I was recently contacted by Joe Smith of Greanbase Ltd who said in his email
I wondered if you would be interested in sharing your thoughts on a new garden tool invention created by my father (a landscape gardener from Keighley in Yorkshire) 15 years ago.I was intrigued, and accepted his offer to try one out here at Compost Mansions. The Wheelbarrow Booster duly arrived in the post within a few days.
The Greanbase website says the Booster was
Designed by a gardener, for the gardener!
As you may appreciate, only a gardener really knows what works and what doesn't when it comes to labour-saving equipment around the garden.
Having been used and trialled over almost 20 years by the designer/inventor - himself a landscaper of over 25 years, the Wheelbarrow Booster is one of the few pieces of equipment that can be claimed to 'pay for itself' with the time it saves the user. An innovative, new must-have accessory for the gardener/landscaper/equestrian; designed to fit most gardeners wheelbarrows to carry often light-weight, but bulky garden waste e.g. grass/hedge trimmings, leaves, prunings, cleared vegetation. Not forgetting hay, shavings etc. around the stables.
I unpacked the Booster and tried to fit it to my wheelbarrow.
According to the website you are supposed to
Open out the loop of the body, and loosely fit it over and around the rim of the barrow. Note: there is no 'front' nor 'rear' to the device, therefore there is no 'wrong way round' to be concerned about. Now, working around the barrow, carefully pull the body of the booster upwards until the elastic skirt seam just appears over the top of the rim all around
I ran into a problem - all three of my wheelbarrows ( one cheapo one and two rather more expensive ones) have no rim by the handles - so I could not fit the Booster over the rim. I wondered what to do and then had an idea.
I cut two holes in the fabric, put the wheelbarrow handles through the holes and then fitted the rest of the Booster as described on the Greanbase website.
It does increase the capacity of the wheelbarrow a lot - I more than doubled the volume of grass cuttings I was able to move around.
So am I impressed? Well, partly. I was a bit disappointed that I had to modify the Booster to fit my wheelbarrow, but to be fair the makers do say " fits most makes" not "all makes" and it was not difficult to cut two holes.
It does increase the capacity by a lot, but I found only if you are gathering up shortish stuff like grass clippings, hedge cuttings or hay. I tried to use it with a load of very tall weeds and they just folded the Booster down at the sides where they overhung. I don't really want to have to chop stuff up just to save an extra trip across the garden with the barrow. It was fine filled with a lot of shorter weeds though.
Trying to fill up the wheelbarrow with twice as much compost as normal was probably a bit excessive - it just meant I could not push the barrow as it was too heavy (!) I guess it was a bit silly of me to try in the first place - I was just experimenting to see how much more I could put in my barrow with the Booster in place
So - useful for certain jobs but be aware of its limitations.
Would I buy one? possibly, yes - especially as I have a lot of grass to cut and a lot of weeds to pull.
The Whellbarrow Booster retails at £12.99 plus p and p direct from Greanbase Ltd
With thanks to Joe Smith for giving me a Booster to try out.