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Raised Garden Bed material

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Raised Garden Bed material

Postby hummingbird_0414_ » May 11, 2011 7:49 pm

Good Day all!!
I am new to the forum, and after much searching decided to make this post as I am at my wits end with this dilemma I have.

My husband and I have decided to grow our own veggies this year. I have about 40 seedlings in a small greenhouse that are doing VERY well, and I look forward to getting them into the ground soon!

We went out on the weekend to purchase supplies to build three raised beds (I believe the dimensions are 4'x8' but I could be mistaken..at any rate they are large). We bought ACQ pressure treated lumber, spent about $400 on the whole lot of it. We built the beds and then realized that this may not have been the best wood to use due to leaching of chemicals and such.

I have read about liners, and even thought about a pond liner...but at the same time I was really looking forward to a healthy garden and cannot get past whether or not I should be concerned about leaching into the soil.

I really don't want to start over, $400 down the drain and three huge beds with nothing to do with...just doesn't jive.

I wonder about liners, are they fool proof, will plastics leach as well? I sort of feel like if we keep the PTL we are messed up if we do and messed up if we don't. I was hoping for some advice from some more 'seasoned' gardeners that could lend some insight.

Thanks for any help, and I look forward to getting to know everyone!!!
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Re: Raised Garden Bed material

Postby Countryboy » May 12, 2011 9:25 am

Well here's some insight from a gardening builder . . who has used PTL for years . . and in many of it's different 'incarnations'. But it's also where I tend to get jumped on by some people.

IMHO the manufacturers of these ACQ products are covering their rear end by posting warnings that are slightly 'over the top'. The amount of "cide" *poison* in these products is sometimes enuf to kill a fungus spore. In terms of body weight per measure of "cide" I don't think it's very dangerous to humans . . or even animals.

Copper, we don't eat. But we drink water every day that runs thru copper pipe. With no ill effects.

And Quat??? Well, every time I go to visit the kennels where I got my dog we spray Quat on the soles of our shoes . . . then we tramp thru the kitchen and into the living room. 10 or 12 people, all with Quat on their shoes, leaving residue on the floor, and puppies crawling all over that floor.

IMO, if u grew a carrot . . right up against an ACQ treated piece of lumber . . and it soaked up all the ACQ that it possibly could in a growing season . . and fed the whole carrot to a small Guppy . . then the Guppy might get sick for a while. A normal human wouldn't even notice any effect.

I used to have raised beds made from lumber that was treated with CCA . . . Chromated Copper Arsenate. *The original treatment for lumber. Because of the chance of accumulated leaching (over years and years) this product was banned a few years ago and replaced by ACQ.* My family ate vegetables grown in these beds for years.

If u really want to have peace of mind tho, why don't u cover the inside of the lumber with strips of pond liner, old inner tubes, poly, or any other impermeable film that's 6 mil or thicker. NO leaching will occur thru that. It's certainly not necessary to line the bottom of the beds.
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

Frank . . ON5a
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