CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — An often asked gardening question is what type of lumber is safe to use for constructing garden beds for growing food.
Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lisa Hilgenberg has this week’s gardening tips.
There are so many advantages for growing food in raised beds, like a more productive garden with healthier plants because of better drainage and less weeds; healthier indeed if the lumber used to build the raised box is safe for garden use.
When purchasing materials, be sure to check the tag stapled on the lumber. This will identify what type of chemical has been used to pressure treat it. The use of arsenic is long gone, but if your raised beds are made from wood older than 2002, it is recommended that it be sealed every two years with an oil-based stain or covered with heavy plastic to avoid contact with the garden soil.
Cedar is a good choice for garden structures, because it has a natural resistance to rot.