Greenhouse Makeover

In 2022 I purchased this greenhouse intending to turn it into a “she shed” and a spot to plant and pot. However, instead of being a haven of horticultural wonders, the greenhouse became a storage unit for gardening tools, smelly fertilizers and a hideout for forgotten potted plants.

While it has been great for starting seeds (and to be honest storage) it wasn’t the beautiful retreat I had envisioned where I would truly want to spend any time. I knew a little TLC was needed to turn this lackluster greenhouse into the ultimate lovely workspace.

I would love to tell you that I accomplished this transformation of my own volition but that’s a lie. What truly got my butt in gear was hosting a garden tour at the house and for me, there’s no better motivation for a makeover than a group of guests. Isn’t it funny how you start seeing all the flaws when you are expecting company? Oh, the horror!

I started with a hose with mister, shelving fitted with heat pads for propagating seeds and a chandelier from Ikea. Then added a vintage armoire for shelving (found by a garden designer helper Wendy who strong-armed me into getting it and I’m so glad she did), plus a garden table I found at Home Goods. Yes, Home Goods. The rug was delivered overnight just in the nick of time à la Amazon.

So I’m all set up this year to get my tomatoes started from seed in style so they are ready to get in the ground on March 19th!

The Essentials:

My greenhouse is the oasis, but the inspiration was one I saw at Botanik years ago.

Some heat mats have a thermostat control so you can control the heat better but these simple ones work great for me.

I like these planting trays best. They make the seedlings easier to transplant because of the soft bottom. I don’t do the smaller cells because I’m lazy and don’t want to replant. I normally put three seeds in each cell and plant more than I need for insurance. If I end up with extra, I share them with friends. More tips on planting tomatoes and the summer garden here.

This is the organic planting soil I used for seeding. It’s fine texture and nutrient-dense nature help with planting and sprouting success.

A mist nozzle attached to a hose is really important for watering—so the seeds don’t get displaced. You can pick them up at just about every garden nursery.

I’m obsessed with these hoses. They are sturdy and I love the natural colors. You can get them at Island Seed and Feed, too!

Try to stick with a local reliable source for tomato plants. I rarely buy seeds on Amazon because you never know how old they are, and if they are old the germination rate is low—which is a total pain! For Santa Barbara locals, I can’t sing the praises of Island Seed and Feed enough. They procure only the best heirloom and organic products with no GMO. If you don’t live nearby, check out online organic options here.