The thing about greenhouse benches is a lot of people will try to overcrowd them in their greenhouses. You don’t want all of your plants to be crammed in there like sardines. That is not good for the general health of the plants. They need room to breathe just like we do. Also, you need enough space between plants so that you are able to get in there and work on each individual plant – deadheading, checking the water, etc. Tops of the benches should be slatted or configured somehow for draining. I prefer UV resistant or rot resistant materials. Our fiberglass benches have a UV protected top to help keep the sun from damaging it. Cedar and redwood benches are nice also. Although a lot of people will recycle and use concrete blocks with rows of 2 x 4’s on top of them. It really doesn’t have to be fancy. The most important thing is that it has drainage. I recommend a maximum width of 3′ for benches along the walls. You can use a 4′ bench for a center row, as you can work it from both sides of the aisle. A lot of people will try to overcrowd the benches as well. I really don’t like to put a center bench in a greenhouse narrower than 16′. I like to leave at least a 30″ walkway. This will give you room to carry the plants in and turn around without bumping into them. Let’s not forget that some of our beauties may be trailing varieties and may find their way into the walkway all on their own. Another feature you can use is shelves. You may attach these to the greenhouse and be used at bench height, or you can place them above the bench for additional storage. Just remember to consider the you may be shading the plants below a shelf. Shade loving plants can be placed on the ground underneath the benches. Also, the Southern Burner greenhouse heater can be placed under a bench so as to not use up valuable floor space. We attached a piece of metal under our bench to keep the water from running directly on our heater. We make it longer and slope it to the back so that the water will drain out past the heater. Another nice feature to consider for your greenhouse would be a potting bench. You can keep all of your tools and equipment organized and in the same place. They come in pretty handy.
Here is our latest video in “The Greenhouse Minute” series.