M Brace Mini, a kit for kid-sized raised garden beds


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For parents, summer can be a seasonal conundrum. Kids don’t want to go to camp. Parents don’t want them on the computer. One possible solution: Get them outside. Get them gardening.

Last year I wrote about M Brace, a set of four steel brackets that allow you to build a raised garden bed in minutes. The line has expanded with the new M Brace Mini, designed with kids and small-space gardeners in mind.


The do-it-yourself beds can be assembled using 2-by-4s from the hardware store, old fence boards -- pretty much anything that’s 2 inches wide, sturdy and rot-resistant. Simply slide the material into the 7-inch-tall braces, add soil and start planting. It may not be the best time of year to plant, particularly for residents of hot inland regions, but at least the no-tools-required assembly makes the hard part easy.

The M Brace Mini comes in six powder-coated designs: frogs, bunnies, butterflies, snails, dragonflies and daisies. They’re made from recycled steel in California. Price: $89.99 for a set.

M Brace Mini is also available in a natural steel finish that will rust over time. Price: $69.99.

M Brace is made by Art of the Garden, which creates plant stakes and garden edgers using the cutout remnants of the raised bed kits.


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