Pressure Treated Wood in Vegetable Gardens
Pressure treated wood is a popular building material thanks to its low cost and durability, but is it safe to use in vegetable gardens? Let’s take a look.
Pros and Cons
Pressure treated wood has some great advantages as an affordable and weatherproof material. It’s relatively easy to create raised beds and other structures for a garden using these materials. Unfortunately, they also come with some disadvantages:
- It’s not ideal for food production due to potential health risks
- Unfinished pressure-treated wood may contain arsenic and other toxic chemicals, and the protective oils used on the wood can leach into the soil, potentially contaminating fruits and vegetables
In order to limit the risks associated with pressure treated wood, it is best to protect it with stain or paint before use. This will greatly reduce the risk of toxins leaching into the soil. Additionally, avoid using this wood for edible crops such as root vegetables, as they are more likely to take up contaminants from the soil.
If you do not want to risk using pressure-treated wood in your vegetable garden, there are some great alternatives out there. Consider using untreated wood, or recycled plastic planks, both of which are more suitable for use in vegetable gardens.
Pressure-treated wood can be a great and affordable choice for building the structure of your vegetable garden but should always be treated with a sealant or paint to reduce the risk of toxins leaching into the soil. Alternatives such as untreated wood and recycled plastic planks may be a better choice for growing edible crops.