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rasied garden bordering question?

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rasied garden bordering question?

Post  bears4x4 on 1/20/2012, 12:38 pm

I know the sfg book recommends using non treated lumber for the edging but i have looked around and have seen many people using treated lumber or even treated railroad ties- even at the local schools. How likely or has there been tests done to see if the chemicals in the wood actually leach into the food grown there in. Just a question i have been asking my self for the past few weeks.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  llama momma on 1/20/2012, 12:50 pm

I am not aware of any tests. It makes good sense to me though to stay far away from treated wood. Some people line the beds with plastic and are comfortable with that. I have three beds with untreated wood, no plastic liner, hardware cloth underneath. I am comfortable with whatever time frame the beds last and consider replacement at some point all part of the grand scheme.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  boffer on 1/20/2012, 1:06 pm

I found a study that said if I ate two CCA pressure treated 2x4x8's every day for 10 years that my body would accumulate enough arsenic to kill me.

Insiders in the know say that the discontinuation of CCA products was about money and marketshare, and not dangers to the end users.

What is the truth? Don't look for it on gardening websites and forums. Look for it in the real boring, hard to understand, testing results presented by universities, extension services, and independent labs. Use that data to make your decisions.

I'm in the small minority on the forum: all my boxes are pressure treated; less than half are lined with plastic.


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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  quiltbea on 1/20/2012, 1:08 pm

I had to hunt a lot before I found untreated wood and that was in a lumber yard, not at Lowe's or Home Depot which only had treated wood. It wasn't cedar which would last a lot longer but I feel safer with untreated so bought spruce. I'm an organic grower so it makes sense to me to use untreated. Here's my first 9 beds in spring 2009.



This is their 4th year and they are in great shape after winters buried completely in snow. They are 2" X 12" boards.

I figure when they start falling apart it'll be time for me to replace them, fewer beds probably, with cinder blocks on which I can seat my old posterior while I'm planting. For this endeavor, I'm buying 2 or 3 at a time (cinder blocks) and setting them aside so they'll be ready when the untreated wood finally fails.

Our health is threatened from all sorts of directions so reducing one of them by using only untreated wood, makes sense to me.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  bears4x4 on 1/20/2012, 3:20 pm

Thanks for the replys. I just have some treated boards lying around , was thinking of using them but I'll just buy a few untreated ones.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  sfg4uKim on 1/20/2012, 6:41 pm

Penn State Study



____________________________

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  Chopper on 1/20/2012, 7:59 pm

[quote="quiltbea"



This is their 4th year and they are in great shape after winters buried completely in snow. They are 2" X 12" boards.

.[/quote]

Wow, if that is how they look after four Maine winters and summers then I am impressed!

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  Chopper on 1/20/2012, 8:03 pm

@sfg4uKim wrote:Penn State Study



Maybe you could offer a conclusion?

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  ashort on 1/20/2012, 8:55 pm

Last page of the report:

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE THE RISKS OF
GARDEN USES OF CCA-TREATED WOOD?
Although the plant and human health risks from garden
uses of CCA-treated lumber appear to be extremely small,
there are steps gardeners can take to further reduce any such
risks.
Use alternative materials. Any possible risks from exposure
of plants or humans to CCA metals can be eliminated
by not using CCA-treated wood in vegetable garden applications.
Alternative materials include:
• Naturally decay-resistant wood such as eastern or western
red cedar, northern white cedar, Osage orange, white
oak, locust, or redwood (none of these will last as long as
CCA-treated wood, however).
• Plastic lumber, concrete blocks, brick, or stone; wire
mesh for compost bins.
• Wood treated with ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary
ammonium). This is an alternative wood-treatment
chemical that contains no arsenic, chromium, or any
other chemical considered toxic by the EPA. However,
ACQ contains more copper than CCA, and some copper
will leach from ACQ-treated lumber as it does from
CCA-treated lumber.
If you choose to use CCA-treated wood for gardening
purposes, do not allow sawdust or wood scraps to fall
onto garden beds and do not put CCA sawdust in your
compost pile.
Cover CCA-treated wood used for raised garden beds
or borders with heavy plastic to prevent contact with
garden soil.
Manage your garden soil to reduce plant availability
of As, Cr, and Cu.
• Maintain soil pH in the near-neutral range (pH 6–7).
Solubility of Cr and Cu is greatly reduced in neutral
soils.
• Maintain adequate phosphorus fertility levels. Plant
uptake of As is reduced by the presence of phosphorus.
• Maintain high soil organic matter levels by adding compost
or manure. Organic matter strongly binds As, Cr,
and Cu and thus reduces their availability to plants.
Plant vegetables, especially root crops, at least 12 inches
from CCA-treated wood. Concentrations of CCA metals
will be highest in soil immediately adjacent to the wood.
If plants are some distance from the CCA-treated wood,
most of the root systems will be in soil with normal As, Cr,
or Cu levels.
Thoroughly wash all soil from vegetables grown in
close proximity to CCA-treated wood. In general, soil will
have much larger concentrations of CCA metals than will
plant tissues. Thus, human intake of CCA metals can be reduced
by removing all soil from vegetables immediately
after harvest.
Peel root crops grown in close proximity to CCAtreated
wood. Plant tissue concentrations of CCA metals
will be highest in roots, especially at the root surface. Thus,
peeling root crops such as carrots, potatoes, and turnips
will remove much of any As, Cr, or Cu that the plant may
have taken up.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  bears4x4 on 1/21/2012, 10:19 am

Yea its not worth the risk to my family and much easier to just do a garden bed with untreated lumber. Wow but thank you, this was very informational.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  sfg4uKim on 1/21/2012, 10:46 am

Yep, wasn't being an "alarmist" and just put out the ENTIRE report without comment so people could draw their own conclusions. Very Happy

Personally I don't want to HAVE to peel my root crops.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  quiltbea on 1/21/2012, 11:42 am

Chopper.....Sorry, but if you read my post again, you'll see that above the photo I mentioned these were the new beds 4 years ago. The lumber was fresh and new and still yellow.

THIS is how they looked this past summer now that the lumber has aged (3 yrs) but they are still solid all the way to the ground. I expect they'll last me a few more years.


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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/21/2012, 4:46 pm

The boxes have weathered nicely QB

I did use a latex paint (actually recycled paint that was a mix of mutilple left over colors of latex paints) on the outside of my table tops to get a uniform look to them, but I can see, after just one year, the paint is failing. I did not put anything on the inside of my boxes because I did not want paint to be in contact with my MM.

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Guidance on Treated Lumber from New Jersey Dept Ag

Post  tomperrin on 1/23/2012, 2:25 pm

Guidance on Treated Lumber for Producers

New Jersey Department of Agriculture

Organic Certification Program

http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/pdf/treatedlumber.pdf

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  ashort on 1/23/2012, 5:58 pm

I doing my new boxes in stone.... limestone specifically...

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  Guest on 1/23/2012, 7:26 pm

I read that limestone will leach, and change the pH.

Guest
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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  ralitaco on 1/23/2012, 8:55 pm

What do you guys think about PVC board?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_238345-99899-2827_4294934154__?productId=3603698&Ntt=pvc+trim&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl_Lumber_4294934154__s%3FNtt%3Dpvc%2Btrim&facetInfo=


Or Vinyl Fence Rail

http://www.lowes.com/pd_87348-73428-73061401S_0__?productId=3362766&Ntt=vinyl+fence+rail&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dvinyl%2Bfence%2Brail&facetInfo=

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  ashort on 1/23/2012, 10:32 pm

kelly1 wrote:I read that limestone will leach, and change the pH.

Thanks, I'll have to watch for that. If it is a problem, then I can solve it pretty easily...

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PVC & Vinyl Boards

Post  tomperrin on 1/24/2012, 5:44 pm

Color me prejudiced against anything plastic.

My first observation is that neither boards are really wide enough, due to the fact that they are adhering to milled lumber specs. My results using that size Trex were disappointing. Mel's Mix settled, and my end result was too little dirt for anything but lettuce and spinach. If you must use this stuff, I would suggest the 8" boards. It might also be appropriate for a tropical or rainforest climate. Other than that, they might be nice for flower beds out front of the house. I also like the idea of limestone bricks. Nothing wrong with limestone leachate unless you're growing azaleas or rhododendrons or other acid loving plants.

I also suggest price comparisons between milled 2" x 8" x 8' pine if cedar is not available. It's relatively cheap, very sturdy, and should last almost indefinitely in an arid climate, and a long time even in our more humid areas. When it does break down in the garden, it just adds to the humus content of the mix.

We've been too enamored of plastics in the kitchen for decades. We're now shifting to inert glass containers or plastic that does not break down rapidly. Same thing in the garden. We're shifting to plain, unpainted, untreated cedar squares as fast as I can build them. I've got some scrap 2" x 8" that I may convert to squares just to see how long it takes them to rot in our climate.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  yolos on 1/24/2012, 6:49 pm

You can get a 2" x 10" x 8' pine board at Home Depot for $5.47. They will make one cut for free. So, to make a 4' x 4' x 10" high box costs $10.94 before tax. Very cheap. Won't last as long as cedar but it's hard to get cedar where I live. Pine is everywhere.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  llama momma on 1/24/2012, 7:02 pm

[quote="boffer"]I found a study that said if I ate two CCA pressure treated 2x4x8's every day for 10 years that my body would accumulate enough arsenic to kill me.

I think you'd be a goner in about 3 days from splinter overload Razz
just couldn't resist.....

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 1/25/2012, 5:31 pm

@ralitaco I had some left over PVC sign board scraps that I used for some beds. I am not a plastic fan either, but I didn't really want to put them in a dumpster either. There has been PVC pipe in my house's system for 30 years. I haven't heard any problems with PVC. just my 2 cents.

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

Post  ralitaco on 1/25/2012, 6:56 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:There has been PVC pipe in my house's system for 30 years. I haven't heard any problems with PVC.

great point

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Re: rasied garden bordering question?

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