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Old 01-21-2009, 03:47 PM
 
Location: At the lake house in sunny Florida
16,123 posts, read 16,236,695 times
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I am planning my first vegetable garden this year. I am very excited but I don't want to over do it. I am doing 2 raised gardens. What kind of wood should I use? I was going to use pt wood but I read that is bad. Won't regular lumber just rot? Can I use paint on it?

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
7,133 posts, read 12,301,964 times
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From what I've read, the new treated lumber is not nearly as toxic as the old kind from a few years ago. But to be safe, you could use concrete block.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
127 posts, read 261,803 times
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I've always been afraid to use pressure treated lumber for my raised beds, based on what I've read. So I either use cement blocks (which are very affordable, incredibly easy to use, stable, and last forever) or regular lumber lined with cement board/tile backing. (Although that last solution is only if I have leftover cement board from another job.) For all I know, though, the cement-based products may be bad for you too.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:17 PM
 
650 posts, read 1,672,394 times
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Concrete is in use for artificial reefs in the ocean which has probably been vetted by multiple environmental groups.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Carmel, Maine
12 posts, read 99,247 times
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Smile Raised Garden Beds

Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post
I am planning my first vegetable garden this year. I am very excited but I don't want to over do it. I am doing 2 raised gardens. What kind of wood should I use? I was going to use pt wood but I read that is bad. Won't regular lumber just rot? Can I use paint on it?

Thanks,
Lisa
Go to Home Depot or Lowes and look for 2" x 10" x 8' Douglas Fir. It is reddish in color when compared to White Spruce. There will be ink markings on the wood done at the saw mill which will identify the wood. Or you can have one of the guys that work there, help you find what you want. Douglas fir is rated as a medium resistant wood. If you can't find DF, take the White Spruce. I have found the 2 x 10's make a pretty decent box frame. I make my frames 4' x 8', so one of the 8 footers is cut in half. You can also get metal corner brackets to join the corners or use 2 x 4 or 4 x 4 in the corners. Screw the the corners together with 2.5" or 3" exterior screws. The exterior ones are expensive but will be worth the effort.

Before I screw everything together I coat the wood with a coat of Thompson's Water Seal. One coat is all that is needed. It appears that this stuff is some sort of oil base, so the water beads and runs off rather than soaking into the wood. I buy the one that is listed as safe for use on outdoor furniture and should be safe for your plantings.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Santa saw your Facebook pictures. Youre getting clothes and a Bible for Christmas.
1,837 posts, read 3,705,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post
I am planning my first vegetable garden this year. I am very excited but I don't want to over do it. I am doing 2 raised gardens. What kind of wood should I use? I was going to use pt wood but I read that is bad. Won't regular lumber just rot? Can I use paint on it?

Thanks,
Lisa
Will these be just functional beds or do they need to be pretty too. How about just using logs. I know. They dont last. But theyre free. Dont you live in the country.

In some of my flower beds Ive used plain old logs as place holders until I got around to doing rocks. If I remember right they lasted quite a few seasons before they rotted into the soil.. Theres just me so Im kinda slow gettin to stuff sometimes. .
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: At the lake house in sunny Florida
16,123 posts, read 16,236,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia_Rose View Post
Will these be just functional beds or do they need to be pretty too. How about just using logs. I know. They dont last. But theyre free. Dont you live in the country.

In some of my flower beds Ive used plain old logs as place holders until I got around to doing rocks. If I remember right they lasted quite a few seasons before they rotted into the soil.. Theres just me so Im kinda slow gettin to stuff sometimes. .

Yes we live in the country but my hubby and I are neat freaks. So it needs to be neat, clean, and functional. Should be easy right?


Thank you for all the suggestions. I will do something with wood. I'm not real fond of concrete block.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,748 posts, read 27,321,510 times
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"Yes we live in the country but my hubby and I are neat freaks."

Oh my. Good luck on that.

Wood will rot over time and begin to not look neat. Get an Alaskan sawmill attachment for your chain saw and make some nice timber beams from trees on your property.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:10 PM
 
8,322 posts, read 22,481,894 times
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Do not use any form of PT wood around your garden. Immersed in "wet" conditions, they will leach out toxic poisons to your plants which you will ingest from your vegetables raised there. By law, any PT lumber is supposed to have a Federal "do not use in wetlands" warning label on each piece of lumber, and you aren't even supposed to breathe in the sawdust from cutting this wood or have direct skin contact with it. While the "newer" toxins are "less toxic" than the old CCA (Arsenic based treatment), they're still TOXIC. The worst rate of leaching out comes with the most freshly treated, newer lumber. If moisture is allowed to pool around these timbers, the water table will be contaminated, too ... which can affect many plants and your landscaping, as well as water you or your pets may drink.

Consider using rough cut lumber/timbers of redwood or cedar, which are naturally high in oil content which retard rotting. They will last for many years in some climate/soil zones.

Your best source of information about which lumber species would work best is your local County Extension Agent, generally found through your State University ... if you can't find them as a separate listing in the County offices. Also inquire if they have a Master Gardener's group, which can provide complimentary services ... site visits, local knowledge about the gardening/vegetables, etc.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Santa saw your Facebook pictures. Youre getting clothes and a Bible for Christmas.
1,837 posts, read 3,705,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"Yes we live in the country but my hubby and I are neat freaks."

Oh my. Good luck on that.

Wood will rot over time and begin to not look neat. Get an Alaskan sawmill attachment for your chain saw and make some nice timber beams from trees on your property.
Theyre younger than us. They'll learn.

Seriously we all have different tastes. I dont like neat and orderly. I have a fetish for repurposing found things and free range rocks. If you can see the dirt you dont have enuf fleurs. People probably think an old Magpie lives at my place.
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