vegetable patch design
Raised bed building materials
Raised bed building materials - Page 2

photo of treated pine raised bed
Raised wicking bed made
out of treated pine
Treated pine timber
  • Cheaper than Redgum.
  • Lighter and easier to handle    than Redgum  
  • Sustainable plantation timber.  One hectare of pinewood plantation timber produces the rough equivalent of eight hectares of hardwood.  Using plantation pine timber reduces the pressure on hardwood forests.

  • Impregnated with poisons to   preserve the timber.  Some leaching may occur.

Copper Chrome Arsenate (CCA)
This is the method first devised to preserve pine and has long been criticised for it's use of arsenic as it's key preserving ingredient.  For details see the Wiki link

Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ)
A newer method of treating pine that is claimed to be much more benign than the CCA process as it does not use arsenic.  It is however still a poison and should always be treated as such.  It is also very corrosive to metal.  For details see the Wiki link

ACQ treated pine is becoming much more common but it pays to check with your timber supplier to make sure which method has been used.  I have been told that treated pine posts are more likely to be treated using the old CCA method while sawn treated pine is more likely to use the ACQ process. 

It is my opinion treated pine, especially if it is processed with the ACQ process, has been unfairly maligned and is much more environmentally friendly than many environmental groups make it out to be.  I do however recommend that if you are building vegetable beds out of treated pine you only use ACQ treated wood and that you line the inside of the bed with builders plastic (waterproof)..

Photo of plantation grown sugar gum planks
Plantation grown sugar gum planks.
plantation grown sugar gum
  • Has similar keeping qualities to Redgum and Jarrah, though
    not quite as good.
  • Lighter and easier to handle  than Redgum  
  • Sustainable plantation timber  
  • Very expensive
  • Not widely available
  • Not available outside of Australia 
This is a product that I have not tried myself but I do know people who have.  As Redgum and Jarrah becomes more expensive and scarce I believe plantation grown sugar gum will become the natural alternative for these timbers.

Photo of loose brick wall
Loose second hand bricks retaining wall.
Loose second hand Bricks
  •  Simple to set up and easy to move
  • Easy to knock out of position  
  • Gaps between the bricks provide good cover for pests

There are of course many other types of materials that can be used to build raised beds.  Before deciding what to use I would suggest you check out what's available in your area and what experienced local gardeners are using.