Dura-Bench Platforms Help Southern California Nursery Keep Growing
Paul Stevens says Southern California is the nursery capital of the United States. While there might be room for arguing, Stevens says there is no arguing that the Dura-Bench growing platform has helped his company grow better nursery-quality plants than they had previously.
Stevens is president of Stevens Specialty Plants, which is located north of San Diego. The wholesale nursery has been in operation for 40 years as a family business. Stevens has worked there the last 20 years. Stevens Specialty Plants has 15 greenhouses covering nearly 3 acres. They grow millions of six-inch flowering plants annually for florists across the United States and Canada. They have 30 full-time employees.
“Previously, we were growing plants on our floors. We knew we needed to raise the flats to improve airflow and drainage,” said Stevens. “Obviously, we had the option of using galvanized benching, but that’s expensive. Wood bench platforms are cheap, but the greenhouse environment is very unfriendly to wood when you factor in the heat, water, dirt, pesticides and herbicides. We opted for a bench surface that is STRONG, like a galvanized surface, and fairly INEXPENSIVE when you factor in durability. The Dura-Bench surface meets both criteria.”
One additional advantage that Stevens’ team had not thought of when they began installing the Dura-Bench platforms was that the plastic flats slid easily along the Dura-Bench surfaces.
“It was an added bonus for our workers, since they could slide the flats, rather than lifting them along the aisles. Had we used wooden or metal surfaces, the flats would not have been so easy to move around.”
Stevens Specialty Plants has had Dura-Bench platforms installed since 2003. The growing season is year-round in S. California, so Stevens has had ample opportunity to see how the platforms perform and bear up to use. “They are easy to install, provide flexible configuration options and allow for MAXIMUM AIRFLOW and DRAINAGE. The Dura-Bench growing platform perfectly fits our needs.”
“As expected, our results with the Dura-Bench platforms are better than growing plants on the floor, but I believe the Dura-Bench surfaces are a solid long-term investment.”