Review by Michael Smith
Garland Mini Grow Bed
Lakeland Ref: 51193 Price: 22.91 GBP,
Lakeland Garden Catalog page 21
Stuck with a small garden but still want to grow an abundance of crops, or perhaps the soil in your area is poor and the seedlings always struggle?
Watch those plants wake up when you put them to bed, a Mini Grow Bed that is. The Garland Mini Grow Bed gives plants such as carrots, potatoes and onions the best start in life as the soil within the bed warms more quickly, giving earlier crops. The black surrounds also, I should think, contribute to this warming process.
The enclosed growing area protects, to some extent, against disease, pests and weeds, whilst offering excellent drainage and protection against soil erosion. However, the pesky birds and the slugs and snails will still try to do their best to get at your crops, no matter what. So you will have to think of protection such as netting and what have not. There Lakeland can help too, but that is a different story.
And not only will your vegetables be happier in a raised bet such as the Mini Grow Bed; the raised growing surface also makes it easier for you, giving easier access tot he plants and less bending for your back.
The Garland Mini Grow Beds are made from 100% recycled polypropylene and the bed is simple to assemble, requiring no tools.
In fact, assembly was done in this test indoors, in the living room, no less and took less than five minutes and can be done by one person, no problem, Having a helper, though, will make assembly easier. The hardest work was filling it up with soil outside, lifting the bag of compost and such.
The single bed measures about 38inches by 20inches x 10inches and, due to the constructions is simple and easy and also light.
There is an extension kit available for this Mini Grow Bed that will about double the size. The construction of this, however, requires some drilling and as the kit is but two quid cheaper than the normal bed my suggestion would be to have more of the individual ones rather than running extensions. But then, everyone to his own, I guess.
The extension kit if Lakeland Ref: 50393 and costs 19.95 GBP
The Mini Grow Bed is also available as a combi with a crop support frame – Lakeland Ref: 50938 at a price of 34.96 GBP (this is for the bed and the frame) and in addition to that there is a cover for the support frame (and little greenhouse, so to speak) available – Lakeland Ref: 51051 costing 19.94 GBP and also a liner is available that enables you to use the Mini Grow Bed on a patio, decking or even a balcony. The liner is also made from 100% recycled, woven polypropylene and has handles than will make it easy to lift it out, with the soil, at the end of the season. The liner is Lakeland Ref: 51050 and costs 5.54 GBP.
Worth having when on areas where you do not want to end up with soil at the end of the growing season.
The Mini Grow Bed took me very little time to assemble and then to place outside. Once fill with soil it is extremely sturdy and looks also very good.
Definitely a product that can be recommended for anyone. With mini raised beds such as this, and at such a great price – I have seen similar ones at a number of trade fairs recently of which none are below the 65 GBP mark. For the price of the cheapest one at other places you can have three of these from Lakeland. So, go and get growing your own veggies.
Oh, and as I have said before, Lakeland are not paying me to say all those nice things about their products (chance would be a find thing but...). The products are just good, and so far I have been happy with all of those that I have reviewed and can recommend them without hesitation.
© M Smith (Veshengro), 2009
Review by Michael Smith