Potting Sheds Vs. Greenhouses For Your Yard: How To Choose Between Them

Potting sheds and greenhouses have been reliable options for gardeners who want to grow plants all year long. These structures are generally built within the yard space of any house. In many cases, gardeners seek professional help to build their potting shed or greenhouse.  

If you’re planning to start home gardening soon, you may want to know more about potting sheds and greenhouses first. In layman’s terms, potting sheds are structures that can be used to grow plants and store tools and gardening materials. In contrast, greenhouses are storage buildings intended to grow plants, which protects them from bad weather conditions. 

If you’re choosing between the two, here’s an article to help you with your decision. This way, you could choose the structure that suits your gardening needs best. So, read on! 


Gardening stores and service providers may give different requirements for potting sheds and greenhouses. For example, South West Greenhouses says that your potting shed should face south to get the most sun into the windows as possible. On the contrary, you can install greenhouses anywhere, as it could adjust their temperature setting. 

In many situations, potting sheds function as storage spaces for tools, such as shovels, hoses, and trowels. They may only need durable hardwood or other building materials to construct them.

In addition, these sheds could keep plants, especially the potted ones. Apart from these, potting sheds may also have the following: 

Potting Table 

Potting tables are where gardeners do most of their jobs, such as potting plants, mixing soil, or preparing amendments. In many cases, the potting tables are made from reclaimed wood, barn floors, or old kitchen countertops. They may also come in various forms and sizes and could be attached to the wall or ground or free-standing. 

Beautiful plants, gardening tools, and accessories on green grass near wood slat wall

Potting Soil 

Generally, there is a vast array of potting soil in the shed. There could be loam, sandy, and clay types. In some cases, to cut preparation time, gardeners also buy ready-made garden soil. 

Soil Amendments 

Soil amendments refer to the organic fertilizer and any materials used to add nutrients to the soil. For better use, you could place the amendments in containers and a cool and dry place. 

In contrast, greenhouses are built on foundations, beams, and walls typically made of galvanized steel, iron, aluminum, wood, and tempered glass for the glazing material. In addition, they also need a heating and ventilation system, reliable water supply, thermometer for temperature monitoring, and access to electricity.

Greenhouses dedicate most of their space to growing and keeping plants. Thus, there’s limited space for the tools and other miscellaneous items. Because of this, soil preparation and potting of plants are typically done outside of the greenhouse. In choosing a greenhouse, gardeners may also consider if the structure has available space for tools or seed storage.  


On the one hand, potting sheds should be built in an area with open space for sunlight. Also, you may build them against a wall to retain the heat better, as they’re out of exposed or windy areas in this location. If a property has irregular spaces for new structures, building a potting shed could be rather challenging. 

On the other hand, greenhouses could be built technically anywhere, as long as there’s flat space for the greenhouse’s foundation, wall, and corners. 

Sunlight Exposure 

Potting sheds have wooden or concrete walls that block sunlight. Generally, their glass windows are only the parts of the structure where light could pass through.

Because of this, they need to be built in areas where there’s adequate sunlight exposure at any time of the day.

For greenhouses, the plants receive a vast amount of light and heat that could help their growth because the walls, roofs, and other covers are generally made of glass, allowing the sunlight to easily pass through in the daytime.


Potting sheds are more durable than greenhouses, as the wooden materials of the shed make them resistant to extreme temperature, wind, and elements.

The wood and steel materials could even support the glass windows of the shed. In addition, they are typically anchored in the ground with better foundation or low beams. 

In greenhouses, the glasses are more exposed to damages, especially during a stormy season. The volume of glasses also makes the building more susceptible to severe damages.

To avoid this, gardeners choose high-quality glazing materials to maintain the greenhouse’s strength despite any inclement weather. 

Temperature Control 

The temperature setting in potting sheds is in an unpredictable pattern. Normally, the structure has a consistent heat level for 4-6 hours a day—the time when the sun is at its peak.

To address the need for heat or sunlight, gardeners may install more windows and improve ventilation to have a better sunlight collection. 

In contrast, greenhouses could have a standard temperature and humidity level suitable for plant growth all season. This way, growing plants, especially the temperature-sensitive types, is more manageable in greenhouses than potting sheds. 

Overall, both potting sheds and greenhouses should have proper heating, shading, and ventilation to ensure that plants can survive. 

Cost of Potting Sheds vs. Greenhouses

Potting sheds are generally cheaper than greenhouses. Because most of their materials are old wood, their construction expenses are way lower than greenhouses.

On the contrary, the glazing and siding materials, the length of labor, and the possible replacement of the glasses make the greenhouses more expensive than potting sheds.

In addition, greenhouses have continuous operational expenses for thermostats, fans, and heaters. Because of these necessities, your electric bill could increase. Greenhouses also need gardening and farming supplies to ensure proper plant growth and care.

Installation And Maintenance 

Both the sheds and the greenhouses have installation and maintenance needs and challenges. Sheds could be erected and undergo repairs within a day, while the installation and repairs of greenhouses may take more time, depending on the extent of the damage or scope of work.

Furthermore, greenhouses need to regulate a special climate system, so higher maintenance is necessary.

Plants Grown

Potting sheds could cultivate plants that could grow in containers. Plants that require special care, such as heating and better ventilation, may not thrive in sheds.

In contrast, greenhouses could grow plants out of their season, which means that greenhouses could breed a better variety of crops and plants.

Final Verdict 

In choosing between potting sheds and greenhouses, you may need to assess your needs first. Are you thinking of growing a lot of plants? Or would you prefer a building that could grow fewer plants but with complete gardening essentials?  

Apart from these, you may also consider your available space. Is it flat and spacious enough for a greenhouse? Or is it facing the northern direction? The answers to these questions could help you choose which structure is fit for you.

After choosing the one that fits your needs and space, you may start consulting with experts who could help you build your greenhouse or potting shed.