Type Of Wood For A Raised Bed. - Knowledgebase Question

New Ipswich, NH
Avatar for jocaho
Question by jocaho
May 19, 2001
I would like to build raised beds for a vegetable garden but I am concerned about using pressure treated wood. Will harmful chemicals leach into the soil? Are there chemicals in the treated wood that will kill plants?

Answer from NGA
May 19, 2001
There are two sides to the story concerning the safety of pressure treated wood in gardens. One says they are safe, siting studies showing little or no leaching of arsenate for years. The other side has its own studies and says it does leach at dangerous levels. So, I lean to the cautious side and recommend gardeners not use pressure treated wood, especially for food plants. Try cedar, redwood, hemlock, plastic wood or cement blocks as alternatives. You could line the inside with plastic to reduce the risk of the chemicals leaching into the soil. Or use this wood for beds for flowers, and make other beds for your vegetables.

There is an article covering the topic in detail at the followng site:
It states that recent research shows that more arsenic is leaching out of the wood treated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate) than previously thought.

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