It doesn’t matter if you’re a gardener or a houseplant lover, caring for plants takes a lot of time and a lot of supplies. From watering cans to moisture meters to gardening gloves to trowels to fertilizer and everything in between, it can take up a lot of space. That’s why we wanted to find out how plant pros organize their plant care supplies. We were really curious to see how things differed between gardeners and people who predominantly care for indoor plants.
Meet the Expert
- Joe Clark shares gardening and plant tips at @joesgarden on TikTok.
- Niels Thorlaksson is Director of Horticulture at Lettuce Grow.
- Susanne Zirkiev shares her love of plants at @susannezirkiev on TikTok.
- Matt Aulton is Head Grower at Plant Proper.
As it turns out, no matter what preferred plants were, the responses weren’t too different from each other. Of course, everyone has a personal preference, but the main things stayed the same. So if you’re looking for some tips on how to organize your own plant care supplies, take a look at how these pros keep theirs.
Pick a Designated Spot
When it comes to organization, everyone is different. “I would love to say I have a very organized garden, but that would be a massive lie,” says Joe Clark of @Joesgarden, a TikTokker with over one million followers. “All too often these days on social media we are only shown the perfect examples of whatever it may be that we are looking at! The reality is, in my garden, I have a really bad habit of not putting things back in their spots.”
Having a designated spot for everything, and putting it there, can help with this. As long as you know where your things are, it’ll make caring for your plants a lot easier. “I organize and display my plant supplies on a shelving unit my father and I built together in his woodworking shop, along with an IKEA pegboard,” says Susanne Zirkiev, another popular TikTkoker with nearly 100k followers. “It doubles as a plant shelf in my living room and has two shelves that are completely dedicated to my supplies, including soil, pest control tools, extra pots, microfiber cloths, and plant stakes,” says Zirkiev. Keeping supplies close to your plant collection is helpful as well.
And if you’re gardening outside, your supplies should be outside or close to an outdoor access point. “I actually keep all my supplies by the garage area in a container box (for dry supplies) and also a watering bucket (for wet supplies) where I keep all my tools to dig up the soil before I install my plants in my garden,” says Matt Aulton, head grower at Plant Proper.
Take It on the Go
When you have a lot of plants, your plant care supplies needs to have the ability to go mobile. We’ve seen people use trolleys, caddies, and even wheelbarrows. What you choose to house your supplies in will vary depending on where you garden. “Our garden is over 200 feet long, and once you have carried one bag of compost that far you will be going out and buying a wheelbarrow straight away!" says Clark. "Our one is so old and rusty, but a bit of oil from time to time and a new wheel once in a while—and it’s as good as new."
Caddies are one of our favorite ways to store supplies. “I like to use a caddy or a small box for most small things," says Niels Thorlaksson, Director of Horticulture at Lettuce Grow. "I prefer using a caddy to a bag or tray, because I can get all the items standing up so they are easy to get to." And it does make a massive difference when you can see everything that you have. It also allows you to restock with ease when you know you’re running low on something and keeps you from buying duplicates of tools and supplies.
Group Your Supplies
If you’re working with a larger space, like an outdoor garden, grouping your supplies together is key. “Due to the nature of organic gardening, I do not have many supplies," explains Clark. "What I do have I try to organize in four categories: basic tools, water and watering supplies, pots and soils, and seeds/bulbs and plant feed." Separating your supplies into categories is really helpful so you know what you have and where to find it, even if you didn't put it back in the exact same spot as it was. And if you’re gardening outdoors you can always separate it by wet and dry supplies. “For example, my plant food, neem oil, watering container (when cleaned and dried), root hormone, and more I keep in my dry category, and my actual gardening tools that will get dirty from the soil I keep in my bucket,” says Aulton.
Another great way of grouping your supplies is by keeping the things you use at the same time, together. “I keep my pruning shears, gloves, and hat together since I usually use those all at the same time," says Thorlaksson. "Similarly, I keep my plant food and pH testing supplies together, since those are also used in tandem."
You can also place anything that you may not use often, on a higher shelf or in a basket. “Tools I use most often are on display while items I reach for less often are hidden away in baskets,” says Zirkiev. The use of open shelves and baskets is a great way to store things while adding to your decor. Plus, it can be incredibly functional. “One basket is dedicated to ceramic and nursery pots while the other is full of soil mixes and add-ins,” says Zirkiev. "My pegboard has all of my potting tools such as my planting tarp, shears, shovel, and gardening Velcro. My pest control items like Neem oil and systemic solution are displayed openly on my shelves alongside any fertilizers I use regularly."