Can you use old railroad ties to make raised garden beds?

Joli Garcon
by Joli Garcon
  8 answers
  • Tam13317878 Tam13317878 on Jun 03, 2017

    Yes you can.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jun 03, 2017

    You can, but should you? .... The kreosote (black sticky stuff) in the ties can possibly leach out into your soil. I have used them for raised flower beds and didn't have a problem but I don't think I would use them as a raised garden bed.

  • I wouldn't recommend it. They are treated with creosote. I'd use pressure treated lumber or . . . Even better . . . Cedar.

  • Gma Kirk Gma Kirk on Jun 03, 2017

    If you do, be sure to line the inside with heavy duty plastic. They are soaked with chemicals that will leach into the soil. I would only use if these will be flower beds and not edible gardening.

  • Yofrendonna Yofrendonna on Jun 03, 2017

    I've had them as part of our walkway border/landscaping for twenty years. No problems.

  • Sen24641682 Sen24641682 on Jun 03, 2017

    Railroad ties are coated with creosote which is toxic when it leaches into the soil. I do not recommend using railroad ties for a raised bed veggie garden. Even landscape timber is "treated" but it doesn't leach out like with RR ties. I have used regular untreated lumber or old scrap lumbar or cinder blocks for raised beds. If you have to use the RR ties, cover the "garden side" with a heavy plastic, which can be stabled on. This should prevent the creosote from leaching into the garden area.

  • Brenda Brenda on Jun 03, 2017

    Too many toxic chemicals to use for planting food

  • Joli Garcon Joli Garcon on Jun 03, 2017

    Ok, I used decorative Stine in the past for a small raised bed. But since I just finished my last chemo treatment for Breast Cancer and have 11 more rounds if HER2 drungs to go plus 10 years of pills to take I'm going all organic. So, I'm getting the message stay away from RR ties and landscape timber. I'm doing a lot of beds with walk paths between. I have 1/4 cleared acre to plant fruit trees in along with veggie beds. Im using heirloom seeds and no GMO! A bed for each veggie; yellow squash, tomatoes, peppers, onion, asparagus, cucumber, lima beans, black eye peas, spaghetti squash, sweet potato, 10 (8X8) beds. I'm trying to be cost effective. But know it will be an expensive outlay at first. But so was cancer  . No one knows what triggers estrogen cells to go wacky. But eating all organic can't hurt. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs ( only chemo) . So you guys are saying use cinder block or cedar? Thanks so much! Oh and chemo killed the cancer  . Nasty drugs though. So organic all the way now. Even organic meat, no antibiotics, steroids, or feed with GMO. So thank you guys for your help with my planning stage. I read up on premaculture but to much work to collect sticks and my HOA want allow the messy look. Garden must look neat. Wait till they see my small corn field.   . More suggestions are welcome. You guys are great!

    • See 1 previous
    • Joli Garcon Joli Garcon on Jun 03, 2017

      I figured I may not have been explicit. They call that Chemo Brain.  It wears off within a few months they say. I'm thankful I grew up in the country and my mom planted a huge family garden for 40 years. She taught me how to can, freeze, make pickles, and jams. I'm so thankful for the education my mom gave me. I really think we are eating to much pesticides, bad herbicides, and GMO produced foods. There is just way to much cancer these days. 1 in 8 women get breast cancer. 20% are HER2 positive...the aggressive type that is estrogen based. 1 of my 4 chemo drugs is $38,000. All 4 are over $75k X 6 rounds. Insurance saved me. But out of pocket is still bad but doable with hospital payment plans. I'm glad I live in America for sure. My friend in India said they have no insurance plans and must pay cash or forego treatment. Now back to those veggie beds... I could use cinder block and fill the 2 holes with soil and plant marigold in them. Marigolds help keep bugs away naturally. Have a great evening. 😊