Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I work as an environmental educator, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood and I also volunteer as a Master Composter and hens@home mentor with Garden Organic. We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Product review - Greanbase Wheelbarrow Booster

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.

                                                              

4 comments:

  1. Well, I was sent one for free...

    And I have NO idea why the first few lines are in shouty capitals? As when I go into "edit" mode, they are lower case? So sorry about that but I can't seem to alter it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Dragons in the Den this week weren't very impressed either... but, the young lad (son) who sent you this is clearly trying very hard, using the internet and social media to get the product out there. Shame about his dad's total lack of understanding of business.

    You had exactly the problem I predicted when we saw it, and knowing our wheelbarrows' construction.

    I can see physios and chiropractors doing well out of this product.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If anyone is interested the link to the BBC i player is

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01n6qr5/Dragons_Den_Series_10_Episode_4/

    and it will be up for a few more weeks.

    ReplyDelete

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