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Made In Britain Homegrown Company
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What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging?

What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging?

24 minute read

We are often asked by customers ‘what is the best height for greenhouse staging?’ and with over 49 years of experience manufacturing and supplying staging for greenhouses we can not only help with knowing what heights of staging are available but also as we manufacture staging, we can also make it to any height!

So, let’s take a look at what affects the height of the staging we should use in our greenhouse and this will help you to make the correct choice. 

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? It Depends On You 

    When you are considering the height of your greenhouse staging you want it to be a good working height. We often recommend measuring the height of your kitchen work surface – kitchen surfaces have been designed to be a comfortable working height for the ‘average’ person, so this is a great place to start.

    When we checked our worksurface it measures 36 inches / 91cm high.

    your staging height depends on your

    What you also should consider is the height of the person who is going to be using the greenhouse the most. You can be stood at your greenhouse staging for long period of time – sowing seeds, potting up, watering etc. – and you want to be able to work in comfort, without having to bend or stretch too much.

    Ideally buy your staging from a supplier who manufactures it and offers a tailor-made surface – where you can specify the height you would like your greenhouse staging to be. That's what we offer here at Two Wests & Elliott. 

    With most greenhouse staging you will find that the height is between 30 inches / 76cm up to 36 inches / 91cm. Our Up Staging, for example, is 30 inches high. The reason that greenhouse staging tends to be lower than a kitchen work surface is that the manufacturers will take other factors into account, which we describe below.  

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? What Is It Being Used For

    Some greenhouse staging is used for potting up, other staging could be used for as a propagation station and more staging used to house plants until they grow large enough to transplant into your garden. You might even have staging which holds greenhouse crops, such as tomatoes, until they finish fruiting. With staging being used for so many different tasks, you may want to have different heights so you can carry out your tasks in comfort.   

    waht is the staging being used for

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Potting Areas
    When you are creating a potting area within your greenhouse you need an area which is a good working height – do you intend to work stood up or sat down? 

    If you intend to stand up as you pot up in your greenhouse then we have designed our Potting Bench to have a comfortable working height at the front – 36 inches / 91cm – so the same height as your kitchen work surface.

    This makes it a comfortable place to stand and work for what can otherwise be a back-breaking job!

    The other benefit with our Potting Bench is that is features a built-in storage hopper where you can keep a supply of compost close at hand.

    Potting Bench

    If you prefer to be sat down as you work, then our Potting Table would be a better choice.

    potting table

    Designed with an open front for sitting at, there will be plenty of room for your legs. We have made it 30 inches / 76cm high – office desks tend to be made to this height so it’s a comfortable height when you are working sat down.

    The useful 8 inch / 20cm ‘wings’ on either side of this table can be assembled as a flat surface or 2 inch / 5cm deep trays and make the perfect place to keep small tools, such as plant labels, dibbers etc within easy reach.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Propagation Areas
    If you are creating an area within your greenhouse for propagation, then you need to bear in mind that you will need to reach across the full width of the staging. And, if the propagator has a lid, the height including lid needs to be available so you can open or remove the lid easily when you need to tend your plants.

    Our Hot Bench is designed to be a sturdy, versatile heated bench which you can use in the spring to encourage early, healthy growth and in the winter, it can be a cosy place to overwinter more tender plants.

    It is 30 inches / 76cm high and 23½ inches / 60cm wide. This combination of height and width should enable you to easily reach across the full width of the staging when stood at one side. This enables you to tend young seedlings with the minimum of stretching.

    Hot Bench

    Like many of our stagings, the hot bench has a lower tier. The reason that we include a lower tier is that it provides you with a place – off the ground so away from the cold – where you can store gardening equipment such as spare seed trays or plant pots, or it can be used for growing if you have a greenhouse where the glass is to the ground to allow enough light to reach plants on this type of lower level.

    Don't forget, as we make these Hot Benches ourselves they can be made to any height, and the lower tier can be positioned at any height from the ground (as long as you let us know when you place your order). 

    If you intend to use the specially designed Hot Bench Cover with the bench, then you need to make sure that their combined height will still leave you with sufficient room to easily open the hinged cover to access your plants.

    hot bench cover

    Designed to bolt onto the Hot Bench, this cover is 18 inches / 46cm high at the back, sloping to 15 inches / 38cm high at the front.

    In order to access your plants, the cover is hinged, so to comfortably open this you need clearance space of approx. 12 inches / 31cm above the top of the cover.

    This means when you are thinking of space to house this bench with cover you would need an overall height in your greenhouse of approx. 60 inches / 152cm for where the bench will be situated.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? It Is Affected By What You Are Growing 

    Not only will your greenhouse staging height be affected by what you are using it for, it will also be affected by the plants which you intend to grow.

    If you are a specialist grower and will be concentrating on a particular species of plant, you will need to take into account the requirements of the plants to ensure they have the best growing environment. This is illustrated in the photograph below.

    staging height depends on what you are growing

    In 1999 we worked with Mike King from to manufacture some benches to house some of his collection of carnivorous plants.

    As you can see, Mike provided the height he required so we could make our Commercial Bench the correct size to fit within his 30-foot Robinsons Rosette greenhouse and leave sufficient space for his plants to grow without out growing the height of the greenhouse.  

    The photograph opposite is another example of where we worked with a specialist grower, this time to make the perfect staging to suit his alpine collection.

    Here we adapted our standard Two Tier Commercial Benching to include a Plunge Surround so that the grower could create a 6 inch / 15cm deep plunge area to hold the pots of his alpine plants.  

    Two Tier Commercial Benching

    In the same photograph you can also see some commercial benching against the right hand wall of the greenhouse which has been made taller as a comfortable working area as plants are grown and potted up.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Your Greenhouse Size Will Affect It 

    your greenhouse size will affect your staging

    When you are lucky enough to be growing in a large greenhouse then you can often make best use of the available growing space by having staging situated down the middle of your greenhouse, as well as along each greenhouse wall.  

    wide commercial benching

    Having staging in the centre allows you to walk all around the staging and work from either side of the staging.

    This is one of the reasons why we produce our Commercial Benching in widths of up to 48 inches / 122cm.

    We wouldn’t expect you to stretch across the whole width to work, but when you can work from both sides this size of benching works perfectly.

    If you have a large, bespoke built greenhouse then you might also face other challenges when it comes to getting the correct size of staging to fit.

    In the photograph opposite you can see our Two Tier Commercial Benching being used at it’s standard height of 30 inches / 76cm.

    However, what we have done for this grower is to move the lower tier further off the ground than the standard 8 inches / 20cm.

    This is now allowing more usable storage space below the lower level. Whilst enabling the lower tier to be used for a mixture of growing and storage.  

    Commercial Bench Around A Corner

    What you can also see in the photo is that the benching has been designed to fit around an inverted corner. This has produced a more streamline fit for the staging – rather than using two separate stagings overlapping one another.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? What Is It Made From?

    When you are choosing staging for your greenhouse you need to keep in mind that the staging needs to be strong, capable of supporting your plants, their pots and the weight of their wet compost – which can all weigh very heavy!

    What is the staging made from

    You also need to consider the environment which your staging is being used in. A greenhouse is not watertight, sterile or clean environment – there will be moisture, pests, soil, debris etc etc all part of a working greenhouse. So you should consider this when you are looking at staging to ensure it will be hardwearing enough for the day to day wear and tear it will have to put up with.

    When it comes to the materials that might be used to make the staging, traditionally it would have been timber staging, in the past few decades aluminium staging has become more popular and you will also find some greenhouse staging or shelving made from a range of different plastics. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each type to help you choose the correct type of staging for your greenhouse.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Timber Staging
    There are a range of different types of timber used to make greenhouse staging and will be reflected in the price you pay.

    Premium cedar staging comes with a premium price and this is because it contains naturally occurring preservative which makes it naturally resistant to rot – so no chemical treatments are required.

    A more economical timber to use is tanalised timber which is timber that has been pressure treated to preserve the wood. Tanalised timber is long lasting as the treatment is applied to all parts of the wood – unlike some timber treatments which are painted on so only protect the surface of the wood.

    One of the things to look out for when buying a good quality timber staging for your greenhouse is whether it has been treated – for example, if you see a staging described as being ‘pressure treated’ it has been treated against both rot and insect attack.

    timber greenhouse staging

    A good example of a pressure treated greenhouse bench is the Premium Potting Station shown opposite.

    Not only has the timber been treated, but the manufacturers have also fixed a zinc coated metal work surface to the top, making the potting up area very hard-wearing as well as being easy to clean.

    Looking at the height, as it has a higher level shelf the overall height is 5ft 4 inches / 162cm, whilst the work surface height is 2ft 8 inches / 82cm – a good working height if you want to sit down whilst you pot up.

    A better working height if you prefer to stand up as you pot up your plants is this Wooden Potting Bench below.

    This potting bench has a working height of approx. 36 inches / 92cm and with retaining boards on three sides, this makes a neat working space.

    This is another timber product which has been pressure treated – and in this case the manufacturers have backed this with a 15 year anti-rot guarantee.

    wooden greenhouse staging

    What you should always remember when choosing timber staging for your greenhouse is that it is a natural product and by it’s very nature can differ in colour, in grain and could include knots integrated into the wood. No two pieces will be the same and depending on the item you buy, you could find that it has been sanded smooth or left quite rough (this is usually indicated in the product description).

    When selecting your timber staging, unless you can find a manufacturer who offers a bespoke served – so a joinery company making staging to order – you are going to be faced with set sizes which can’t be altered – including the height of the greenhouse staging. Don’t be tempted to think that if an item is too tall or too long you can amend it yourself – cutting the timber will often invalidate the guarantee and could leave a raw edge to the timber which has not been treated.

    When using timber staging within your greenhouse you will face some common problems which will cause you to give more time to cleaning and maintenance of this type of staging, compared to if you were to use aluminium or plastic staging. These include:

    • Damp and Mould – typically greenhouse staging will be exposed to water and the humid conditions within your greenhouse. For timber this can cause it to become damp and potentially mouldy – which could cause problems with plant health if left untreated.
    • Exposure To Sunlight – your staging will be exposed to lots of sunlight throughout the year, which could cause the timber to warp or discolour.
    • Insect Damage – although we are used to pests on our plants, if you have timber staging you could be affected by wood-boring insects causing damage to your staging.

    You can help to reduce some of these problems by carrying out regular cleaning – using a brush to remove any debris or dirt, a damp cloth to sipe down work surfaces – and by protecting the timber by covering the top surfaces with plastic to reduce its exposure to water.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Aluminium Staging
    Aluminium staging has become popular with gardeners as it is virtually maintenance-free and won’t rust or rot in humid conditions. Aluminium also combines the qualities of being lightweight – making it easier to construct and move if required – with superior strength – it’s a long-life material that won’t degrade over time. When selecting aluminium staging, to make sure that you are getting a quality product which will be strong enough to support your plants, look for the following features:

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Are the legs in one piece?

    To ensure the strength of our aluminium staging we always ensure that the legs are supplied as one piece of aluminium.

    two tier greenhouse staging

    We do this even when a customer requests a special height for their staging.

    We are able to do this as we manufacture the staging in our Derbyshire warehouse. This means we can create unique legs to the exact length required to suit any order.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? How many legs are there?

    The legs of the greenhouse staging not only affect its height, but they also affect how strong the staging is.

    The legs support the working surface of the staging where your plants in their pots or seed trays will be stood as they grow. This means that the weight on the staging will evenly be distributed through the number of legs which the staging has. It therefore follows that the more legs the staging has, the stronger and more robust it will be. 

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Are there bracing bars?

    With some greenhouse staging you will see bracing bars being included. These are used to increase both the sturdiness and the strength of the structure.

    In the photograph opposite you can see diagonal bracing bars being used in our Orchid Staging.

    These are joined to the horizontal bars forming the length of the staging and the legs of the staging. In this way they help to ensure a sturdy connection with the legs and will help to ‘brace’ any weight put on the top tier of the staging.  

    Extra supports on orchid staging

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Is there a separate frame with removeable trays or slats?

    We all look for maximum versatility with a product and this is important when we select greenhouse staging. You want something which will make the best use of the protected growing space within your greenhouse all year round.

    You will find with many of our best-selling staging that we have designed them so the surfaces can be lifted out of position to leave behind a sturdy, strong framework. This means, for example, if you have a Two-Tier Upstaging, you could remove the top tier trays in the summer months and position your tall tomato plants on the lower tier so they have lots of space to grow.  

    aluminium slatted benching

    If you choose to have greenhouse staging with a slatted surface, then this will help sunlight to reach plants which are under or around the staging.

    It is also perfect for plants which like a lot of air around them – such as orchids - or when you are over-wintering plants  - when you should allow good ventilation around the plants to help prevent diseases caused by damp.

    What you need to remember with a slatted surface, is that by its very nature, there are spaces between each slat. For example, with our Up Staging, if you chose a slatted surface, then you would receive six aluminium slats for each 2ft / 30cm of staging. As each slat is approx. 2¼ inch / 6cm wide, this would mean leaving a space of approx. 2 inches / 5cm between each slat.

    With our Up Staging the slats are not bolted in place – so if you wanted to reduce the spacing between the slats – to enable you to accommodate smaller pots for example – then you could purchase extra slats and alter the spacing.

    With our Clearspan Staging, where there is the option to have timber slats as the surface, then you will find that the slats are designed to be bolted onto a spacer bar, with the slats spaced ??? inches / ??? cm apart.

    We have left the timber used to make these slats untreated – if you wanted to improve the longevity of these slats then you could treat them with a preservative - taking not to use one which would not have a negative effect on your plants.  

    Timber Slatted Benching

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Has the staging been weight tested?

    We have been manufacturing aluminium greenhouse staging for over 49 years and we have always known that it was strong. But we wanted to show just how strong it was – so we weight tested it!

    aluminium staging weight tested

    In the photo opposite you can see some of our Two Tier Up Staging covered with bags of compost. With testing we found that our 3ft 10inch x 18inch aluminium staging was able to support up to 450kg in weight.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? What thickness of aluminium is being used?

    One of the reasons aluminium is used to manufacture greenhouse staging is its strength. The thicker the aluminium is the stronger it will be – making it sturdier and increasing its resistance to bending.

    With our Commercial Benching the strongest staging we manufacture – we use 1/16th inch / 1.5mm thick aluminium to make the surface of the staging. The legs of this super strong staging is 1/8th inch / 3mm thick. Adding even more sturdiness to the staging are quadruple-bolted joins.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? How is it bolted together?

    With all aluminium greenhouse staging there will be points where nuts and bolts and used to join parts together.

    Where the nuts and bolts are used in a framework, the holes need to be correctly aligned before the parts are joined and until the whole staging is assembled these nuts and bolts should be finger tight and then completely tightened at the end of assembly so that you can ensure everything is in the correct place.

    You will find with some greenhouse staging – such as our Modular Staging shown opposite – double bolts are used. Extra bolts result in a stronger connection and improves the strength of the staging.

    greenhouse staging which is double bolted

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Plastic Staging
    Plastic greenhouse staging is also available for amateur gardeners as it is a durable, non-porous material that won’t rust in greenhouse environments. Neither will it rot or splinter like some traditional wooden staging. You will find plastic staging in many different sizes and styles – although you will not find it available with tailor-made options so you need to find a standard size which will suit your needs.  

    plastic greenhouse staging

    A good example of plastic greenhouse staging is this two tier staging from Canopia, which has been designed to match their Ecogrow, Hobby and Grand Gardener greenhouses.

    Just like the frame of the greenhouse, the staging is made from sturdy, easy-to-clean polypropylene.

    The surfaces of this staging are perforated to allow optimal drainage and airflow – so avoiding possible puddles which you could get with solid plastic shelves.

    The height of this staging is 33½ inches / 85cm and as you would expect with any greenhouse staging made from plastic, is a standard height and can not be adjusted in height – these stagings are mass produced so can not be altered in dimensions on an order by order basis.

    When choosing plastic staging for your greenhouse you should consider how strong it will be – ideally you should find out if it has been weight tested and what weight it can hold.

    This polypropylene staging has a sturdy construction and can hold an impressive 200kg – up to 160kg on the top tier and up to 40kg on the lower tier.  

    strong plastic greenhouse staging

    Plastic greenhouse staging is likely to be lightweight – which will help with assembly and positioning it within your greenhouse. It will also make it easier if you want to re-position the staging later through the year.

    Keeping this type of staging looking good year after year is easy – simply hosing it or washing it down will remove any dirt and make it look as good as new. Durability wise, if possible, see if the manufacturer mentions a life expectancy – or whether it is UV protected. Remember this staging is going to be exposed to a lot of sunlight! 

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Is The Height Adjustable?

    In an ideal world the height of your greenhouse staging would be adjustable so that it could be set to be the perfect height for you, your plants, your greenhouse and its location.

    However, what you tend to find available is greenhouse staging, which is made to a particular size, with a set height – unless you deal with a company like ourselves where we offer a bespoke service.

    What you will find available however, as an alternative to free-standing staging at a standard height, is staging which can be attached to the walls of your greenhouse – so you can decide at what height to set the staging.

    is the height of the staging adjustable

    A good example of this type of height adjustable staging is our Integral Staging shown in the photograph above.  

    height adjustable staging attached to wall of greenhouse

    Our Integral Staging has been designed so that a specially shaped bracket holds the staging to the side of your greenhouse wall. This bracket is attached to the greenhouse wall using cropped bolts and nuts, which will slot and twist into greenhouse glazing bars for the majority of aluminium greenhouses.

    This allows you to set the height of your staging to be anywhere between the base to the eaves of your greenhouse – which is usually the flat wall of your greenhouse, before the roof of the greenhouse begins.

    This makes this type of greenhouse staging infinitely adjustable in height – and if you want to change the height you simply move the brackets up or down the glazing bars in your greenhouse.

    The only thing to consider when using this type of greenhouse staging – staging which is attached to the greenhouse wall – is that it relies on the strength of your greenhouse to provide it’s ability to hold your potted plants and seed trays.

    By attaching the staging to your greenhouse wall, the weight of both the staging and what you put on it will be applied to the structure of your greenhouse. Aluminium staging is lightweight so that shouldn't be an issue. Pots full of plants which have just been watered can be heavy. So it’s just a case of being sensible – if you have a well-constructed, strong greenhouse you should have no issues. If your greenhouse is old, has structural issues or is flimsy, we wouldn’t recommend this type of staging.  

    An advantage of the Integral Staging which we designed is not only that it is height adjustable, it has also been designed so when you don’t want to use it – maybe in the height of summer when you have tomato plants stood on the floor of your greenhouse – then this staging will fold flat to your greenhouse wall.  

    This means it takes up very little space, freeing up floor space for your greenhouse crops – and also makes it quick and easy to put back in position when you want to use it again.  

    integral staging folded flat

    You will also find that some greenhouse manufacturers also produce staging or shelving which they have specifically designed to attach to the walls of their greenhouse – you would usually buy this type of staging at the same time as your greenhouse.

    Elite Diamond Staging

    Elite’s Diamond Staging is this type of staging. They have designed this staging to attach to their free standing or lean-to greenhouses using cantilever bracing which attached directly to the wall of your greenhouse.

    Once you have accommodated the size of the cantilevers (which just means you couldn’t attach the staging very low to the ground) then you can adjust the height to suit you.

    It’s a great staging to sit and work at as the bracing leaves lots of space beneath the staging to accommodate your legs.

    What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? Should You Consider A Tailor-Made Size 

    Tailor made staging

    If you are buying your greenhouse staging direct from the manufacturer – as is the case when you buy from us – then you may have the opportunity to have greenhouse staging made to the exact size you require. This then enables you to work out what is the best height for your greenhouse staging based on all the factors described above and get it made to that size.

    Our blog post What Is The Best Height For Greenhouse Staging? has been created from our personal knowledge, information gathered by speaking to other gardeners or manufacturers in the gardening industry, by reading gardening magazines and devouring information from books and the internet. We aim to be as accurate as we can, so if you find a mistake, please remember, we’re only human. if you have any queries you can contact us today!

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