To increase production in a nursery or garden, nursery equipment such as a metal plant bench is often necessary. It serves a vital function in the nursery and garden operation. Metal plant bench is a stable and well-drained platform where plants grow.
To make the best buying decision, it is important to know certain things about a metal plant bench before purchasing one. For the convenience of nursery workers, gardeners and plant enthusiasts, here is a quick guide about the 7 important things to know about metal plant bench. Read on below.
1. What are the risks in the nursery?
Under certain circumstances, nursery workers and gardeners grow their plants directly on the floor of a nursery or even in a garden. With this method, the floor is required to be well-drained. This is usually used for bedding plant growers specially in large units.
However, the constant bending may be tiring for the nursery workers. Gardeners are also at risk of getting back pain and other related injuries caused by manual handling tasks. Manual handling tasks involve activities like repeatedly placing and collecting potted plants on the ground.
Because of the impracticality of using a nursery floor for growing plants, the use of a metal plant bench is recommended.
2. Uses of Metal plant bench
A metal plant bench in the nursery and garden has many uses. Below are some of them.
- With the use of a metal plant bench, plants are placed at a more convenient height where nursery workers and gardeners can work comfortably.
- Metal plant benches allow a more effective display of plants.
- It can provide better air circulation and environmental control around plants.
- Metal plant bench also permits better disease and growth control.
3. Benefits of using a metal plant bench
Metal plant benches are a popular choice for nursery workers and gardeners since it is sturdy and long lasting. They are durable especially when carrying heavy plants.
Apart from that, they need less maintenance. It can also make the nursery and garden more stylish. Although they are expensive, it is a one-time cost only. They can last for decades so the ROI is reasonably high.
Moreover, they don’t soak up water. Compared to wood benches, metal plant benches have resistance to rot and decay.
4. What types of metal plant benches are available?
There are 2 common types of metal plant benches in the market today. These are the following:
Galvanized steel – They are a popular choice among gardeners for their longevity and resistance to rot and decay. They are strong and can support at least 40 kilograms.
Aluminium – This metal plant bench is lightweight and durable. They are rust-resistant and maintenance-free. It provides good drainage and air circulation. Nevertheless, they are not suitable for heavy and large pots.
5. Metal plant bench size
The height of a metal plant bench should be customised according to the individual operation. Choosing the best height depends on several factors. These may include the height and reach of the person working, aisle access in the nursery and the type of plants grown on the benches.
A taller person who has a longer reach can work comfortably on a higher and wider metal plant bench. Likewise, for an average-sized worker, a suitable height for metal plant bench should be around 80-90cm.
Generally, metal plant benches should be around 70-105 cm wide. This is suitable for plant benches that can be worked from both sides of the nursery. However, if there’s limited space, the width can be approximately 75-90 cm. This is also the ideal width if the metal plant bench is accessible only from one side.
6. Metal plant bench arrangement
The arrangement of the metal plant bench in the nursery has many factors. These include the dimension of the nursery and its walkway location, the heating and air circulation patterns in the nursery and garden and the material handling into and out of the nursery.
Furthermore, it is important to consider the bench-to-aisle space ratio in the nursery and garden. To have efficient production and to maximise the usable space, the aisle should be less than 1/4 to 1/3 of the total nursery area.
Types of bench arrangements
Here are the 3 types of bench layouts or arrangements. Read on below.
A peninsular bench arrangement is used when the growing area of the nursery and garden needs to be maximised. This arrangement is suitable for pot-grown plants. This is because it is a good layout for separating different types of plants. A nursery worker and gardener also requires plenty of space to walk between aisles. Thus, they can perform routine tasks easier.
- Longitudinal arrangement
On the other hand, longitudinal arrangement runs along the full length of the nursery. This layout is commonly used for fresh cut flowers production. In this arrangement, routine tasks such as plant watering are easier compared to peninsular.
- Rolling arrangement
Lastly, rolling bench arrangement can increase growing space up to 90%. In this layout, the nursery worker can move the tabletops from one side to the other. In this way, aisles are created between metal plant benches when and where necessary.
7. Metal plant bench design
A metal plant bench has 2 distinct metal plant bench designs. Please see below.
- Flat – These are simply “tables” where plants are placed.
- Tiered – As its name suggests, these benches have a “stair-steps” design that allows better display of plants.
A flat and tiered metal plant bench can either have a solid/open or closed bottom.
- Solid or Open – This bottom design provides a maximum amount of air circulation to plants. On top of that, plant diseases are reduced.
- Closed – Metal plant benches with closed bottoms are used when a crop is to be planted directly in the soil that is contained on the bench. The tabletop of this type of bench may have a few centimetres of sand or gravel for pot plants. The sand or gravel can provide a solid base where plants can be placed. Thus, problems such as tipping can be minimised.
Choosing a metal plant bench can be a formidable task for a nursery worker and gardener. Thus, it is very important to plan and research metal plant bench ahead of time. The things mentioned above are some of the factors that a nursery worker/gardener must consider.
If you are looking for a quality metal plant bench in Sydney, a reputable metal plant bench supplier can provide it for you. Other products that they supply include shade houses, plant barrow and trolleys, trailers, potting table and many more.