Rolling Benches

Any tool you choose to use in your greenhouse should provide greater functions in your day-to-day operations. Uniform lighting and controlled watering systems are aspects that can highly affect your annual yields, but there are other factors to consider when managing crop profitability. Benches, for instance, can increase the function of any grow room. While growing plants directly on the floor is an option, circumstances must be just so to see pleasing results. Without a well-drained floor or constant maintenance of proper plant bedding, grounded plants are considered a higher risk, and in many cases, impractical. 

For the majority of commercial greenhouse operations, benches are the answer to spaces that don’t allow for floor growth, or for those growers that find that system of growing unwarranted. Stable, easily drainable, and at a waist-level height, a proper benching system can optimize any operation. When strategically placed, benches can provide easy access to plants, making daily work within a greenhouse simpler, cutting down the time spent on checking plant health, irrigation, and other maintenance tasks. When imagining a grow operation, or reevaluating optimization, ask yourself:

  • How can space efficiency be optimized?

  • What is the optimal method of irrigation within this location?

  • How important is ease of movement, and is that ease here currently?

  • Will a bench cut down on overall operating costs?

 

What We Look For in a Bench System

When considering a bench review the questions above, seeing whether or not the bench in question can meet each particular grow room issue at hand. Finding a bench that can solve a few pitfalls is easy enough, however, finding a bench system that solves them all is more of a challenge. This is why the team at Monster Gardens highly recommends the FS brand and their rolling bench systems, both for smaller greenhouses as well as commercial operations. FS Rolling Benches exceed Monster Gardens’ standards, combining quality materials and design to enhance square footage, without compromising what’s already working for the grow room.

1. Bench Placement

For many commercial operations, bench placement is a key factor for cutting down operational costs and boosting profits. To understand if a grow room is operating with the greatest usage of square footage, first, look to the way a bench is placed in the room. From increased growing space to the health of plant species, there are clear factors that should go into a configuration decision. Although there are more than two arrangements that can benefit a space, the two we’ll focus on this article are peninsular, and longitudinal bench configurations. 

Peninsular

If plant species and care vary greatly in a singular greenhouse, a peninsular shape may be the most beneficial and efficient shape. With a design that emphasizes care routines over space, this configuration still adds a fair amount of growing space. Furthermore, this design is a labor saver. With one center walkway, seeking a segmented aisle is simple, leaving each environment under closer control.

Longitudinal

Allowing upwards of 50%-90% more plant space, using a longitudinal pattern can enhance any commercial grow room, specifically when paired with a rolling top. Take, for instance, the design of an FS Bench; by completely eliminating the need for a designated aisle, grow room square footage is utilized efficiently. 

Although some commercial growers may appreciate the segregation of plant species in the peninsular design, rolling benches are ideal for operations that consider space a greater concern than separation.

2. Space Efficiency with Rolling Benches

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At Monster Gardens, we believe that a rolling bench can provide adequate space to access plants with ease without compromising space efficiency. More grow room means a potentially higher plant volume, in turn, leading to higher annual profits. Whether the particular grow room in question is a small greenhouse or a sizable warehouse, bench space efficiency should be a top priority. 

 

Of course, with the growing popularity of rolling benches, some growers still show concern for lack of plant accessibility. However, it should be noted that there are many ways to implement this design without compromising accessibility, as FS Rolling Benches are simple to assemble and arrange to meet both the needs of an individual operation and those working within the grow room.

 

trellis

With an optional trellis system available with the FS brand, a trellis can be attached to either the sides or anywhere along the length of each bench. This trellis sleeve is welded to the top of the system’s mount to ensure that space efficiency is maximized. The horizontal top trellis bar slides directly onto the trellis poles, allowing for proper netting to be adjusted to a grower’s specifications. Regardless of brand, keep in mind that a grower will likely have to purchase appropriate EMT conduits separately for trellis systems. This is true with the FS Rolling Bench System as well as most other competitive brands. 

3. Material Strength & Support

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Rolling Trays

Stationary and rolling benches are only as good as the quality of the build material. Depending on the weight of plants, potting, trays, and irrigation systems, choose a bench system that will comfortably support the weight of their load. Assuming that each square foot will be supporting at least 25 pounds is a safe rule of thumb when considering any material.

We recommend materials that are built for longevity and resistance to rot. As the FS Rolling Benches are made from 12 gauge steel, a commercial grower has the piece of mind that each bench is formed for long-term integrity. Anti-rotation stop plates help prevent metal from twisting under heavier weights. Their standard bench sizes are built to git Botanicare’s Low Tide and OD Trays, as well as the added trellis mount system for the ultimate tray and vertical trellis post support. FS Bench systems come in both standard and custom sizing. 

FS Bench Standard Sizing

  • 3’x6’

  • 4’x4’

  • 4’x6’

  • 4’x8’

 

FS Bench Widths

  • 3" width = 14" cantilever 

  • 4' width = 18" cantilever

  • 4.5' width = 21" cantilever

  • 5' width = 24" cantilever

  • 5.5' width = 27" cantilever

  • 6' width = 30" cantilever

 

FS Bench Height

  • 18” (with 3” height adjustability)

  • 24” (with 3” height adjustability)

  • Custom heights also available

Tier Two Infinity racks

4. Compatibility with Preferred Irrigation System

Changing or updating benching shouldn’t mean changing an entire irrigation system. If a commercial grower knows they can use their current irrigation system to their advantage, finding benching that can accommodate that system is a priority. When using the FS Rolling Bench system, the benches themselves are supplied with the continuous fitted ebb and flow trays. These trays are ship directly from the manufacturer, which includes proper bench screens and bulkhead fittings for appropriate drainage.

 

5. Cost Efficiency

 Quite possibly the most critical factor in finding the right bench equipment for any greenhouse or grow room is its ability to be cost-effective. Of course, finding a system that improves both the quality and quantity of the yield will, in turn, prove to be efficient as well as profit boosting. At Monster Gardens we suggest finding benching that doesn’t force a commercial operation to change what is working for them currently, but rather, enhance the areas that aren’t. By choosing an FS Bench System the benefits are clear, and the return on investment is quick.  

  • Eliminating the need for a designated aisle

  • More plant space (up to 50%-90% more)

  • In turn, higher overall profits

  • No costly irrigation system switch

  • Customizable to fit the needs of a grow room

  • Designed with ease of access in mind

  • Simple to assemble, use, move, and disassemble

 

If you’re currently searching for a benching system or looking to improve your greenhouse with rolling benches, we can help you discover the brand that can make a major difference to the efficiency of your space. Settling on a bench brand and configuration can take time. Our hope is, with an FS Rolling Bench, your time will be saved and your investment will lead to higher yields and healthier plants.

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