Gardening is gaining serious momentum as informed consumers become more active in their quest to put the best food possible on the dinner table. If growing flowers, herbs or ornamental plants is your passion, gardening provides a great outlet for reducing stress while you create and enjoy a beautiful outdoor oasis.
One thing that every gardener can use and appreciate is a place to get organized. A sturdy potting table with an ample surface to plant seeds in starter trays or transfer potted plants to larger containers is ideal. The potting table is gardening central — a place for your gardening tools, potting and planting supplies, and to work efficiently. I made my own potting table, but you can use any sturdy work surface, whether it’s a folding table, or a spare counter top in a garage or shed.
Here are 8 more essential tips that will help keep you and your gardening efforts organized:
- Repurpose a clothes hamper as a storage bin for gardening supplies. To keep the potting table area organized and attractive, I placed a vintage metal clothes hamper next to my potting table. It is one that I rescued from a neighbor’s curbside discards. If you can’t locate a metal one at a flea market or junk store, a weather resistant wicker hamper would also be suitable for the task. Spray paint it to match your bench. Stock the hamper with bags of potting soil, perlite, sand, plant food, or fertilizer. Keep a coffee cup or scoop inside the bag of potting soil to scoop out the soil.
- When it’s time to prune, plant or weed the garden, fill a wood-handled tool box with garden gloves, seed packets and hand tools to conveniently carry to your flower bed or garden site.
- Organize your planting and gardening projects with a calendar, and keep it handy on the potting table. Staple a seed packet to the corresponding month for each type of flower, fruit, or vegetable that needs to be planted. Also, make notations on your calendar as to what month you need to purchase additional seeds or plants, and when it’s time to harvest, mulch and fertilize the lawn and plants.
- Keep a file box on the bottom shelf of your potting table filled with hanging file folders with dividers for each month of the year that you garden. File seed packets under the month they should be planted. Store your gardening calendar and planting guides in the file box too for quick reference.
- To keep garden hand tools from rusting, fill a small bucket or attractive garden pot without drainage holes with sand. Add ¼ cup of motor oil. Stir to combine. Wipe your hand tools clean and insert into the sand after using.
- Organize and store your small garden hand tools and supplies in a portable toolbox on your potting table. Keep a pair of scissors or a pocket knife in the tool box to cut open bags of potting soil and fertilizer. A measuring tape will also come in handy when spacing plants as you transfer them to the garden or flower bed. Your toolbox should also be stocked with a hand pruner, garden snips, hand trowel, hand cultivator, hand hoe, tool sharpener, and gardening knife. To prevent hand tools from rusting, place a charcoal briquette or a muslin bag filled with kitty litter inside the toolbox to absorb moisture.
- When gardening season is in full swing, you’ll want your hand tools and supplies close at hand. Install several cup hooks on one end of the gardening table to keep a hand trowel, garden snips, hand whisk broom, rags, and gardening gloves within quick reach.
- Quality stainless steel trays and bowls will not rust and are easy to sanitize, thus are ideal for use on the potting bench. A large stainless steel bowl recessed in the surface of the table allows you to collect loose potting soil when transferring plants to larger containers. Or you can use a large stainless steel tray to catch soil when potting plants, so none goes to waste.