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Varnishing my box

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Varnishing my box

Post  conradcpt on 5/25/2011, 10:01 am


I'm putting canvas sheeting on the inside of my box. So I was wondering if it will be safe to completely varnish the box before doing that in stead of just using linseed oil? Should be right?

Thanks in advance.


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Re: Varnishing my box

Post  AZDYJ2K on 5/25/2011, 5:57 pm

My boxes are raw redwood planks. I intentionally chose redwood for it's durability as I did not want to apply any sealants, stains or paint to the wood. Reason for this is that I don't want anything leaching into the MM and potentially into the veggies. With that said there are different schools of thought on this topic. Some people opt to stain, seal or paint their wood. If I have to build new boxes in 5-10 years I'm okay with that. But I'm hoping I'll get 10-20 years of use out of them at least. I recall my Grandmother used cheaper wood than I did and her's held up all through my childhood until she became too old to garden.

I don't have an answer on whether it will be safe for you to varnish but thought you should gather as much information on the subject so you can make an informed decision. I don't know if there is a clear cut answer on how safe it is to use treated wood in an SFG. Guess it also depends on your definition of safe. Do you mean safe for your plants so it doesn't alter growth/yield or safe for human consumption?

Here's a thread on this subject from last year: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t884-natural-sealant-finish-for-boxes?highlight=finish


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Re: Varnishing my box

Post  Goosegirl on 5/26/2011, 7:18 am

Ah, redwood! I miss being in CA where I could have had raw redwood boxes! Wood that is naturally insect-repellent and does not rot in the water (Ft. Bragg, CA still has some neighborhoods with redwood log water pipes!). Here in the midwest I asked if redwood was available and everyone looked at me like I was some sort of alien! I fortunately found 1x6 cedar, but I really wanted 2x8 or 2x10 redwood! Dream, dream, dream,...



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Post  sherryeo on 5/26/2011, 5:34 pm

I personally have chosen not to stain, paint or used any kind of treated wood for my boxes. I'm trying to be as organic as possible and don't want any possible toxins to leach into my garden. It's just not worth the chance of possibly exposing my plants or my family to toxins. But I guess it's a personal decision.


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Re: Varnishing my box

Post  conradcpt on 5/31/2011, 3:33 pm

I've done some research. As long as the soil doesn't come into contact with the varnish then there is no harm to be done. I'm using a lead free varnish anyway.

Thanks for the replies.


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Re: Varnishing my box

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