May 07, 2012, 08:47 PMtlrrider
Staining/sealing Vegetable Beds?
I bought some stunning 2 by 12 by 8ft redwood boards I am planning to build raised vegetable beds with and I am torn over staining the outside to keep that beautiful redwood color.
Leeching too much of a risk? Never want to put my family in harms way. Just want to compliment the brand new dg path I laid. You guys know how it is. Thanks
May 07, 2012, 09:44 PMjoecaption
DO it not going to hurt a thing.
Still worryed, then use Tung oil.
May 08, 2012, 11:34 AMtlrrider
I know people that use treated lumber and even railroad ties without liners. Just wanted to make sure I wasnt endangering my family. Are there safer stains than others out there? Thanks
May 08, 2012, 11:45 AMjoecaption
I think your way over thinking this. Unless someone's out there chewing on the wood any stain will be fine.
You may have to add some stakes in the middle of the boards to keep them from bowing out in the middle.
May 09, 2012, 12:15 PMGardenSprite
Here's an anecdote of experience with treated wood, to help put the issue in perspective.
A homeopathic physician in our area had an unfortunate experience with treated wood used for a deck. His daughter became ill and was eventually diagnosed with (and I can't remember for sure whether it was) arsenic or lead poisoning.
After investigation, it was determined that she became poisoned from eating raspberries from bushes planted near the deck. The bushes apparently absorbed chemicals leached from the wood. She had to undergo treatment to reverse the effects.
I do not know what kind of lumber was used or what kind of stain/treatment was used on the lumber. Nor do I know how closely the bushes were to the treated lumber, or how long they were in place before leaching occurred. So there are some critical unknown variables in this situation.
Redwood is indeed a beautiful wood; my father always stained his redwood to preserve that lovely color. If I were to use redwood outside, I too would stain.
If you want to be absolutely sure that you're not risking your family's health, build a test bed using stained redwood, and have the soil tested periodically before you plant any vegetables. It would take some time before you could plant with assurance, but at least you would have that comfort of knowing that you'd checked for leaching of chemicals into the bed.
You could also search online or check with your local agricultural extension service to get more information on what effects the specific stain you propose to use might have on soil. It may be that the stains which are more toxic are not the ones which would be used on redwood.
May 09, 2012, 01:36 PMtlrrider
What About a liner to protect inside of wood?
May 09, 2012, 03:29 PMswschrad
probably arsenic from the old CCA green wood. the newer stuff is going to give you copper poisoning.
tung or linseed oil is a natural sealer for exterior wood that should not give you any worries. you are going to have to reapply it periodically. including on the inside. but a clean tarp or roofing sheet liner should protect the wood on the inside without adding evil chemical stuff to the produce.