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Aussie Green Thumb – Top Gardening Tips For Everyday People

Garden Product Review – ACQ Treated Pine Garden Bed

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Many of the questions that I field here at AussieGreenThumb.com are with regard to vegetable gardening. How to improve the soil, how to grow good tomatoes, how to, how to, how to. I am more than happy to field these questions and hopefully I am able to answer them sufficiently most of the time. However, today I am reviewing a product that I recommend to anyone who wants to improve their vegetable garden and isn’t already using raised garden beds. Today I am reviewing a product I recently discovered at Bunnings, ACQ Treated Pine garden beds.

As some of you may be aware, generally speaking it is good to stay away from using treated pine in building raised garden beds because most treated pine is treated with chemicals that include arsenic. There is conflicting evidence as to whether the arsenic actually does or does not leach into the soil, and as such most people stay away from this. However, ACQ treated pine is safe because the treatment chemicals used DO NOT INCLUDE arsenic or chromium for that matter. As such, ACQ treated pine is great for use in building raised garden beds.

Bunnings ACQ treated Pine garden beds

I stumbled across this product when I myself was trying to work out which wood I would use to build a garden bed. When I saw a pre-cut and ready to DIY assemble packed garden bed that was priced at only $49 I thought all my Christmas’ had come at once. To build this myself I would have struggled to do it for less than that price (at wholesale price it would be possible) and the added labour this would save me appealed greatly. The website lists the price at $59 but I did only pay $49.

Because I am actually naturally skeptical about ‘pre-made’ things I actually only bought one first because I wanted to road test this product before committing to using these for my entire vegetable garden. I took it home and started putting it together to see just how easy this product was to use and whether or not it suited my needs. I can safely say it exceeded my expectations on nearly every level.

True to their word every part of the assembly was ready to go. The pine sheets were pre-drilled and the screws included in the kit. All I had to do was grab my drill, put the right philips head drill piece in and get to work. I had the frame together in about 30 minutes.

I then moved the frame into position. It was light-weight enough to be able to move once assembled but felt very strong and stable. It measures 120cm x 120cm x 31cm which is a little lower than I would have liked, but for the ease of use I am happy with that. I’d probably have built my own to 40cm. After putting the frame together I filled it with my desired soils and manures and also built a simple polypipe reticulation system into it.

I was so happy with this product that I actually went out and bought another two and set them up in the same way. The second and third frame only took me about 20 minutes each to assemble since I knew exactly what I was doing. Filling them took about an hour total and adding reticulation about another half an hour. All up my entire project would have been about 5-6 hours tops, an easy weekends work.

I’d strongly recommend this product if you are looking to install raised garden beds at your place.

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23 comments… add one

  • I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?

  • aussiegreenthumb

    I have another article on raised garden beds coming soon so stay tuned!

  • Thinking of using these terraced down my front lawn in Butler…

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’.

  • aussiegreenthumb

    They are FANTASTIC! I have 4 in my backyard now (they are growing in number) and are working a treat for my veggies :)

  • vegie lover

    Hi, glad that you are using the ACQ Treated Pine garden bed from bunning as I was waiting for someone to write w review about it. Thank you.

    I got a question though, to avoid soil running out, do you put hard plastic sheet inside the garden bed? How you make a simple polypipe reticulation system? It would be fantastic if the idea can be shared.

  • aussiegreenthumb

    That would be an option.

    Soil will naturally diminish in these but as you need to be adding organic matter to keep your garden healthy, I haven’t found it to be an issue. After each crop I add a few bags of manures and soil improvers and this both keeps the soil high and adds nutrients back into the soil.

  • Ellen

    Can these structures be converted to a simple wicking garden bed type systems?

  • aussiegreenthumb

    I don’t see why they couldn’t. You would have to do a little work but they would provide a good frame work for it :)

  • Allan

    Can you tell me how long the arsenic will stay in the treated logs. I have some logs that are 20 years old

    Hi Can you tell me how long arsenic stays in treated logs. I have some posts that are 20 years old & have used them for corners of our raised garden bed. I am wondering now if this is a safe option.

  • aussiegreenthumb

    I myself don’t know, specifically, though my initial research suggests it can stay for a decade or more. The chances, after 20 years, of getting a high dose of arsenic in your plants is low HOWEVER it is very likely, by the look of it, that some arsenic would still be present. As such, I would personally by staying away from it.

    This is all assuming you want to eat what would be grown in the garden beds. If you just want plants in them, not for consumption, it would be fine.

  • bobthebuilder

    if anyone has trouble buying acq treated pine just look on ebay :)

  • Nick Bell

    These raised garden boxes are great. I make 2, 1.2 x 1.2m x 15cm boxes which are the ideal depth for my Square Foot Garden System. Don’t need them any deeper because the roots of the vegetables and herbs that flourish in them don’t grow deeper than 150cm so I use less soil and less water to harvest perfect crops.
    Nick Bell.

  • Camo

    I was wondering after 2 years, are your boxes holding together well?

  • aussiegreenthumb

    Very much so. Am extremely happy with them still. About to plant yet another crop. They have been a real benefit in such a small place :)

    Still strongly recommend them.

  • jason

    hey mate, just wondering if you could tell me the thickness of the pine for this product?

    thanks

  • aussiegreenthumb

    About 2-4cm, probably?

  • tabitha

    Thankyou for your review. I will now be buying one of these kits from Bunnings. I will give feedback shortly.

  • georgia

    Hi,

    i am going to buy one on the weekend was wondering how much soil you used to fill one?

    thank you!

  • aussiegreenthumb

    To work out how much soil, you simply multiply the dimensions.

    These gardens beds are 1.2m x 1.2m x 0.3m. So 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.3 = 0.432 cubic metres. So each one needs just under 1/2 a cubic metre to fill it to the very top (which you don’t need to do necessarily.

    A standard trailer holds 0.7 cubic metres. So half a trailer (0.35 cubic metres) would probably be a decent amount, which you could top up a little?

    Hope that helps!

  • Andy

    Could you buy 2 packs, and make a tiered garden, 1 section 3 planks high then stepped down to 1 plank high adjacent to it? I don’t want to shade the grass too much, and the extra height will be easier to tend.

  • aussiegreenthumb

    It’d be a bit of extra work but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be doable. You’d just have to drill a few extra holes and modify how the one which is one section high is joined.

  • This website certainly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject
    and didn’t know who to ask.

  • Hi there, thanks for the feedback! You should check out the ultimate gardening toolkit (click the link at the top of the site), which has shortcuts to all of the best, most useful and most popular posts I’ve released. Cheers

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