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Pressure treated wood ok for vegetable garden?

Pressure treated wood ok for vegetable garden?


Old 07-18-05, 05:11 PM
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Pressure treated wood ok for vegetable garden?

I'm building a vegetable garden.
Someone told me that I should build up a bed by forming a 'sand box' out of 2x8 pressure treated wood such that the 'box' sits on the ground and I fill it with new topsoil. I'm concerned that the chemicals in the pressure treated wood will leech into the soil and into my vegetables.
I'm planning to make four 4x8 ft gardens. with a pathway between each 4x8.
Do you agree/disagree with using pressure treated wood?
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Old 07-18-05, 07:33 PM
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There has long been a concern that any wood treated with a preservative might leach the chemicals into the plants. Since you eat these plants, it might be a good idea to do otherwise. You might consider wood that is naturally resistant to decay, such as white oak, locust, or cedar. Another option is the new offering of deck boards that have no wood in them. You might consider using the stacking blocks that are used for short walls and other decorative purposes. Although not particularly attractive, standard concrete blocks are 8 inches tall, sit well on the ground, hold soil reasonably well, and have no nettlesome chemicals in them.

Hope this helps.
Old 07-30-05, 07:50 PM
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The good treated lumber that has arsenic is no longer in common use. Most of the treated lumber you can buy these days is treated with a copper solution. The switch was made because of leaching concerns.

One word of caution because the new treatment is much more expensive than the old most of the 2" (two inch thick, 2x4...2x6 etc.) are only treated for above ground use only. Most 4" and 6" thick lumber receives more treatment and is rated for ground contact. You can get 2" thick lumber for ground contact but in most cases it will be a special order.

If you are concerned about leaching you can line your raised bed with galvanized flashing before filling it with dirt. Do not use the aluminum flashing. It will tear too easily if you hit it with the shovel.
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