Dura-Bench Helps Maryland Greenhouse Grow
Greenhouses never get hot enough to melt plastic bench tops, but they do get warm enough to warp some of them, at least that’s the experience of Pleasant Valley Greenhouse, a family-owned wholesale nursery in northern Maryland, near the Pennsylvania border. That’s one of the reasons Robert Brenneman, president of PVG, says they switched to Dura-Bench. Brenneman has been at the helm of the 28,000-square-foot nursery since 2000. PVG primarily grows bedding plants and vegetable plants. The nursery primarily does business with other garden centers and retail sales to homeowners. PVG installed Dura-Bench platforms in 2003.
Brenneman says the Dura-Bench platforms hold up better in the heat of the greenhouse. Some of the other plastic bench top brands he has used tended to warp once the temperature edged close to 100 degrees, as it can in the summer.
“The pressure from the weight of the flats, combined with the heat, made other plastic tops give a little, and they bent in the middle and pulled away from the wood frames. This didn’t affect the plants, but it did make it hard to slide flats around from table to table. The Dura-Bench surfaces are strong and hold their shape. Operationally, it makes a difference.”
Brenneman has said the Dura-Bench platforms are SMOOTHER and have NO ROUGH EDGES, like metal bench tops that are sometimes used. He also likes the fact that they PREVENT BACTERIAL and FUNGAL INFECTIONS from taking hold in the plants, since the plastic has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
“The Dura-Bench product cost half as much as other plastic bench tops and is more reliable. Certainly, might have been a little cheaper to use wooden plant platforms, but we know the wooden platforms create situations that are ideal for plant rot and disease, once the wood gets wet.
“We are a small, regional operation. Our customer base falls within a 50-mile radius. Our reputation for quality is crucial to maintain. Furthermore, if we sell products that are diseased, our replacement costs would eat our lunch. Dura-Bench helps us maintain the quality we need. We would definitely recommend it to other growers.”