Bloom Instabrace Raised Bed Corners from Bond Manufacturing has made a pledge to make designing and building raised beds a fast, stress-free, and tool-free job. The job is not that easy in reality.
There are two reasons people do not buy or use raised beds:
- The ones that have already been made or set up might not be the size or style they want
- It may be stressful to make strong, nicely-fitted corners for DIY raised beds.
Instabrace Gives Solutions to Both Problems
This involves 4 steel corners coated with powder into which you only need to put in a 2-inch strong wood board you have chosen. Everything is held together by the corner pieces, and you can customize the look and size of the raised beds to fit your yard and artistic preferences.
How to Use Instabrace to Set Up a Raised Bed
From the instructions given, it would be expected that assembling raised beds would be easy, especially when the instruction says, “the Toolbox should be left in the shed. No nails, screws or bolts are needed”.
When you take at the instructions provided, it will look like you should only put the four corners in the position you would like the bed to be, and 2-inch planks would be placed in-between the corners of the Instabrace.
Picking the Boards for the Raised Bed Sides
The size of the corner braces is approximately 9 inches wide and 10 inches tall. It has been recommended by the manufacturer that the total height of the sides should not be more than 12 inches; 3 options for assembling planks are shown by the package. They are:
- 3 × 4-inch wide boards
- 2 × 6-inch wide boards
- 1 × 12-inch wide boards
You can pick two 6-inch redwood planks to be used for each side (this is cheaper than buying 12-inch boards). This can be bought from a local big box hardware store. Because of the height of the Instabrace, you might be worried that using 4-inch boards would make the top layer unbalanced because only 2-inches would be held by the corner braces.
You can cut the planks yourself, but it would be better to have them cut by a professional at the store for a small fee. Based on the length, you may even decide to cut the planks and carry them into your car instead of tying them to the roof of your car to take home.
You must abstain from using pressure treated woods if you want to grow edible on the bed because they can leak chemicals that might be ingested erroneously.
Raised beds can be constructed to virtually any length or width, and you can also use different arrangements. Examples of these arrangements are: octagonal, cross-shaped. You are limited to a rectangle or square arrangement if you use Instabrace.
The width must be kept as narrow as possible to ensure that you can reach the middle of the bed to the plant, harvest, or weed. The length should not be more than 10 feet, or the sides will start to bend towards the outside unless you fix added support along the side, but that faults the entire purpose of using Instabrace that is centered on making the entire job easy.
Balancing the Raised Bed
Getting the ground totally leveled was the first difficulty I encountered. If one or any of the four corners has a dissimilar height, the whole bed will bend to one side, and the corners will not fit together.
The surface between the corners should also be flat and level, or the planks won’t fit properly, and the corners won’t be fitted together.
A level surface is the easiest place to mount a raised bed using the Instabrace; it is on a level surface, like a concrete patio or a garage floor. If you’d prefer to put it on the soil, then prepare to spent time racking, digging, and checking to ensure that the ground is totally level.
Different from other raised bed corner options that strongly fasten the boards to the corners, you cannot use the Instabrace corners to place the frame together on a flat surface and carry it to its final destination.
After doing that, set the four corners in place, and start assembling planks.
Mounting the Sides of the Bed
The corners will create butt joints, where the end of one plank stocks up against the side of another. Make sure the planks are placed accurately, so the sides of the raised beds are of equal length.
Putting the board into the Instabrace is not something one person can do, even though it seemed simple.
When you stack the boards, the corners will not stay in one position unless they’re tightly held to a spot by a person, rocks, etc.
Stuffing the Raised Bed
When all the planks have been properly put in place, put soil mix that is appropriate for your location and plants into the bed. I would advise that you use a mixture of compost, potting soil, and perlite because it works well for raised beds.
As you fill or stuff the bed, you will detect that the corner braces will begin to move outwards as the soil pushes against the planks. If this successfully happens, the corner joints will open up, and the entire bed will lean to one side. Remove the soil.
It is advisable to use screws to join the bottom layer of the planks directly to the corners of Instabrace. A conveniently placed hole exists in each brace, and this makes this stress-free. It is not mentioned in the instructions or on the website.
Drilling screws in the plank to the corner pieces will help to hold it nicely in place, but it has a disadvantage. After filling the bed with soil, the bottom planks stayed against the inside of the Instabrace, and the top planks were forced outside it.
- There are designs to choose from, and they are the half sun and the dragonfly. This gives you some opportunity to choose something that suits your design preferences.
- The 100% steel Instabrace is firm and strong and does not bend easily under pressure when you fill the raised bed with soil.
Even after claims were laid down by the Bond that the Instabrace makes the creation of raised beds stress-free and requires no tools, this was not entirely true if you do not build it on a perfectly leveled ground. You might need:
- A 4-foot level ensures that the ground and the raised bed are leveled so that the braces can stand well and the boards fit into the corner braces correctly.
- A drill without cords to make holes in the top boards at each corner.
After reading this review, you’ll get an overview of what Instabrace is all about and why it should be your most preferred choice when you want to assemble raised beds. The article also serves as a guide, informing you of the necessary equipment, tools, and mindset to prepare when you want to set up raised beds.
The advice given in this review is useful because they are the real-life experiences of people who have gone through the process before. Thank you so much for reading this article review and if you have any questions about it please kindly leave your comment below and I’ll be happy to write back to you. To see more details about the item, please kindly click the images. Thanks.
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