Sealing wood framed raised boxes?

djscrapbooksJuly 2, 2006

I'm planning on building several raised beds for my SFG and "believe" they will be made of 2x8x? lumber. Not sure what exactly we'll be using yet (pine, cedar??). Anyway, I was curious, if I could seal the interior of the frames with something, or if that is not recommended due to vegatables growing in the beds. I know I can seal the exterior of the boxes, but was curious what the thoughts were on sealing the interior!

Thanks in advance! This forum has been extremely helpful to me!

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you must be trying to start a riot? the repsonses should be interesting, ha!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:26PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

Generally folks don't seal the interior due to toxicity concerns with the sealant.

You can do it, just look into what the health risks of each choice are.

Another way to do it is to use plastic sheeting on the inside of the beds. This keeps the soil off the wood.

Another way is to use cedar. It is naturally rot resistant.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:53PM
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No darkcloud, I don't normally start riots. Just a new veggie gardener that wants to build raised beds for a square foot garden and was wondering if there was something out there that WAS safe for sealing the interior of the beds for a veggie garden.

I think we'll be rebuilding the beds sooner than I had hoped or we'll use cedar (or some type of stones). I appreciate your input username5, you have a lot of helpful advice on this site!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 10:07PM
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You can line it with rubber roofing. Ask local pond supply places and the water garden society for suppliers who have the kind that is safe for them to use and it should be safe for you to use to line your container with.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 6:42PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

Linseed oil is often recomended as a safe sealant. What i have read of it suggests it doesn't work all that well, but offers more protection than untreated wood.

Except for cedar and redwood which cost more, but won't rot for a long time.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:55PM
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Linseed oil will help, but it only keeps moisture in the wood, it doesn't seal the wood. Linseed oil would have to be reapplied regularly, at least twice a year, and it's not cheap.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 9:10PM
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Build it Naturally was just recommended to me by a friend who is very environmentally conscientious.
Visit our store in the heart of downtown Asheville at 76 Biltmore Ave, across from the Orange Peel
Do telephone us at 828.254.2668
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    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:56PM
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I use wax for canning.Use an old iron to put it on .

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:30AM
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If you're using Mel's mix, the lumber is probably the cheapest part of the whole operation.

I built my boxes out of pine and left them untreated. I intend to check them at the start of each season. If I think they won't last through the summer I'll build a new box and move the soil over.

Still, I'm guessing it'll take a couple of years for the 2" pine to rot through.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:11AM
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I used untreated douglas fir and left the insides unfinished. The outside was stained with Minwax stain and then coated with Cabot satin spar varnish.

I'm playing it by ear, but if/when it rots out, I'd be tempted so simply cover the outside face with a fresh piece of siding of some sort. That would buy another year or two.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 12:58PM
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I posted this some weeks ago in another thread, but I think it's worth repeating:

Not to be an alarmist, but I absolutely wouldn't use boiled linseed oil on anything that would come in contact with my food. Raw linseed oil (flax seed oil) is fine, but boiled linseed oil contains various heavy metals that speed the drying time (raw linseed oil can take weeks to dry).

"Use of this product will expose you to arsenic, beryllium, chromium, cadmium and nickel, which are known to cause cancer; and lead which is known to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm."

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:05PM
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This is an old post, but I thought I would just post this for anyone else reading this thread these days.
Most wood finishes (polyurethane, spar varnish, etc) are SAFE once they are cured. Don't add soil until the the finish has cured on the wood, though. If you follow that simple rule, you can use spar varnish for the ultimate protection from the elements.
Personally, I would NOT use stain, which is known to bleed after it is I imagine it can bleed toxins into the soil. So, just stick to the clear finishes that say they are safe once cured.
Best of luck to all!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2015 at 11:22AM
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