Author Topic: Ecological PT lumber alternative.  (Read 2500 times)

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Offline VictorL

  • Posts: 587
Ecological PT lumber alternative.
« on: March 15, 2012, 11:12 AM »
Hello,

Spring is early and hot this year in the North East. I'm going to rebuild some vegetable beds and boxes. I'm looking for ecological alternative to PT lumber for direct ground  contact. I built some vegetable beds and boxes from fir 3-4 years ago, but they are almost decomposed. It's not bad for "organic" gardening, but I'm looking for some alternatives available in the North East.  Do you have any ideas? How long will last cedar?

Thank you,
VictorL

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Offline awdriven

  • Posts: 289
Re: Ecological PT lumber alternative.
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 12:29 PM »
I'm building experience with Cedar and with 1 season's use it seems to be holding up well with direct soil contact being used as a planter.

White Oak is also rot resistant and I have a few projects with it being used outside in similar ways and it is holding up well. Red oak is not rot resistant.

Offline awdriven

  • Posts: 289
Re: Ecological PT lumber alternative.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 12:35 PM »
Check out this thread - Raised Flower Bed

Offline Mopowers

  • Posts: 86
Re: Ecological PT lumber alternative.
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 02:54 PM »
 White Cedar would be an excellent choice. It is harvested and milled all over the northeast. I have half a dozen raised beds built from cedar cut off my land. The beds are 5 years old and show no signs of rot besides for turning dark grey.
 I worked many years for a builder that used white cedar for for deck framing,deck boards, trim, siding etc. I remember doing repairs or replacements on decks he built 25 - 30 years prior. In my opinion only getting a 25 year life span is well worth using a product that is cut and milled local with no added chemicals or manufacturing. If those things are important to you cedar is the way to go.
 

Offline Mopowers

  • Posts: 86
Re: Ecological PT lumber alternative.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 02:55 PM »
Also.... your lucky, all my raised beds are still under snow.

Offline davee

  • Posts: 295
Re: Ecological PT lumber alternative.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 03:32 PM »
I have tried white oak which works well on above ground but rotted pretty fast below and at ground level.  I've also used red cedar sacrificial boards on the bottom and regular pine on top - again mixed results but not too bad.  At present, I'm using cement blocks on a 2 inch sand foundation.  These have gone though one winter with no shifting due to freeze/thaw.  My sister has similar beds that are on their third year without an shifting due to weather.  They use up real estate but are otherwise nice.  Wood would look better but cost more (my blocks were left over from construction projects).