First you should know that I have not tested the raised bed for growing anything yet. It's really too early to plant it according to their kit (which offers up a neat planting plan for a salsa garden and another regular garden) but I can tell you about the installation and compare that to building my own raised beds. First the Greenland gardener raised beds are made from composite lumber which will last decades. That's an obvious advantage to the home built ones in my backyard. The composite lumber is made from recycled plastic bags which is another plus for it's environmentally friendly origins.
The kit I tested came with 7 - 42" boards and 6 joint pieces. Each joint piece was routed to fit together with the routed ends of the composite lumber. The idea is to make these beds as easy as possible for the consumer to put together - that's another plus. Anything to encourage a new gardener and help them be successful is good to me! But this is also where the kit had some issues. When putting the pieces together I found that some of the routers grooves were routed backwards. The lumber can only fit together in one way and it just didn't fit together smoothly. It required several different adjustments by moving the boards from location to location. At one point I had to get out the old hammer to "gently convince" the boards that they really do fit that way."Yes boards, I insist" I said.
Also a level surface is a must since some of the routered joints fit loosely and others very tightly - if the surface is level it's not an issue.
The instructions for putting the beds together are so simple that I'm confident that anyone could easily assemble them. No tools or cutting is needed to put together the raised beds so even those with deficient carpentry skills can build these raised beds.
|My Junior Gardener Assistant!|
Overall I think the concept is great. Greenland Gardener designed a raised bed that will last, is easy to assemble, and should function perfectly well. My only misgiving with the product is the corners and the misrouted grooves. It's possible that the beds I received with the rough joints were an anomaly. I really like the seed planting concept that Greenland gardener kit has, but I'll save that post for later - when the weather is safe for planting!