How to organize a greenhouse

Transparent greenhouse garden

Here we share our way of organizing a greenhouse guide, including the use of zones, ideas for pots, why use adjustable shelves and other effective greenhouse tips.
In a disorganized greenhouse, you end up spending more time searching for the supplies you need and getting frustrated with inefficiency than you do gardening.

Follow these tips to organize your greenhouse, making it a comfortable and productive place to spend time.

Divide the greenhouse into zones

Spend a day in the greenhouse just observing the sunlight. Some areas may be in direct sunlight throughout the day, while other corners may receive indirect light during most daylight hours.

Some parts of the greenhouse may be shady. You can use tape to mark the different areas so you know exactly where to place plants according to their solar requirements.

Areas that are in full shade or are less desirable for plants should become dedicated storage areas for tools and supplies. Cluster hoses and water jugs around the water tap for easy access.

You will also want to establish a work area when you think about how to organize a greenhouse. Ideally, it should be in a partially shaded area to keep you cool while you work.

Design around the pot bench

The pot bench is where you will spend most of your time in the greenhouse. It should be close to a water source and not too far from any of your frequently used supplies.

Most gardeners prefer a counter-height pot bench where they can work on plants of different sizes without having to bend over.

You should not use your potty bench for permanent storage as it reduces the amount of space you have to work and can make greenhouse tasks more frustrating.

Instead, install shelves or use storage solutions under the bench to get the most out of your space when planning how to organize a greenhouse.

Use adjustable shelving

Instead of mounting shelves permanently on the walls, consider storage options with adjustable shelves. Wire rack shelves usually have four posts with adjustable plugs.

By moving the plugs up or down, you can easily adjust the shelves to give tall plants enough space.

Be careful not to store large containers of soil on high shelves. Not only will they be difficult to get down without harming yourself, but they can also block sunlight from reaching your plants. Read more about our guide at indoor plants that like direct sunlight here.

Use storage under the bench

The best place for tools, potting soil, pots and other garden tools is under the pot bench. This shady area is not great for storing plants, but it is perfect for having easy access to the things you use most often.

Store occasionally used items against the back of the bench, against the wall. Consider hanging your favorite tools from the sides or front edge of the pot bench for the easiest access.

You can also grab a set of plastic drawers for storage under your potty bench and group similar items together.

Using clear plastic helps you keep track of what’s inside the drawers. If you use opaque drawers, consider labeling the drawer with the contents of a large, easy-to-read font.

Stacking boxes are another good option and will, like drawers, help keep your supplies safe from moisture and insect infestation. Read more about our guide on the different ones backyard greenhouse ideas here.

Use a labeling system

Not only do you have to label containers you can’t see inside, make sure you label your plants! As plants grow, their appearance changes, which can make it hard to remember exactly what you planted in those pots last week.

Wood paint mixers are one of the simplest ways to label your plants. Use a permanent marker to write the name of the plant on the paint stirrer and throw it into the ground. This will help when you are thinking about how to organize a greenhouse.

For smaller pots, popsicle sticks are a good alternative. You can also buy spells at a garden supply center. Clothespins are another cheap and easy labeling solution.

At the very least, the name of the plant should be visible. If you want to be even more organized, consider taking a sheet of circular stickers with several different colors.

Decide a meaning for each color on the sticker. It can refer to how much light the plant needs to thrive, or how often it needs to be watered.

When growing both edible and inedible plants, consider adding a symbol to your plant game that indicates whether the plant is intended for the plate. This is especially effective in ensuring that you do not accidentally apply anything toxic to a plant you intend to eat.

Hang hooks from the ceiling

To get the most usable space out of a greenhouse with a small footprint, think about hanging hooks from the ceiling for plants in hanging baskets.

Make sure you still have enough space to move around the greenhouse without knocking yourself out. Read more about our guide on how to grow greenhouse plants here.

One in, one out

Chances are you will quickly fill your greenhouse with plants. It is common for gardeners to think that they have room to squeeze in one more thing.

While buying new plants can make you happy, a greenhouse stuffed with gills is uncomfortable and frustrating to work with, which increases the joy you get from this activity.

You should always have a little extra space to move pots around for optimal placement. As your greenhouse begins to approach fullness, introduce an ‘one in, one out’ rule.

In other words, if you bring a new plant into the greenhouse, you will need to find a new home for one of the existing residents.

If you use your greenhouse to prepare seedlings for transfer to the ground, this cycle happens naturally. If your greenhouse is the only plant area you have, consider bringing mature plants into your home or giving them away to appreciative friends.

Host A Garden Swap

A fun way to get in touch with other gardeners is to have a plant and supply exchange. Maybe you have a favorite plant pot size or shape and have put together a collection that is too large for you to reasonably work through.

Or maybe you have sown more plants than you have room for but can’t bear to throw them away. Get in touch with other gardeners and choose a time and place to meet.

Everyone should bring their extra supplies and plants and lay them out on the ground. Then each person takes away only the supplies they want. Give the remaining supplies to a common garden. See more related content in our article on the best vertical garden ideas on this side.