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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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construction/gardening I bought pressure treated wood to make elevated beds in the vegeta

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I bought pressure treated wood to make elevated beds in the vegetable garden. The wood is wet with a green solution. I thought the treated wood now a days is no longer toxic with arsenic or whatever. The man at HomeDepot said he won't use the wood in a vegetable garden. Who is right?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with many years gardening experience. I'm afraid the man at Home Depot is right. Pressure treated doesn't mean that wood is somehow treated with pressure to preserve it, despite the way it sounds. What it does mean is that chemicals are forced into the wood through high pressure. If you'd like to read about the process and the chemicals used as described by a company which manufactures pressure treated wood, here's a link:

Some people do use the pressure treated wood for vegetable beds. It is safer than the old type, but organic gardeners will not use it. It does still pose some dangers. You may want to read the following article, then make your decision.

Cedar is a safer alternative, but is more expensive. You're the only one who can decide if you want to use the wood after reading about the process and chemicals used. You'll see that fasteners (nails, bolts, etc.) used in the wood have to be coated to prevent them from being corroded by the chemicals in the wood. I'm sure you can find people who will tell you it's safe. Like the Home Depot guy, I won't use it for vegetable beds. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. Whatever you decide, I wish you a successful vegetable growing season.

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