Thursday, March 13, 2014

Greenland Gardener Clear Cover Review

I have whined recently in another post how this winter has been underwhelming and atypical for the western part of the United States.  While the news reports of a polar vortex in the east and the midsection of the country, back here in the west, extreme drought looms over like an ominous cloud.  We usually get snow and freezing temperatures all winter-long.  This winter, I don’t remember it even come within the vicinity of freezing temperatures during the day since December.  Here in high desert, we depend on the snowpack from the mountains in the upper elevations for water.  This is the worst winter I’ve seen in three years and it is rather depressing, not just because I ski but because it is becoming more tangible that global warming is real and it is here. 

The silver lining, if any, is that the growing season can start early.  The silent but deadly question is –will there be enough water to sustain my garden in the summer?  But I suppose I’ll have to contend with that later. 

Our daytime temperatures have been consistently ranging from 50-60 degrees for more than 30 days now so that makes it pretty tempting for getting my cold crops, the hardy boys, out.  But it can still dip in the 20’s at night though, and that makes it tricky for growing anything just yet.  I'm sure they will live even when it gets cold, but will they grow?  

Enter the Greenland Gardener clear cover which cameo as a greenhouse-slash-cold frame.  It is a clear plastic tent-like frame that goes over a standard 42” x 42” Greenland Gardener raised bed garden kit.  It is used to create a physical barrier for your raised bed to trap heat in during the day and keep cold out at night.  This enables you to start growing as early as possible, to prolong the growing season - both equate to harvesting more out of your edible garden!

This is the clear cover as it shipped.
The clear cover installed over a 42" x 4" Greenland Gardener raised bed.
It has a zipper that allows you to regulate heat inside the cover.   

Below is a review I wrote of the Greenland Gardener Clear Cover for their raised bed kit.  The quick down-and-dirty:  I like it and if you already have a Greenland Gardener 42" x 42" raised bed kit, you should definitely have one of these!  If I had it sooner, I probably would have not had a problem growing kale, spinach, chard and lettuce all throughout winter.  But enough of these shoulda, woulda, couldas.  I will definitely experiment in the winter, but right now, spring is at the door. 

Spinach, kale, and chard could actually tolerate colder temperatures.  It has gone down to the 20's at night around here and even that did not cause these plants to flinch.  But to actually see for myself if a cold frame makes any significant difference, I planted two spinach, two kales, and two chards on the raised bed where I'm using the clear cover, and I planted two of the same veggies from the same pony pack on a container without cover.  The difference is rather noticeable.

This is the spinach planted under the cover.

And here's the one planted without the cover.

While they both survive nighttime freezing temperatures, I noticed that the one under the cover, seems to be more prolific and have bigger leaves.  Because of the insulation from strong-ish winds, the leaves of the one under the cover also seemed more intact than the one that's somehow splayed out on the uncovered one.

I am thrilled that I could have a rocking and rolling spring garden in just a few weeks.  I have some zucchini seedlings that I will experiment on to see if they survive the outdoors inside the clear cover and probably a Wall O' Waters.  It will be two months before frost-free weather is here, but I'm curious if it will work.  

Stay tuned!

Disclosure:  This post is a statement of independent opinion.  While I was sent the product to review as a sample, I did not receive any compensation from Greenland Gardener. 


  1. Nice review! I have four 42"x42" Greenland Gardener beds and am considering this product to extend my growing season. Seems to fit the garden bed perfectly!

  2. Hi Meg! Four raised beds? Now I'm jealous! What are you growing and where? These covers work really great. It is getting warm where I am and I am going to start using it on my tomatoes and cukes which technically for my area is still a month early, but we'll see how they do!