Raised Bed Wood Durability


Old 02-03-08, 08:51 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 25
Raised Bed Wood Durability

I have searched the raised bed threads here. I can't afford cedar, and would like to use wood instead of stone....and PT wood is no good given that we will use the beds for vegetables. One person asked about treating wood to make it more durable.

My home depot carries Hem Fir which is reasonably priced. Any ideas how long I can expect it to last (rot, warp etc) before needing to be replaced? I'm here in Seattle, with a rainy season of 5 months or so.....

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Old 02-05-08, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Red cedar, black locust, and redwood are naturally rot resistant. That is, the heart wood of these species. And to request all heartwood, would be very expensive.

Pressure treated hem fir is used in outdoor applications. As you indicate, there have been concerns about using pressure treated wood where veggies are grown. As of 2003, the pressure treated wood containing arsenic is no longer a concern. The use of landscape timbers for raised bed construction should provide you with a rot resistant frame for the beds.

Old 03-03-08, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1,210
You can find old lumber free I'm sure, just drive down a few alleyways. Plenty of cedar torn off decks and so forth useless but for what you have in mind. It all weathers and looks "old" soon enough anyway.

Case in point, Wednesday I'm demolishing one cedar deck that's structurally unsound... as a deck. The wood I'll leave in the alley for anybody who wants it... then chop to "free firewood" size... then finally the dump if no takers.

I used such junk with rusty steel stakes driven into the ground, to keep it in place, for beds.

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