Chapter 3

Greenhouse Mechanization and Material Handling

(book excerpts)

The moving of plant material from one place in the greenhouse to another can be very labor-intensive due to the large quantities and the distances traveled across a greenhouse. Each handling of plant material costs money and time, and because of the large number of plant material involved, the total labor cost can be very high. Thus, greenhouse mechanization and material handling systems is generally needed to reduce labor costs and better utilize the space available in the greenhouse. Whether moving plants from the propagation room to the growing area or supplying substrate to a filling machine; the use of the benches and converyors can be a very simple, effective, efficient, and flexible means of handling plant material within most greenhouse operations. For example, replacing stationary benches with rolling benches allows the grower to increase the width of the production aisles without losing any crop production; this enables workers to move more efficiently between the benches. Having all of these systems appropriately designed and installed significantly increases your chances for successful plant production.

Click on the following topics for more information on greenhouse mechanization and material handling.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Greenhouse Benches
  • Benching Materials
  • Bench Layout and Size
  • Stationary Benches
  • Rolling Benches
  • Container Benches
  • Ebb-and-Flood Benches
  • Trough Benches
  • Plant Handling Systems
  • Conveyors
  • Belt Conveyors
  • Gravity Conveyors
  • Chain Conveyors
  • Auger Conveyors
  • Overhead Monorail Conveyors
  • Gantry Conveyors
  • Carts
  • Forklifts
  • Front-End Loaders
  • Tractors, Trailers, and Other Vehicles