Materials for Raised Beds - Knowledgebase Question

Jacksonville, AL
Avatar for john_f_snyde
Question by john_f_snyde
December 29, 1997
I want to build some raised beds to grow vegetables in. If I use treated landscaping timbers for this purposes, is there any danger of chemicals leaching from the wood, getting into the vegeatbles, and making the vegetables dangerous to eat?

Answer from NGA
December 29, 1997
There are a number of structural landscaping materials on the market, and you're wise to be selective when building for a food garden.

Stay far away from any timbers treated with creosote. They last forever, but can leach petroleum products into the soil.

There are strong opinions on both sides to the story concerning the safety of pressure-treated wood in gardens. Unfortunately the most careful research has been unable to resolve the dispute.

The best advice I can give is to refer you to articles we've published on the subject, all by environmental building consultant Alex Wilson:

Wood Preservatives
[link="=""target="new"]Naturally Rot Resistant Woods
[link="=""target="new"]Wood-be Wood

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