Organic building materials

I will be building raised beds for gardens to be certified organic. What materials are acceptable? Pretreated wood? Metal? Concrete block?
  11 answers
  • Eileen Eileen on Aug 08, 2016
    I have heard that using redwood is probably best if you can afford it.

  • Mary Coakley Mary Coakley on Aug 09, 2016
    I wood look for a certain type of untreated wood but certified for organic gardens,your hardware shop should be able to advise you.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Aug 09, 2016
    I find your expression "certified organic" curious. Who is the çertifying authority'? FDA, town market sales, commercial production or just home use? Check with the áuthority'. If for yourself, just don't use anything treated or that could leach.

    • See 2 previous
    • Johnchip Johnchip on Aug 09, 2016
      You may be able to get way with it only being 'lined' in one of the two products. I would also ask some people who have the same set ups what they are using. If you want to be çertified ýou got to do what they say.

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Aug 09, 2016
    On they have the videos on doing these!Good luck!

  • Charly Charly on Aug 09, 2016
    You can't use concrete or cinder blocks because they both will leach a poison into the soil and plants.

    • Pam Pam on Aug 09, 2016
      Thank you. That's the kind of info. I'm looking for.

  • Nan8294950 Nan8294950 on Aug 10, 2016
    Concrete is sand and cement - chemicals do not leach from this. A small amount of LIME is possible and that only affects plants loving acidic soils - as I recall. Please just google your questions - I've read things posted here that fall under "uneducated - total guess - old wives tales". Information is now at your finger tips. GOOGLE it - is another site that that tries to refute the "facts" circulated. From google you can try Youtube and or Pinterest - but always get facts from professionals.....................will save you time and money in the long run.

  • Ellen DeVilbiss Ellen DeVilbiss on Aug 10, 2016
    Completely out of the box thinking, but look into Stawbale gardening. If the straw is organic and you use organic fertilizers to condition them, you don't need to build boxes. Bonus, at the end of the growing season, you're left with composted straw to help fill raised beds for next year.

  • ObiaMan ObiaMan on Aug 13, 2016
    I think you could actually use treated lumber and coat it well with a fish/pond safe paint before putting it down. Just let the boards weather outside for a time first. 2X12s are thinner than cinder blocks, which I wouldn't see any problem with either. They would last forever. You could also coat them if you found it necessary and glue them together using a construction adhesive. You could use a stain/sealer on them and I would think that the leaching of anything harmful would be insignificant. Lining your boxes with corrugated metal roofing might also be acceptable. Instead of cinder blocks, I reckon certain bricks could be safe, would look really nice and last forever. And then there are those artificial 1" thick deck boards that would probably last forever but I know nothing about if they might leach something. I can't imagine though. And possibly corrugated terra cotta roofing.

    • Eileen Eileen on Aug 15, 2016
      Thought she was looking for inexpensive options. Adding in the cost of the paint will jack put the price, sure it is small, but…in keeping with the original request for options, it could make a difference.

  • Mary Goodman Mary Goodman on Aug 14, 2016
    We have a friend that has a saw mill and we get the cedar slabs to build our raised beds with. They last for at least 3-4 years

  • Pam Pam on Aug 14, 2016
    Wow, Mary, what a deal! I'm in the Mojave Desert so saw mills and cedar are a dream...