Material for raised bed

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  • i bought some gravel boards from B&Q to increase the height of my existing raised beds.

    I was concerned the gravel boards were obviously treated with something so contacted B&Q and they informed me their gravel boards are pressure treated with Tanalith E  and they should be safe for raised beds and compost bins.

    I did some googling and found the following on the lonza wood website.

    TANALITH E timber is suitable for the construction of compost bins and for use as earth retaining structures for organic vegetable beds. The Soil Association (www.soilassociation.org) states that if the timber used for organic vegetable beds is preservative pre-treated then there are no issues in terms of organic status. If, however, the wood is treated once the raised bed has been built (brush applied preservative) then this would affect the status of the land. 

    so not only safe, but I can still consider my veg patch 'organic'!

  • I have a small back yard with timber fences all around and a timber shed.

    I want to grow vegetables organically and worried about leach of chemicals from fences. I also want to build a green house to grow plants like chillies and aubergines.

    I would be grateful for advice.

    Many thanks

  • RaeleneRaelene Posts: 1
    Thanks for the information on Tanalith.  I am surprised however that some would consider lining the beds with plastic - this will break down into smaller particles eventually and probably cause a greater problem than any slight issue with the processing of the wood, surely???  Or maybe my chemistry knowledge is flawed!
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,099
    Raelene said:
    Thanks for the information on Tanalith.  I am surprised however that some would consider lining the beds with plastic - this will break down into smaller particles eventually and probably cause a greater problem than any slight issue with the processing of the wood, surely???  Or maybe my chemistry knowledge is flawed!
    The black plastic used in compost bags etc is polyethylene and is broken down mainly by the UV in sunlight, so the inside of a raised bed is an ideal place to keep it in good condition for a few decades longer than the wood will last.  I've built dozens of raised beds over the years and I'll guarantee that if you have damp soil in direct contact with tanalised wood, it will rot in no time, even after only a couple of years if using thin planks.
    Think of it more as recycling - if you have empty compost bags, what are you going to do with them?  In general, black plastic is not recycled by most centres and is either burnt or goes into landfill..
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,021
    Bob is right in every way. Timber beds left unlined will rot quite rapidly unless lined.
    Of course, if you have loads of money to throw around, you can rebuild beds every few years and not bother lining them, but then the old wood has to be disposed of. ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Fairygirl said:
    Of course, if you have loads of money to throw around, you can rebuild beds every few years and not bother lining them, but then the old wood has to be disposed of. ;)
    If you have buckets of money you can use untreated oak sleepers. I'm assuming they'll last for a good few years as is.

    I'm about to build a raised bed for OH's herbs and I'm going the 6"x1" treated, with a black plastic lining. If we die I'll let you know :)
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