Display Tables

bdodd444(Z7 No Virginia)March 12, 2005

I need advice on tables. I have searched the boards and see quite a bit of information on displays, canopies etc, but can anyone give me any advice on what tables they use and/or their construction. I am thinking of plywood on saw horses with a nice table cloth maybe an L shape, but I am wondering about dimensions and sturdiness. It will have to fit under a 10x10 canopy. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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GrassIsEvil(z6 TN)

In my experience, the plywood, while providing versatility, will warp and/or sag. I've found that unless it's supported along the edges, you can wind up with a pile of broken pots and smashed flowers. It's also relatively heavy and unwieldy--not to mention splinters. You'll have to be careful about fitting it across the sawhorses so that a bump won't unsettle it. You can provide braces and runners, but I've found folding tables work best for me, the kind where the legs fold up underneath, like you see in a school cafeteria, church fellowship hall, whatever.

Wal-Mart, Sam's, OfficeMax have them. For used ones, you might check with your church, school, or local community center. Sometimes they have damaged tables that only need a little repair, or they're just beat up and don't look nice anymore. I found mine at an 'as-is' outlet for furniture seconds for a fraction of their original cost because the boys who were supposed to assemble them had put the plastic bags of screws for each table into a box together and then had misplaced the box. We had enough spare and extra screws at home to finish them.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 1:30PM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

I Have the type tables Grass is talking about but they have sturdy plastic top so if it gets wet there is no call for worry.(you can get them at sam or Lowes . They are lighter than the pressed wood type . I get get them in and out of the truck my self.
I usually have them L shaped (2 tables) or u shaped (3 tables). I also use boxes or boards to make a shelves on the back of some of the tables so I can have 2 levels and things are easily seen and I can get more on one table.
I spread the table cloths over the top of shelves and boxes

I had rather have 1 really full table than three almost empty . So set up for me depends on how much I have that week.
The garlic lady

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 3:38PM
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We have been using sawhorses for years to display our plants. They work fine.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 3:40PM
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We also use the plastic top folding type tables. I put two together, back to back and add two fold up risers that my husband built towards the back of each table...makes for 4 levels of selling space. This gives your customers room to walk around them and yet enough space to set up a smaller table for packaging your sales.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 5:02PM
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ohiorganic(5/6 SW Ohio)

Used to use a plywood top with banquet table legs but two years ago Lowe's had the table Grass and the others are talking about on sale so we bought two.

Use them in a 10x 10 display easily, could have 3 such tables in a 10x 10 space in the shape of a "U".

If you don't have a lot o space in your truck or are a small person they do make fold up table that fold out to I believe 6' length. But the cost twice as much as the non folding plastic topped banquet tables

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:43AM
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I am making mine from saw horse brackets where everything disassembles down to a pile of sticks. I am the only one loading and unloading and although I would like it to be quick my back tells me to keep it light. All boards are under 6 feet. Saw horses are the legs; 6 foot rails (2by4's) slide into notches and support the top surface; plants are brought in wooden totes that fit onto the rails making a table of boxes; tote boxes also provide different heights above and below the table. Boxes' long surfaces are painted with chalk board green paint and prices and info is written in chalk. Does it sound easy - it isn't. But I have about a month to refine it. Good luck

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 1:40PM
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At the market I sell at 350 vendors have every sort of table setup you can imagine. Since Sam's Club and others started selling those lighter weight folding tables many people have been using those. But those tables take up a lot of room on a small truck. More room than I can spare and still get all the plants or produce on. So I still use the apple crates and boards I've used for setting up for 29 years. 10 quart size plants or four gallon size short plants or a half bushel basket of hot peppers will fit in a crate and I can stack the crates. Or I can stack two crates and use the boards to make shelves for taller plants. I have a pickup with a 42" cap and the whole thing is packed solid. Everyone is amazed how much can get on the truck.

I have a 20' X 20' space and set up a table across the front. Sometimes in the spring when I have lots of small plants I set up more tables in back. Bigger plants get put right on the ground.

Table cloths were a disaster. Twice little kids grabbed them and pulled my stuff off the table. Very few vendors at my market use table cloths and in my travels across the USA and other countries I seldom see them used. With the nice new tables available from Sam's I see no need to cover them.

I've had competition show up with fancy tables and they put their produce in fancy wicker baskets and intended to let people pick out what they wanted and put it in little bags, and they had lots of pictures etc. But none of those vendors lasted more than one season. Most only a couple weeks. I know there are a lot of cute little markets nowadays and it's a nice little hobby for the buyers and the vendors. But at a big busy market it hardly pays to get too cute. Just give them what they want: top quality at a good price and plenty of information and answers to their questions, verbally and printed.

This photo was taken in pepper season. In the spring and summer I sell herb plants on the table and the rest of my space is full of perennials, roses, succulents etc.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:32PM
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bdodd444(Z7 No Virginia)

I just want to say thank you for the great responses. I am now more confused that ever, but better informed!! Elrem2002, I had seen this photo before on a search I was doing on displays, but I forgot about it. Thank you for posting the photo.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 8:32AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

I love this topic! Under the cutting forum there is a thread called booth displays and I put some pics there and some of the others did too.

I too vary my display depending upon the flowers I have each week. But, I bring my 2 plastic topped folding 5' tables, a narrower 4' table, my collapsable vase stand, and my folding "bucket stand," and use milk crates (the old sturdy ones) covered with 5' boards and then covered with green sheets to look better. My van has a shelf that spans most of the van (one section in the front is open floor to ceiling) which carries the buckets of flowers in the milk crates on top(so they don't tip over), and the various display items and my canopy fit under the shelf.

I try to keep my displays at 5' or under lengths because then I know two of them will fit a length of canopy! Most markets/fairs here allocate 10'x10' spaces. In your booth design don't forget to leave space for you and a chair! I have a small folding stool with a back (got it at Rite-aid for $5) that is great for things I can't reach and to rest if there's time! Also, everything you use needs to fit in your vehicle and not be too heavy if you need to carry it any distance at all! And don't forget to use your verticle space too.
Good Luck,

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 8:17PM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

as we begin to think about market 2006 this seemed like another thread to revisit. Anyone got anything new to add?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 8:47AM
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By the end of the summer I had made enough extra money to go out and buy the plastic topped folding tables and retire my wooden contraptions. My only complaint is that I wish they were adjustable in height. I bring my plants to the market in plastic bulb crates now and the combined height makes it hard for short shoppers to see everything. I grow the plants in the bulb crates which are also stackable so loading and unloading and arranging is pretty streamlined.

My biggest problem is shade - the portion of the market where I set up can be very windy at certain parts of the day so canopies tend to blow over. I bought a 10 by 10 shade cloth for dog kennels but have yet to figure out a way to install it over my space (9 by 15). Even though a lot of my plants enjoy the full sun they drink way too much water during the day and I can't leave to get water when there are customers ready to buy - so keeping things shady seems like the best solution.

I also learned that my customers didn't really want hand outs - they wanted the full name of the plants and then they would go home and research the plants themselves. This is relief, no more long hours spent on handouts.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 2:56PM
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