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Raised vegie garden in treated pine?

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  1. #1
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    Default Raised vegie garden in treated pine?

    Hi all,

    Is it okay to use standard H4 treated pine for a raised vegie garden or are there question marks about the chemical treatment getting into the food? I know there's a product called Ecowood, but obviously if can save some money, would prefer to do so.

    Advice please!

    Cheers,
    K

  2. #2
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't use treated pine for a vege garden. I would be looking for a better alternative.
    I'm no expert, but know enough to be dangerous...
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  3. #3
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    Put plastic sheeting in around the sides (but not the bottom) if you are concerned. It will also stop the pine from continually being wet.

  4. #4
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    I personally wouldn't use it at all.

    As far as I am aware even "ecowood" has some sort of copper based treatment to it.

    If you can get hold of some hardwood sleepers they are probably be the better bet.
    My Grandfather used old roof tiles and short pieces of star picket, but he didn't need to build his beds up to a great height.

    Then again I ahve seen some success with plastic but make sure you tuck it under the wood so it ensures water flows to the outside of the sleepers rather than down in to the bed itself. The downside is that it breaks down in the end, and it's really easy to breach with a fork or spade..

  5. #5
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    A way you can do it without laying bricks or blocks and quickly but a bit heavy is to use preformed concrete lintels check your local garden centre, but most applications will have some sort of chemical.

    Personally I would stay away from CCA products as they are restricted use products!

  6. #6
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    ...or you could refer to the document put out by the CSIRO

    The facts about CCA-treated timber (Fact Sheet)

    ...and see that there are no problems with using treated pine unless you are actually eating TP sawdust by the handful or intend to burn it and inhale the smoke.

    All the noise about treated pine is because there are no studies on safe exposure levels when handling the material; on a risk assessment basis for a garden bed, you'd spend your time better by making sure no-one got toxoplasmosis by eliminating cat poo from it!

    This is an interesting read.
    DIY electrical wiring to AS/NZS3000 - details here - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  7. #7
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    All the noise about treated pine is because there are no studies on safe exposure levels when handling the material; on a risk assessment basis for a garden bed, you'd spend your time better by making sure no-one got toxoplasmosis by eliminating cat poo from it!
    I rather not take the risk, thanks , and I thought the Timber Assocation in 2007 put it on a limited use ;so no school playgrounds, furniture decks etc! ....they said Tobacco smoke was actually a benefit before the @@@@wits got sued enough. They also do a risk assessments called a CBA (cost benefit analysis) how many times do we get sued loose money before we incur the cost to change it!

    I do agree about toxoplasmosis and I would advise a nightscope and .22

  8. #8
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    I know raised beds can be a bit easier on the back but they do need more water because they tend to drain more quickly. A garden bed at ground level will hold the water much better.
    Remember the 7 p's.
    Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

  9. #9
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    Well, if you are that worried by the arsenic in treated pine, you'd also better get your soil checked - levels found in Australian soil range from 1 to 50 mg per kilo, so some areas of Australia naturally exceed the 30mg per kilo considered safe by the APVMA in its recommendation. If you are near old gold mines, soil levels might be even higher.

    The main reason the APVMA decided to restrict CCA-treated timber in new playground equipment, despite the lack of evidence for increased risk obtained from its calculations, is that studies have not been sufficiently rigorous to show the extent of variability, where exceptions to the average amount may occur - ie if you have naturally high arsenic soil, and you wash your treated pine deck regularly with deck brightening chemicals, you could have levels greater than 30mg/kg.

    Unfortunately, people generally have a very poor understanding of probabilities (as indicated by the number of people who buy lottery tickets) and seem to think that not using treated pine is a better health outcome than improving their eating habits (ie not using treated pine is easy, giving up chips 'n beer is hard). Probability wise, you are tackling the two in a million issue rather than the one in three issue.

    TL;DR version - You're gunna die of Macca's and VB way, way, way before you die from arsenic leeching!
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  10. #10
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    Well, if you are that worried by the arsenic in treated pine, you'd also better get your soil checked - levels found in Australian soil range from 1 to 50 mg per kilo, so some areas of Australia naturally exceed the 30mg per kilo considered safe by the APVMA in its recommendation.
    I did read the articles and they were informative. But the conclusion drawn was because not enough data could be collected and interpreted a consenus couldn't be given at this stage so they have attached a figure that they believe to be safe.

    How many time have you heard the argument about 'butter & margarine which is better' depending who's paying for the latest study gets to influence the buying patterns.

    I do plan to have the soil sampled because of the multiple spraying of various nasties otherwise my 100m2 of vegetable garden will not be worth it and I cannot stand Grass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    Unfortunately, people generally have a very poor understanding of probabilities (as indicated by the number of people who buy lottery tickets) and seem to think that not using treated pine is a better health outcome than improving their eating habits (ie not using treated pine is easy, giving up chips 'n beer is hard).
    You are mixings your ASSUMPTIONS (to assume is to make an ASS of U and ME)you cannot equate the two, one is a mathematical certantity and the other is a educated Assumption not scientific fact. Again you are assuming that unhealty lifetsyles are being led by the posters, the correct term is "giving up chips n Beer is difficult, concrete is hard!"

    TL;DR version - You're gunna die of Macca's and VB way, way, way before you die from arsenic leeching!

    Don't understand your view, is this a put down...eating Macca's and drinking VB is a personal choice and some may enjoy it, give me a decent Petit Chablis and some shashimi of kingfish, its personal choice. Arsenic leeching and not knowing about it is not!

    My old Maths professor quoted "87% of statistics are made up, including this one!" but my favorite" An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than for illumination"

    Cheers


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