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preserving wood for raised beds?


 
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risin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: preserving wood for raised beds? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I read somewhere that wood for raised beds can be coated in linseed oil to protect it from the weather. If one doesnt have linseed oil but has nut oils such as almond, would this do the trick???

many thanks for any suggestions...

Risin Smile
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sillydad
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i,m no expert but i,d say linseed would be more for outdoor furniture and hard woods i would give a couple coats of protim and it would or should be alot cheaper or cresote or waste engine oil diluted with diesel i'll have e.p.a after me now
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paul5000
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used linseed oil on the timber of my raised beds and and there still standing.
I'm sure nut oils would do the same job.

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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Protim and cresote have chemicals that will leach into the soil and find their way into your vegetables, waste engine oil and diesel will pollute your soil also. Have you tried the latest Castrol GTX flavoured carrots, they don't taste nice but go for miles Laughing Seriously though I would encourage you to leave the timber bare and at least you won't be poisoning anyone.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wood treated with preservative?
Instead try using untreated scaffolding planks or untreated joist wood on their edge screwed to four corner posts (minimum 2"x 2"). You also have the option of using decking boards or tanalised D-rail fencing boards, these can be stacked two high on their edge to mimic the scaffolding planks.
However be aware that there is evidence to show that the chemicals used to treat these woods eg. decking, fencing, pressure treated, may not always be safely locked away in the fibres of the wood. These fungi busting chemicals however miniscule the levels, may leech into the soil water and be taken up by veg, which will then in turn be taken up by you.

There is a lot of to and fro debate on the safety of veg bed wood treatment, so you must ask yourself, If wood is used for creating veg beds or even compost boxes, does it matter how soon it rots? Under average Irish conditions It can last for years without any preservatives. Will adding a few more years to the wood through preservatives be worth the possibility of ill health, however slim it may be?
The choice is up to you.

Anyway, no matter whether you go for treated or untreated wood, lining the inside of your wooden raised bed with black plastic film will prevent the enclosed soil drying out rapidly. The plastic sheets can be stapled on the inside face of the beds for this purpose, and also for the possibility that a barrier between damp soil and wood will prevent premature rotting. This simple prevention of wood rot is still open for debate in this damp climate of ours.

From here Planning a Vegetable Garden? How to Make a Vegetable Garden.



If you are looking for raised beds you should be able to source some here.....Raised beds

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Sarah Evans
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like your response Foxylock.

Select a timber like cedar or use wood preservative products which are not harmful to you or the environment.

Not directly linked to this topic but worth reading http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/08/vaseline-petroleum-environment

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mayo girl 64
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my internet travels i once found someone who was selling aluminium raised beds
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risin
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, thanks all for your comments.

Regards
Risin
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Digger Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made up raised beds last year using used scaffold planks and they worked out great.

I used a preservative called 'Fence King' made by Leyland paints, supposed to be safe for 'animal and plant' life.

I also lined the planks with plastic to help reduce rot. You can see a few photo's of this in a post I made last year http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about2085-15.html

Regards,
Digger Dan

Update May 2018!!!!

Looking back now I wouldn't recommend my method! It's hard to say whether the preservative and plastic lining did add to the life of the raised bed. First to go was the plastic lining. The plastic degraded after the first couple of years but was ripped open by my fork in the first year, effectively negating any 'moisture protection' it was intended to offer. Over the next couple of years more and more of the plastic was ripped off. By year 4 the boards were well rotted at the base and over the following years I patched up bed with decking boards and any other 'harder' wood off cuts I had to hand. By year 7 there was little left of the original scaffolding boards, one end piece from each bed if I recall.
At the end of last year I ripped up the patched up beds completely with the intention of building new ones from fresh in 2018, then came the long wet winter! Finally, in May it is dry enough in my garden and warm enough to start the relayout of the veggie plot. But I've a different plan this time.....!
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