Garden Organization Ideas: How to keep your potting area tidy

You'll love these garden organization ideas. See how to keep your potting area looking great and keep track of all your tools and supplies!

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As my succulent collection has grown, so has the chaos in my gardening area. I've collected new tools and products and everything had piled up so much I knew something needed to be done.

Does this sound familiar?

Fortunately I found some really great products to help me get organized and now I'm loving how my gardening space looks! Plus, I can find everything I need when I need it.

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I want to share with you some of these tools and things I've learned along my garden organization journey. Hopefully you'll find a few things to help you stay more organized yourself!

The first thing I knew I wanted was a potting bench. I've been using whatever table or surface I can find for potting and I decided it was finally time to have a designated spot for all my potting supplies.

The other great thing about a potting bench is it's a great height for standing up while planting.

No bending over while I'm working and no aching back when I'm done.

I spent a lot of time looking for a potting bench and debating which one would be best for me. Here are some of the things I was looking for:

  • Not too expensive (less than $150)
  • Fairly sturdy (it wouldn't just blow away in the wind)
  • Storage area for keeping tools
  • At least one shelf for other storage bins
  • Lattice area for potting

I finally found the perfect one on Amazon. You can purchase it by clicking here. I was really happy with how durable the potting bench seemed, especially for the price.

One downside to this bench is it wasn't weather sealed. I also wanted something a brighter color. So, as a solution to both problems, I bought some spray paint. I decided to spray all the pieces of the potting bench before assembling it. While it probably looks a little bit better because of this, if I were to do it again I'd spray after it was put together.

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I also remembered why I don't do big DIY projects. It took a while to get the whole thing painted and I'm just not that patient. But, fortunately I had great tips for what to do. My friend Sara has an amazing ebook all about painting furniture, so I made sure to follow her directions. You can get the ebook here if you're interested.

This potting bench has been so great! I love that both top pieces are removable to it's easy to access the storage area. Plus, having the lattice area is awesome for potting plants. All the excess soil falls through to a bin in the storage area below. It makes for really easy clean up!

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Another thing I love about this particular potting bench is the plant shelf and hooks below it. Originally I thought I'd use the hooks for hanging tools, but I discovered it's a great place for my hanging wine bottle planters from Looking Sharp Cactus and my Hedge planter.

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I also like the plant shelf for storing smaller individual pots, like ones from Dalla Vita. It fits perfectly on the shelf — not too heavy and the perfect size. I also have a few other pots up there too. It looks decorative but it's also clean and simple.

Once the potting bench was ready to go, I got started organizing my tools and plants.

One of my biggest problems with organizing my potting area is keeping track of all my tools. Most of them are fairly small and I tend to leave them random places. Using a potting bench as my work space is a good start, but I knew I needed something to contain them.

My husband found this awesome Craftsman tool bag. We ended up getting several of them to put some of our hand tools in (like our drill and jigsaw), but I also use one now for my garden tools.

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Here's what I keep inside:

This bag has really been a lifesaver. Not only does it keep all my tools covered and protected, it gives them a home so I always know where they are. Plus, I can easily move them if I decide to work somewhere else for the day.

Another great addition to my garden were these plastic storage bins. They hold about 4 gallons which makes them a perfect place to store a 3.5 gallon bag of Bonsai Jack soil. It keeps the soil dry and protected so it's always ready to use. I actually put my tool bag in one of these bins as well when I'm done so the tools stay dry if it rains.

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I also use the bins for storing top dressingspottery and other odds and ends. I've found them to be really useful and a good size.

Now, let's talk plant organization. I have a lot of succulents. A lot. Some are perfectly planted in the arrangements you see here on the blog, but many are loose or in random containers, waiting for a more permanent home. I found a really great affordable solution for them! A wire shelving rack.

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This wire rack holds a lot of plants. Plus is pretty durable and holds up well in wind, rain, snow, etc. I also like that the shelves aren't solid, so my pots with drainage holes don't have to be raised for water to flow out.

There is a downside to the shelves being mesh though — smaller pots don't sit flat and tip easily on them. I have a lot of 2″ or 2.5″ plants that I've ordered from Mountain Crest Gardens for various projects and I haven't ended up using all of them. A really great solution I discovered is to place them on plastic fast food trays.

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The plastic trays are shallow so too much water doesn't build up. Plus, the trays give me an easy way to move plants around without having to pick up each one individually. The trays are especially handy when I move my succulents indoors for the winter because they protect my table surface from water, meaning I don't have to take all my plants to the sink when I water.

These trays have definitely been a great purchase!

Lastly, I want to show you my solution for my “garden of death” as my friend Laura Eubanks calls it (I'll tell you what is is in just a minute) and for propagating leaves.

The “garden of death” is a place “where succulents go to live or die, it's up to them”. Basically, it's a holding ground for succulents that have been beheaded or are otherwise struggling. No mealy bug infected plants though.

I use this to store leftover cuttings and base plants. Basically anything that no longer has a pot or home and just needs to grow for a while.

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I also have an area like this just for propagating leaves (at the bottom of the photo above). I haven't done very much leaf propagating lately, but I want to! So, this has been a great solution.

For both of these areas, I used a large plastic tray that came with an order of succulents from The Succulent Source. I ordered about 30 of their 2.5″ succulents and this tray was in the box with them. I guess I've done that at least twice since I have two 🙂

I lined the bottom of the tray with mesh tape since the mesh on the bottom of the tray was too wide for my soil. Then I filled them mostly with soil and voila! A garden of death and propagation station. These are my two favorite additions to my garden right now. I find myself using them constantly.

Whew! That was a lot of stuff! I can't even begin to tell you how helpful this organization process was. While I'm sure things may get out of hand again, I'm definitely happy with how things are at the moment.

It's so much easier to work and keep things tidy now that everything has a home! If you haven't considered organizing your potting area before, I highly recommend it!