Treating Wood For Raised Beds ??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by free-2-b-me, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. free-2-b-me

    free-2-b-me Well-Known Member

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    I am building frames for raised bed gardening . I am using 3/4 inch pine that is from pallets . I want to put some type of preservative on them so they will last a little bit longer . I was thinking boiled linseed oil but , reasearching it says that it promotes mold and mildew in a moist environment . I want to use something that is non leaching or highly toxic. I do have some leftover exterior house paint . Would that work or is that just as bad as anything else ? The ground that I am using them at is slopped so they will be partially in the earth also . I figure I will get 2 - 3 years if left plain . Should I just leave them as they are or does anyone know of something I can use ????
    ~~~~~~~~Vickie
     
  2. JGex

    JGex Pragmatist

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    Do you garden organically, or are you concerned at all about chemicals? Pallets are usually full of pesticides, and other chemicals. That would be my big concern with using the pallet wood.

    The paint might help, but when I used untreated wood on a couple of beds a few years ago, they only lasted one season here.
     

  3. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    Anything you use on the wood would either get into the ground and ultimately into your plants and finally your mouth! People use wood all the time for raised beds and some report many years before replacing it. We have a pallet here in NJ that rotted away in just two years outside. We just decided to use concrete blocks around our raised beds in place of wood.

    Ken & Sue in Glassboro, NJ :)
     
  4. free-2-b-me

    free-2-b-me Well-Known Member

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    The pallets we use aren't the typical shipping pallets . The wood that are on them is like the kiln dried pine you would purchase at a building center . They are smooth . We have used them to build many things for inside the home because they are so nice .
    I do garden organically . I make my own compost and vermicompost. I add no other chemicals to my garden .
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    If you don't want to replace the walls of your raised beds every few years, my suggestion would be to use either cinder blocks or old railroad ties. The chemicals that might remain in the ties will not enter your plant's root system. If you are still concerned, just don't plant any root crops near the edges of your beds.
     
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    ha ha.. :):) Funny... I JUST came in from planting my raised (like 30 inches!!:) bed that my husband made for me. He went on a big search a couple of weeks ago, and ended up using Linseed oil. Now, he aparently found some that was less hazardous than others? The moisture issue wasn't brought to my attention. He's pretty thorough and of all the things we thought up, it seemed to be the lesser of the 'evils' out there. We also attached landscape cloth inside the bottom to keep the soil from running out the holes. (See next paragraphs)

    But.. anyway.. we just rolled it (oil) on w/a small sponge roller and were done it 15 minutes. It really soaked it up... BUT since we raised it so high we have a plywood bottom. (Yay, my NON aching back.)

    We drilled a hole in each sq. ft. for drainage and underneath attached some little 'troughs' (v-shaped stuff he found... really cool) SO that.. if we want we can use the space underneath for... a spare 'roof' for the dogs. (They kind of have issue w/their dog house.)
     
  7. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    I use untreated pine for my boxes. Here in Western Washington they last five to six years. When they begin to show rot, I just add another board on the outside and the old board slowly becomes soil.
     
  8. free-2-b-me

    free-2-b-me Well-Known Member

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    That's a good idea Christiaan . Well I went ahead and gave this one a coat of acrylic exterior paint - right or wrong it's done - lol .
    I am not putting bottoms in mine . They are open on the bottom .
     
  9. Wildoutdoorsmen

    Wildoutdoorsmen Active Member

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    My g-pop used linseed oil on everything wood, he pasted this winter and everything still looks new. Cedar, pine and oak all good and outside.