Should Pressure-Treated Lumber Be Used In A Vegetable Garden?

104 Comments 8:44 pm

Many gardeners growing in a raised bed ask “Is pressure treated wood safe for vegetable gardens”?

They fear the chemicals used in the treated wood of the raised bed will leach into the soil and the plants.

is it ok the use pressure treated wood for gardens and raised bedsis it ok the use pressure treated wood for gardens and raised beds

Many years ago, gardeners embraced the introduction of pressure-treated lumber impregnated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate) as a dream come true.  It boasted longer life than untreated wood and improved longevity than the rot-resistant species such as redwood.

This pressure treated wood was so popular you could buy them almost anywhere. Manufacturers claimed the chemicals used to treat the lumber, though toxic, couldn’t find their way to the soil.

The main advantage for the gardeners was that the chemicals were “harmless” to plants, unlike the previous popular wood preservatives – pentachlorophenol and creosote.

Word started leaking out that the CCA-treated wood was not so safe after all. Reports circulated that the chemicals found their way into the soil, which set off a debate on the use of pressure treated lumber for the garden.

What Compounds Are Used For Treating Pressure Treated Lumber?

Arsenic Compounds

The pressure-treated lumber can be non-toxic or toxic. It depends on the preservatives used to treat the wood. Wood treated with CCA or chromated copper arsenate can leach arsenic, a very toxic compound.

Plants growing in the garden bed may take up the chemicals. CCA-treated lumber shouldn’t be used for garden beds and restricted to construction work only. Avoid wood treated with black creosote, a smelly coal tar derivative as well.

Copper-Based Preservative

Copper based wood preservatives began more widespread use in 2013 with compounds such as:

  • Copper azole (CA)
  • Micronized copper quaternary (MCQ)
  • Alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ)

Copper is considered less toxic compared to arsenic.

Manufacturers of pressure-treated wood with micronized copper quaternary claim that their lumber won’t leach any copper into the soil and therefore, it’s safe for all uses, including making garden beds.

Copper Azole and Alkaline copper quaternary contain fungicide and copper but not arsenic. The copper works to deter insects while the fungicide prevents soil fungus from attacking the lumber.  Copper It is also used as a fungicide on food crops.

The copper-based preservatives are considered safer as virtually all the preservatives used are also used in other home uses such as growing food crops and in swimming pools.

For those who still don’t feel safe using these treated woods can use decay-resistant lumber or line the interior walls of the raised garden with a heavy plastic sheeting.

However, for those who want to grow organic foods, do not use pressure-treated lumber. If you want to grow pure organic foods that meet high standards and purity, choose a different material.

How Safe Is Pressure Treated Lumber?

Claims have been raised. Some claims backed by scientific facts while some not yet proven. If your raised garden bed uses arsenic-treated wood, don’t panic. Plants will not take up the arsenic leached into the soil unless they are deficient in phosphorous. This is not a problem for those who use compost frequently and generously.

The risk is minimal with the new copper-based wood treatments. Plants which take up too much copper will die before they mature. Plus, these homegrown vegetables make up a minuscule percentage of the daily diet, making exposure to copper intake insignificant. However, researches are ongoing to determine the extent of the copper leaching into the soil.

“Though actual cases of poisoning via pressure treated wood use by the public were hard to find, there was enough circumstantial evidence of soil contamination to warrant a change.” via naturalhandyman.com

To be on the safer side, line inside the pressure-treated wood with heavy plastic. This helps prevent the leaching of chemicals from the wood into the garden soil. You can also do away with the treated wood and use alternatives, such as concrete blocks, composite wood made from recycled plastic or decay-resistant wood like western red cedar and redwood.

The decision is up to you; since all these claims are not yet justified. You can decide whether to use the pressure-treated lumber or not. We’ve given you the facts.

NOTE: We used truckloads of pressure treated lumber in the nursery of my 4 decades of growing plants and never experienced any problems. However, you be your own judge. For more details and answers on the topic via PennLive

104 thoughts on “Should Pressure-Treated Lumber Be Used In A Vegetable Garden?”

  1. I am no longer certain where you are getting your info, however good topic.

    I needs to spend a while finding out more or understanding
    more. Thanks for excellent information I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  2. you are truly a good webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece.
    you’ve performed a great task in this topic!

  3. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going
    to come back yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is
    the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  4. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads.
    I hope to contribute & assist other customers like
    its aided me. Great job.

  5. When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked
    the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a
    comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

  6. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up anything
    new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this
    website, since I experienced to reload the site many times previous to
    I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if
    your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing
    with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to
    my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective fascinating content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  7. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either
    created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot
    of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you
    know any techniques to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

  8. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance.
    I must say that you’ve done a superb job with
    this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for
    me on Opera. Exceptional Blog!

  9. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism
    or copyright violation? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the
    web without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being stolen? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  10. It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.

    I’ve learn this submit and if I may I want to recommend
    you some fascinating things or tips. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I wish to learn even more things approximately it!

  11. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I will be sure to bookmark it
    and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
    I will definitely return.

  12. I like the helpful information you provide in your
    articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  13. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
    seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to
    your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  14. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve
    either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the
    web without my authorization. Do you know any
    methods to help reduce content from being
    ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  15. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site,
    how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped
    me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast
    provided bright clear idea

  16. I believe this is among the most significant information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But want to
    statement on some normal issues, The site taste
    is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good process, cheers

  17. Hello, constantly i used to check weblog posts here in the early hours in the morning, for the reason that i enjoy to learn more
    and more.

  18. Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include approximately all significant infos.
    I’d like to see more posts like this .

  19. I’m not sure exactly why but this blog is loading incredibly slow
    for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a
    issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still
    exists.

  20. With havin so much content do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without
    my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  21. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be
    bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  22. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
    any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically
    tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like
    this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything.

    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  23. Just desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity on your post is simply
    cool and i could think you’re knowledgeable on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to snatch your RSS feed to keep
    up to date with imminent post. Thank you one million and please continue the rewarding
    work.

  24. Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

  25. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I find this topic to be really something that
    I believe I would never understand. It sort of feels too
    complicated and extremely extensive for me. I’m having a look forward on your next post, I will try to get the hang of
    it!

  26. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But
    maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  27. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get
    my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not
    seeing very good results. If you know of any please share.
    Thank you!

  28. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your blog?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it
    better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or
    two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  29. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It
    really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  30. What’s up every one, here every person is sharing
    these kinds of know-how, thus it’s nice to read this web site, and I used to go to see this website all the time.

  31. I am really loving the theme/design of your website.
    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues?
    A couple of my blog visitors have complained about
    my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  32. of course like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on quite a
    few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome
    to inform the truth then again I will certainly come back
    again.

  33. Thank you for another informative blog. Where else may
    I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect method?
    I have a challenge that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  34. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this
    I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped
    me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & aid different users like its helped me.

    Good job.

  35. Can I just say what a comfort to uncover a person that really understands what they are discussing
    on the web. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it
    important. More people need to check this out and understand this side of your story.
    I can’t believe you’re not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.

  36. you are really a good webmaster. The website loading pace is
    amazing. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick.
    Also, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a excellent
    activity in this subject!

  37. Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is an extremely smartly written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your helpful information. Thank you for the post.
    I will definitely return.

  38. Undeniably believe that that you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.

    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as people think about issues that they plainly don’t know
    about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole
    thing without having side effect , other folks could take a signal.
    Will likely be again to get more. Thanks

  39. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return yet again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue
    to guide other people.

  40. I like the helpful info you supply for your articles. I’ll bookmark
    your weblog and take a look at once more here regularly.

    I am somewhat certain I will be told lots of new stuff proper
    here! Good luck for the following!

  41. I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m wanting to create my own personal blog and want to know where you
    got this from or just what the theme is named.
    Cheers!

  42. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like
    to find out where u got this from. cheers

  43. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future
    and it is time to be happy. I have read this publish
    and if I may I wish to recommend you few attention-grabbing issues
    or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles regarding this article.
    I wish to learn more things about it!

  44. I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours as of late, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.

    It is pretty price enough for me. Personally,
    if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the internet might
    be a lot more useful than ever before.

  45. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make
    my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks a lot

  46. Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since i have
    book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue
    to help others.

  47. What’s up to every one, the contents existing at this web page are truly remarkable for people experience,
    well, keep up the good work fellows.

  48. Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to
    give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to
    my followers! Excellent blog and amazing design.

  49. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but
    I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions?
    Thank you

  50. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
    You have some really good articles and I think I would be
    a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

    Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!

  51. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is
    time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting
    things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring
    to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  52. Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is just cool and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed
    to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable
    work.

  53. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems
    with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out
    if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Post