What material to use for raised veg box

Hello everyone.  

We have decided to make some raised veg boxes for our garden this summer. Although we've fallen at the first hurdle as we don't know what to make them with. 

Should we use treated wood? But surely over time the treatment will go into the soil?

In this month's Gardeners world, Adam Frost uses what looks like copper boards? Page 44-47.

We hope our veg boxes to be used season after season and stand the test of time. 

Any recommendations ?

Thank you very much.



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,852

    Carol, all modern pressure treated wood is safe to use.  They used to use heavy metal compounds containing arsenic and copper but those processes were banned many years ago.  I use decking planks as it is good value and thick enough to bear the weight of wet soil (which is extremely heavy.)  I line the inside with used compost bags to help prevent wet soil being in contact with the wood (even treated wood will rot after a few years in such conditions.)  Some of my 'decking' raised beds are 10 years old and still going strong. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Aster2Aster2 Posts: 629

    Those are lovely, Edd.

    Would weed suppressing membrane work to protect the wood? It lets water through.

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,640

    You can get untreated oak sleepers too but these are a bit more expensive of course. That sort of porous membrane will allow the wet through but will help contain the soil stopping it washing through the joints. 

  • Aster2Aster2 Posts: 629

    Aha! Thanks, Edd & WillDB. I'm planning to build some beds (only slightly raised) on my allotment, so I'll go with decking planks and this fabric.

    The decking planks all have these ridges in them, I assume it's better to have them facing outside than inside the bed, so as not to provide hiding places for slugs and other pests?

Sign In or Register to comment.