inches wide and how long?
    Did you use treated wood anywhere?

    Thank you again

    • Hi Juana…
      1. The glass was purchased from a local glazier. I explained to him what I was doing and the measurements for each panel and he cut them to order. I don’t know much about recycled glass, but I know I’ve seen potting shed designs made with repurposed windows and doors.
      2. The tracks were purchased through a gardeners’ supply catalog. As I said previously, the shed was built long before there was Amazon or even an Internet. I would do a Google search on greenhouse supplies. As I’m writing to you, I did just that and found https://growerssupply.com.
      2. Any wood that was used in the framing was treated, because during seed starting season, the shed was a very moist environment. In the summer, it was very hot and dry.

      There’s a science to creating an environment to start seeds and for plants to thrive. The book that was especially helpful to me was “Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion” by Shane Smith. You might find a used copy on Amazon or in your local library… or you may find a more updated book online. Another fantastic resource is your local cooperative extension or even a local garden club. I have always found that gardeners love to share info and plants. 🙂

      Good luck!

      There’s a science to buid

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