How to Build Your Own DIY Greenhouse Bench
For a true DIY-selfer, making his or her own greenhouse bench is a natural extension to making his or her own DIY Greenhouse. Embedded to the right is a picture of a simple greenhouse bench you can make in one weekend. Once you make the first one, the others will be easy.
The dimensions, as far as the length goes, depend on your needs or the space you have in your greenhouse. It might be a good idea to make a few smaller benches, instead of one large one, so that you can move them and arrange them around the greenhouse as needed.
Don’t make the bench wider than 36 inches, or you will have difficulty-reaching plants at the back of the bench. The bench can be wider if it will be free-standing in the center of the greenhouse, accessible from all sides.
Measure your greenhouse floor before deciding on the dimensions of your bench or benches. This is particularly important if you have sloping walls, as your available floor space will be in fact much smaller than it looks.
Decide on the bench height depending on your height. If you are tall, indulge yourself and make the bench high enough so that you do not have to bend over to work on the plants. If your wife or partner is going to help you in the greenhouse, you will have to account for their height, otherwise they might quit soon after starting.
Material and Construction
The best wood to use for greenhouse benches is: cedar, redwood, treated pine or cypress. You might want to use waterproofing stain for protection and durability.
All you will need to start constructing your benches are some 2x4s for the frame and 1x4s for the slats. You might have some pieces lying around left over from some bigger project; always reuse such left over lumber when possible. This will help you save cost and help the environment!
Sand all pieces after you cut them and before nailing them, to avoid splinters. Make sure when you make the cuts in your lumber that you account for any sanding when making your measurements. Remember – measure twice, cut once!
Use carpenter’s glue before nailing, to make your bench as strong as possible.
Instead of using a central, diagonal brace, you can nail slats on the lower level as well, to use the space for tools and other materials.
If you want to make another, higher, tier; make it half the width of the bench it will rest on, so as to avoid shading plants below. Plants in shade will not grow as vigorously as in full light.
Use Your Imagination
Greenhouse benches can be made of many objects lying around your yard. The legs can be simple, cheap cinder blocks, and the tops can be anything from an old gate or door, to a packing crate and an old pallet. Some people like to use display shelves for their plants, especially if they have some lying around, but they are not suitable for heavier plants in big pots. If you are getting rid of your old fridge or stove, keep the shelves, they can make a nice, durable greenhouse bench top.
Greenhouse Bench Layout
Most DIY greenhouse kits come with at least a few shelves. The shelves are attached to the greenhouse wall frame and are suitable for smaller pots, hanging vines and bottles and jars of chemicals. If your greenhouse is big enough, line up benches along the walls and place one free-standing in the center, allowing enough space for easy moving around. Cramming benches too close will prevent good air circulation and you will have difficulty moving freely and working with ease.
You might start with one bench, but you will soon need more, so plan your greenhouse bench system with an eye for expansion. Some benches, like those made of wood, are easier, and cheaper, to add to, and you can even do it yourself. Even if it is the first DIY project in your life, you will be able to build a simple wooden greenhouse bench with a few pieces of lumber and a few nails, and it will cost you very little.
Greenhouse benches can be purchased with or without legs. Many people use cinder blocks to support bench tops. You can easily adjust the bench height by adding another layer of blocks. To make blocks more stable, you might want to stick a piece of rebar in the hollow center, or fill them with cement.
If you purchase your bench with legs, make sure that the legs are also made of durable, rust and rot-proof material. Your bench will be only as strong and stable as its legs.
Greenhouse benches are for your greenhouse as the furniture is for your home. You will want to buy the best you can afford, so that they last long, provide years of great service and not cost you hours of work on their maintenance.
After all your greenhouse benches are in place, you can finally start having some fun. Once you bring some plants to their new home and plant some seeds for the next spring, you might think of another piece of furniture for your DIY Greenhouse: a nice, comfortable bench for yourself, where you can have a cup of tea and enjoy watching the fruits of your labor.