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All Seasons Plant Bench

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(Last Updated On: February 27, 2022)

All Seasons Plant Bench

I designed this bench for holding my potted plants in my nursery for all seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall, and yes, even our nasty Zone 5 or 6 Winter.

If you are like me and don’t have the space to set out all your plants in nice rows and sections, then maybe this is for you.

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In my opinion, you gotta start by laying down some good black nursery plastic on the ground first. This will help keep the weeds and grass under control.

Next comes the benches

The bench I designed is 3 feet wide and 8 feet long. That is a convenient size for reaching plants from either side. You can make it wider by using different fencing and making the cross pieces longer.

I use common fencing stapled to 2 x 4s for the tops. I find that using T-50 staples and an air compressor makes the job go easier.

The length is totally up to you, but I don’t recommend going longer than 10 feet without an extra set of support legs in the center.

These benches keep plants at a convenient height for viewing, pruning, watering, and also weeding. No bending down to the ground for these necessary tasks any longer.

The benches also help prevent most weed seeds from blowing or falling into the pots. By using a pre-emergent herbicide, you will have very few weeds to remove.

Customers also like to be able to see plants up close instead of bending over to look at them or to pick them up.

A little shady…

Plants can be kept under the benches during summer as well if you are lacking shady locations for shade plants or just lack space like me. This in effect doubles your space for keeping plants.

The pots sit on top of the benches from Spring on through Fall. The plants are placed under the bench and between the legs when Winter is approaching

The bench is then covered with white plastic for Winter. Don’t use clear plastic of any kind. It must be white nursery plastic or painted white at the very minimum.

The clear plastic will create a greenhouse effect, causing the plants to heat up during the day, only to freeze at night. Too much temperature variation for the plants to survive the extremes.

The plants will still freeze with the white plastic, but it doesn’t allow the sun to heat them up.

Plants go dormant and stay that way until Spring with more even temperatures.

Additional Winter protection

The benches also protect the plants from harsh and nasty weather conditions. They are out of the drying winds that rob moisture from potted plants.

Snow damage is eliminated as well. Around here, we get some snowfall and then it will melt. When the pots are frozen solid, and also frozen to the ground, that melted snow accumulates in the top of the pots.

This causes the crowns of plants to rot from the standing water. Being covered, there is no ponding effect.

Pros:

  • Easy to work on plants, viewing, watering, pruning, and weeding
  • Weed seed gets blown into pots much less
  • Space-saving with top and bottom use
  • Not many rabbits can reach plants to munch on
  • Less critter damage
  • Better customer interaction
  • Useful shade creation underneath
  • Tidy and organized appearance to the nursery
  • Convenient winter storage and protection for plants
  • Air prunes any adventurous root

Cons:

  • Initial construction cost and time
  • Plants can get knocked off by the wind, animals, or people
  • Capacity is limited to the size of the benchtop
  • Might bump into a corner once in a while
  • Umm, can’t think of anything else

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