What wood do I use for raised garden bed?

Filed under: Gardening |

raised bed gardening
Image by Rachael & Zane Ross
A 4′ x 8′ x 10" raised garden bed in our backyard growing heirloom tomatoes along with other veggies.

Question by Yep, Its me!: What wood do I use for raised garden bed?
I am looking for inexpensive wood for a 3 1/2 ft by 10 ft area, that is 2ft high. I know treated wood last longer, but doesn’t it have so nasty chemicals in it?

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9 Responses to What wood do I use for raised garden bed?

  1. Nothing wrong with pressure treated timber (tanalised). The one to avoid like the plague is creosote, as in old railway sleepers. Creosote is now banned as it is a carcinogen. Tanalised timber is used in good quality fencing and structural house timbers. Try local fencing suppliers or timber merchants to see if they have any reject/damaged timber which would suit you. It must be pressure treated or it will rot away before your eyes!

    March 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm

  2. Railroad ties, you will be OK just as long as you don’t eat the wood.

    Obama Queen
    March 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm

  3. I have a raised garden as well as raised flower beds…I just buy the landscape timbers from any home improvement store. I have used them for years and never had any problem.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:18 am

  4. The pressure treated lumber has insect repellent in it and should not be used for beds containing edible plants. If that is what your raised garden is for, use redwood or plastic lumber. If you plan to grow flowers and shrubs, just use the pressure treated lumber.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:06 am

  5. any -try for untreated wood, though. get creative and remember that there are many options other than wood that make good garden borders.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:28 am

  6. I’ve used regular wood that is Not treated. I used the techniques from Mel Bartholomew’s prinicple of not using treated wood.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:01 am

  7. Yes there are nasty chemicals. Some wood products still have arsenic in them. If your raised bed is for vegatables or plants that you desire to eat then use cedar. If its just for flowers and shrubs the pressure treated is a great choice.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:16 am

  8. We have used railroad ties for thirty 30 years, and never a problem. But we have always used the old ones that the railroad removed .

    March 13, 2012 at 2:49 am

  9. Wood is a nice choice. But it would be best to go with brick. You can purchase the bricks at lowe’s or home depot, or find some old bricks that people aren’t using. You would be surprised how quickly some are to get rid of old brick laying around in their yard. You may have to load the brick, but it would be worth it. You could also consider a raised bed, without any wood or brick. The measurements you gave, is not a lot of area, so maybe the brick would work for you. Good Luck, Robin

    robin l
    March 13, 2012 at 3:44 am

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