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Greenhouse setup

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by xmpraedicta, Aug 17, 2022.

  1. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping to see images of your greenhouse benches and how you have them setup, or solicit any advice anyone might have. I'm trying to figure out the type of benches in my greenhouse, and most sources are whole-sale suppliers, which are expensive and not entirely appropriate for the hobbyist. I'm considering going the DIY approach with wooden benches, and would be curious to see how you arrange your plants, whether you have tiered systems, and any other tips or considerations (e.g. if I over-head water a bunch of plants, I don't necessarily want that water dripping onto plants below)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    No photos, as I no longer have a greenhouse, but I’ve had several different types of benches in different structures over the years.

    I made tiered benches using pressure treated stair stringers and 2x4’s. Worked well, but there was the opportunity to accidentally push plants off the shelves under the bench, but that can be remedied by placing barriers on the back edge. Looking from the end of the greenhouse, they were in a “\ /\ /“ arrangement, with two aisles. I later covered the tiers with hardware cloth, reducing spillage and allowing a bit better drainage for the pots.

    I replaced those with larger flat benches, again made of pressure treated lumber, but using plastic Dura Bench panels for the platforms. 1x6’s surrounded each bench. I liked them better, but I needed 3 aisles to be able to access both sides of the two long benches.

    The final evolutionary progression, was removing the legs from those benches, and placing them on a pipe frame with rolling pipes, giving me the ability to add a third bench and having a single “movable” aisle. If you can rig such a “rolling bench”, it’ll give you the most bench area.

    I watered from overhead, as well. To avoid water draining down onto other plants on the floor, I used thin, rigid plastic panels under the benches, to deflect it, but let’s face facts - there will be splashing from one plant to another, unless you space them out quite sparsely on the benches, and I know that’s not going to happen.

    Ome of the most interesting “bench” options I have ever seen was in a commercial greenhouse outside of Pittsburgh. There were zigzag rows of posts set in the ground, running the length of the structure. Relatively fine-mesh woven wire fencing was run down the length, and each plant had a hook in the pot and was hung on the fences. Not only did it give her 40% more length than a linear setup, but she had pots on both sides, which could be watered on a single pass.
     
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  3. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    Thanks Ray; I really love the idea of rolling benches with a movable aisle. I can't quite picture how they roll while still maintaining a walkable aisle, so I'll have to look into this. I have a tall wall for planted plants and a ladder to climb up, which might restrict how much rolling I can do
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Here are the benches I had built in a new intermediate house in July 2014. I was tired of kicking the saw horses that were holding up benches. The bench against the wall was cantilevered out from the wall. It is shown in the first 2 images. The last two images show the center bench which is free standing, but still has plenty of "toe room." All made with pressure treated wood.

    Obviously, it is time to pressure wash the walls.

    Wall.bench.#2a.jpg

    Wall.bench.#2.jpg

    Bench.free.standing.#2a.jpg

    Bench.free.standing.#2.jpg
     
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  5. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    Marni that looks lush!! How are those plants hung? Just wires from the top of the greenhouse? Is there anything under the egg crate plastic underneath or does it free drain to the ground below?