Treated Wood OK for a Vegetable Garden?


shanezam203

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Curious if treated 2x6x8 lumber is BAD or unhealthy to build a 2 foot high garden box with.
(looking to plant carrots, tomatoes, cucumber...)

Do you suggest treated or non treated wood, I am in Chicago and want to make sure the food will be safe & edible.

Thank you,

Shane
 
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I think the current treated wood products are safe. They just don't last very long. I use treated wood frames around my plots, but they are just 4 inches high. Where I live, untreated wood wouldn't last 6 months. If it makes you nervous, you could line the inner sides with plastic so the soil has no contact with the wood. This should also increase the life span of your boxes.
 

taherrmann4

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I used treated wood on mine, but if I had to do it all over again I would not use treated wood. Mine is about 9 years old and now they are using a different method or chemicals to treat than they used to. I looked into using cedar but to get a 2x6x8 in cedar is expensive here. What I thought about doing was build it out of pressure treated wood, once the frame is built, I would take and put two layers of landscape fabric, then I would take the 1x6x6 cedar fence boards and line the inside of the box. This should keep most chemicals from leaching into the soil. You could always trade out the pressure treated for regular 2x6x8 pine boards though they won't last as long but you should get quite a few years out of them.

You may want to post this question in this sites sister site as you may get other opinions there. http://www.gardening-forums.com/
 
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I think it depends on how far you want to go. People do use treated wood for vegetable beds and they don't die soon after eating the vegetables. But long term effects are unknown. But that goes for redwood and cedar too. Just because they're "natural" doesn't make them safe any more than "chemical" means unsafe.

My yard soil, being an urban house, probably has more toxic stuff in it than treated wood has. IMO there's a kind of bottom line that I don't live in a pristine environment and that's just the way it is. Even "organic" soil can have some nasty stuff. It's all relative.

I do prefer concrete block to wood however and line the inside with plastic. The block is longer lasting, easy to reconfigure, reusable, and way easier to build beds with imo.
 
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