Cold Frame - Knowledgebase Question

Fairfield, CT
Avatar for brian_lee
Question by brian_lee
March 12, 1998
Are there any dangers with using a cold frame constructed of
pressure treated lumber? The cold frame will be sitting on top of the vegetable garden soil, It will be used to harden off seedlings and to warm up the soil for early spring plantings.

Answer from NGA
March 12, 1998
The jury is still out on this one. Creosote-treated timbers are definitely "no, no's" in the vegetable garden. But there are conflicting reports on the safety of pressure treated lumber. If it were me, I wouldn't (and don't) use it.

In your case, it would be removed before the veggies are even up, which in my opinion would make it less offensive. If you have not yet constructed it, how about using cedar, hemlock or redwood? You should be able to use regular pine lumber for theupper part, and save the rot-resistant wood for the area in contact with the soil. If you paint the pine, it will last for years.

If you already have CCA treated lumber and want to use it, I would place some plastic down on the surface of the soil, to act as a barrier between soil and wood.

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