Some say that growing plants and vegetable on raised benches is a waste of space, but if you are using the undersides of your shelves for storage or for keeping your seeds that you are just starting the don’t need the sun but need the heat you are using your space wisely. So what kinds of shelving are used in the greenhouse?
Lets start by defining what the differences are between shelving and benches. Shelving is often thought of as attached to the interior of your greenhouse walls permanently (or at least with screws) and benches are a series of stacked benches that are set in the greenhouse but are not attached to the walls of the greenhouse.
Using shelving in the greenhouse just requires a little planning in order to get it ‘just right’ because you won’t want shadows over the other shelves where your plants sit, so you most likely will be using some type of clear see through or wire shelving that allows the sunlight through where possible. Using these types of shelving allows the lower shelves to get some amount of sunlight. If you are using wood or metal shelving you are going to have more shadows on the lower shelves. When you have shadows on the lower shelves you could be prolonging the growing stages of the plants on the lower shelves. If your shelves are packed full with plants, flowers and vegetables all the time, it really won’t matter what type of shelving you try or want to use because you will cause shadows on the lower shelving with full shelves on the top areas.
Any one can make shelving or benches out of wood. This is the least expensive to make but you may need to replace them every so many years because the moisture will absorb into the wood and then the wood will rot. You can prolong the life of the wood by sealing or varnishing the wood before using it in the greenhouse. If you are using wood for your shelving or benches you might also want to consider drilling a few holes every few feet just so that standing water will drain down through the benches and shelving. When you water the plants, you are often left with puddles of water on the wooden benches from the draining plants.