raised garden bed - Knowledgebase Question

westerly, Rh
Avatar for onyxx_lady
Question by onyxx_lady
April 28, 2010
I was reading reviews for the 4x4ft raised garden beds that you sell I plan on using them to grow my fruits and vegetables but the reviews said that the treated wood ones should not be used for edibles. they said to use the cedar ones. what is the reasoning for this is it not safe is there a health issue with these particular raised beds? please advise I am really concerned about this

Answer from NGA
April 28, 2010
Wood treated for outdoor use is pressure-treated with chemicals and heat to keep the wood from rotting - or rather to slow the decomposition process. There's some controversy that the chemicals can leach out of the wood and into the soil. For this reason, it's prudent to use untreated wood in vegetable gardens - just to make sure the veggies are not tainted. Woods such as cedar, redwood and cypress are naturally rot resistant and can be used for garden beds, including vegetable beds, without concern. You can help these untreated woods resist rotting by painting them with linseed oil. This is a natural oil made from flax seeds and it works really well. So, I'd build a raised bed for a vegetable garden out of untreated wood just to be on the safe side. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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