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Raised Bed Materials

Raised Bed Materials
Posted by Leslie ( from Knoxville, TN on 2002-02-09 21:22:10

Should I use that thick railroad-tie type wood (does it have bad chemicals?), or pressure treated, or what? My "supplier" is Home Depot, and I'm limited to the store's products.
I also have about 20 trees, felled from our property (oak, pine, poplar). Should I mill them to size and use for my beds?
My goal is to have 4'x8' dimensions with 2'-3'tall walls.
  • Raised bed material
    Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b-MI on 2002-02-10 07:04:05

    Railroad ties are heavily saturated with creosote, stink, and tend to stain your cloths and body parts that come in contact with them. If they don't do this they are too old and all the creosote has been washed out of this southern yellow pine and they will start to rot as soon as you put them in your garden.
    CCA pressure treated wood tends to leach arsenic which can accumulate in your soil although it does not appear that plants uptake more even if it is present. But that arsenic is also on the wood surface and you can pick up excess quantities by making contact with the wood.
    ACA, I think, pressure treated wood is supposed to be a better alternative, but I've not found it around here yet, store personnel look at me like "What are you talking about."
    Cedar would be a much better alternative if you can consider the long term costs rather than out of pocket expense.
    Some of my bed borders, made from SPF untreated, are beginning to show signs they need replacing after 10 years in place.
    • CCA treated wood
      Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b-MI on 2002-02-14 07:31:32

      A story on NPR's "Morning Edition" this am stated that the manufacturers and largest retailers of CCA pressure treated wood will be phased out and replaced with another type, probably ACA, of pressure treated wood.


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