The Q&A Archives: Can I safely use pressure treated wood for a raised vegetable garden?

Question: Hi there. I've seen so many reports on arsenic issues with treated wood and gardens, but most were 2003 and earlier.
My question is I'm trying to build a raised bed garden and would like to know if today's pressure treater wood is safe to use.


Answer: I would suggest you contact the manufacturer of the specific wood product you have in mind for verification, however in general the recommendation is to avoid treated wood and railroad ties for vegetable gardens. You could use one of the recycled plastic products such as Trex, or use cedar or redwood, or even use plain lumber -- it will last a number of years. Other alternatives include concrete block or retaining wall blocks or using a lower bed with natural sides (no edger at all.) I hope this helps you evaluate your options.

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