Raised Beds Question - Need HELP!

cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)June 27, 2005

I mentioned I am adding a fer raised wooden beds to my existing garden. I constructed two 4' wide x 12' long x 10" high beds made of untreated wood (not pressure treated). I had my topsoil / compost delivered Saturday and filled both beds yesterday.

I am making one more 4' wide x 4' long bed since I have some extra dirt. Why waste dirt, right? :)

Now, the big problem. My dad suggested I waterproof the garden beds with a sealer. I did this already on the two large beds. When I was at Home Depot today, they told me to NOT use waterproofing sealant on garden beds if I am eating the produce.

Did I make a big mistake? I paid $50-$60 for the wood so I seriously hope not. Of course, I am not willing to risk my health over the cost. Any thoughts on this topic? I feel stupid since I didn't use pressure treated wood because of the arsenic content (supposedly) and then I put chemicals on the untreated wood.

Coincidentally, I waterproofed the beds outside and it killed all the grass the stuff dripped on - kind of scary. I used Olympia clear waterproofing sealer.

What would all of you do? My dirt cost me about $100-$125 I hope it's not contaminated already!

As much as I try to read and learn, there's always something I don't think about!

I look forward to your responses.


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ceraholt(4b ontario)

Hi Chris,
I'm not sure if it's applicable to outdoors but milkpaint is non toxic. Try calling the manufacturer Olympia and see what they say about your project.
I used cedar for my RB which doesn't rot fast. Eventually I'll have to do something to seal it so I look forward to other's responses....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 12:22AM
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Juliana63(z5 MI)

Did you only use sealer on the outside? If so, I would think that the beds are fine -- the surface sealer applied by a homeowner wouldn't penetrate through to the soil. If you did the inside as well, I would suggest pulling the soil back from the edges and lining the inner sides with heavy landscape plastic to form a barrier. IMHO this sounds like way to much work for a relatively low risk of toxic contamination. Checking with the manufacturer is a good suggestion.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 7:30AM
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