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Old 04-09-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


If I use untreated 2X pine for raised beds, how long do you think the wood would last? There doesn't seem to be any definitive proof that treated lumber is safe to use. Thanks.

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Old 04-09-2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


Not worth your time even building it with Unpressure treated wood unless you plan on rebuilding it every year.
The new pressure treated wood is treated with copper not arsenic and is safe to use.
2X pressure treated is not direct ground contact rated, use 4 X 4's, 4 X 6's, or 6 X 6's.

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Old 04-09-2014, 11:45 PM   #3
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


Thanks. Every year? Do you know this from personal experience?
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


I've been dealing with rotted, insect eaten wood on customers homes for over 40 years.
Even landscape timbers are not below ground rated, read the label right on the end of them.
Back fill behind them and there not below grade and are going to rot out.
All the other websites you have posted on have been saying the same thing, do not waste your time and money on unpressure wood for this job.
Adding galvanized or plastic "liners" is also a bad idea as has been suggested on the other site.
Add a plastic liner and you just built a pond not a raised garden.
Galvanized or any metal other then copper will react with the copper treatment and just oxidize from galvanic reaction. (corrode)
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


Thanks Joe. Now I'm trying to find a good way to keep deer, rabbits, etc. from eating everything.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:33 PM   #6
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


Fwiw I bought some used scaffolding planks last year and used them for raised beds. Buried the bottom third and filled the rest with compost humus and manure. I've got sand for soil naturally and it still has great drainage but one year in and the boards still look great, even where I buried them. Southern yellow pine is what I got
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:00 PM   #7
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


Good luck with the deer I have a man down the street with a 6' high chain link fence around his property and has found deer grazing in his back yard.
A simple poultry wire fence will keep the rabbits out, or a dog like I have, anything crosses the property line and there fair game.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


This will be year 3 on my raised beds built with untreated southern yellow pine 2x8's - 3 high.
They still appear to be in great shape.
I did line the sides with plastic which probably helps and no pond issues , but soil type and local weather plays a part .
My neighbor is on year 5 with his ..still holding up surprisingly.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:04 PM   #9
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


I have 3 raised bed gardens that I built using untreated 2x10 pine. they were built in spring of 2010. I just replaced the wood on one of them, but the other 2 are still holding up, but of course there is rotting going on. They're probably gonna last another year, 2 more years tops. Replacing the wood is very easy, and much better IMO than using treated wood.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:26 PM   #10
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


I've built beds with treated 2x and they are on year five and looking just fine. In my last house I'd apply a deck sealer to them (outside only)...and this helped a lot. Eventually, any wood you use will rot, but I'd say untreated will last 5 years depending on certain conditions. You also have to consider that even if the inside of the boards rot out, as long as it holds soil, you're fine.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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Raised vegetable beds & untreated lumber


I have several raised beds built with cedar that are over ten years old, still OK. I built my cold frame using cedar, in direct contact with the ground, OK after 5 years. I would not use PT lumber, no matter what it is treated with, for raising vegetables, you never really know exactly what is in the treatment. I have an old shed out back built with ordinary pine, some of the lumber is in direct contact with the ground, this shed was built in 1959 and most of the lumber is OK. I used to think that you had to have PT lumber if you were going to be in direct contact with the ground, but personal experience suggests that in non-critical situations it is not necessary, or perhaps not even desirable.

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