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Is it considered acceptable to use "treated" pine sleepers to construct a raised garden bed. I didn't know if they needed to be lined with anything.

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There's a thread somewhere about this David.  The short answer is yes and you don't need to line it.  I think it was the Melbourne City Council which did extensive testing and found the treatments only go a few mm at most at very tiny levels.  It was deemed safe.

Good, thanks a lot!
The readily available treated pine is called CCR which has arsenic in it. I've never looked into the safety of it but let's say erred on the side of caution and used ACQ timber which has been promoted as garden safe.
Mm...bad!, thanks, I'll be looking into it further I think. Maybe I will have to line the raised garden, perhaps with cut up bags from potting mix. If kept out of direct sunlight they should last, or not be frugal and look into it further. So many plastics can be a problem but how much should we worry about these things? How much would the baddies leak into the soil----as in Andrew's reply? Thanks a lot to you both! I have just joined this group and wonder if anyone else had brought up the subject before because treated pine is used so much these days!

In the last several years I cannot remember much if any conversation about CCA treated timber for gardens on this site. But you can search the site using the search function. Just be prepared for many pages of irrelevancies but you just might get some gems in the mix.

The conventional wisdom is that CCA treated timber is not used for anything to do with gardens. Based on the thought (but no one has advanced any proof as far as I know) that the toxins would or could leach.

Working on the 'better be sure than sorry' principle, I would not use it myself. My garden edges are all metal and now I've converted them to wicking beds, they are lined with builder's plastic, toxicity and leaching unknown. Frying pans and fires spring to mind!

I've read about the zinc leaching from galvanising too. My metal water tank is lined with some kind of plastic I think - it's powder-coated so perhaps whatever-that-is is in contact with the water. We don't drink the water but the food garden does.


Solution: follow your own feelings in the absence of proof.

Oh ye doubting Thomases.  Here:

Please note the section about "Is it safe in my vege garden."

Thanks Andy.

I'd still rather use ACQ than CCA.  LOL.  Just saying.  However, there's no need to panic about CCA.  

Thank you all for replies and advice, it has been both interesting and enlightening! After reading everything, including the WA gov site, I think I will go on with it as well as the builder's plastic sheeting as a liner.

Once again, thank you all for your advice. If I can work out how to, I will post a photo of the project when it is finished, if that's ok.

We'd love photos mate!

I painted mine to be safe, but am now wondering if the paint would leach into the soil?
Seems like I've stirred an ant's nest! Sorry.


Important note about adding photos:

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GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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