MeandMom
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What can I seal raised beds with organically?

I am building raised beds and cannot afford Redwood or Cedar. I will be using Doug Fir, and do not want to risk leaching anything toxic into the garden soil. Is there a sealant that I can use for the inside of the beds that is organic?

milifestyle
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This is probably not what your after, but i usaually use old carpet, hessian etc in raised beds. It stops weeds and holds everything in.

You could also use old scraps of tin around the edges (slightly below fill line) to help prevent moisture leaching into the timber.

cynthia_h
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I don't know the price or coverage (x square feet per pint / quart / gallon), but I found a product/company called Ecocote via an Internet search on the phrase "non-toxic sealant."

https://www.ecocote.com/products.html

Cynthia H. (whose raised beds are au naturel)
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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rainbowgardener
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raised bed sealant

or just line them with plastic (with drainage holes at the bottom of course)

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hendi_alex
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The plastic is what I use as a liner. But the purpose of the plastic is to minimize any leaching into the soil as salt treated lumber is used for the bed frame. Modern salt treated lumber uses a fairly benign copper solution, and contains none of the arsenic of years past. Also, I would suggest that consumers not take an overly complacent view of things called natural or organic. Arsenic is natural. Hemlock sap is organic and of course poisonous. Those natural pesticides are poisonous and potentially harmful to humans in spite of being considered 'natural.' There is no guarantee that some 'organic' or 'natural' preservative would be completely safe for a food bed either. The ecocote product mentioned by cynthia does appear to be pretty harmless however.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

cynthia_h
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hendi_alex wrote:Also, I would suggest that consumers not take an overly complacent view of things called natural or organic. Arsenic is natural. Hemlock sap is organic and of course poisonous. Those natural pesticides are poisonous and potentially harmful to humans in spite of being considered 'natural.' There is no guarantee that some 'organic' or 'natural' preservative would be completely safe for a food bed either. The ecocote product mentioned by cynthia does appear to be pretty harmless however.
Which is why I used the search criteria "non-toxic sealant."

There is a very long history of assassination / murder / suicide by [natural] poison in the pre-industrial era (Greeks, Romans, Persians, just for starters). The synthetic compounds we now take for granted did not exist, but death was just as certain from non-synthetics. Many drugs and medicines derive, either directly or ultimately, from dangerous plants or other sources. Snake venom is of course also "natural."

Please look to the spirit of the inquiry.

Not having had much time today, I felt that the reference above was sufficient for the OP, a new member here at THG, to continue her own research. The chain of websites through which I found it were all .gov, .edu, or .org. No one had a vested interest in selling the Ecocote until the very last page (whose url I posted above).

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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hendi_alex
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"Is there a sealant that I can use for the inside of the beds that is organic?"

Was actually referring to the questioner's use of organic cited above, which I interpret to mean safe, harmless, natural, in the context of her querry. Your search seemed to produce a safe, relatively natural product. But in the broader sense, way too many people use the terms organic and natural to mean one thing, whereas marketers/manufacturers often use ambiguities to misinform or exploit. Marketing agents and producer/manufacturers also tend to be very loose with terms like 'safe', 'harmless', environmentally friendly, and other such terms that can be used to their advantage. As with so many things IMO these fall under the 'let the consumer beware' category. While most manufacturers probably conform to the letter of the law, they often fail to conform to the spirit of the law, and that was the basis of my caution related to so called organic, natural, environmentally friendly products. The comment had no relation to the product of your post, as stated in my previous post, "The ecocote product mentioned by cynthia does appear to be pretty harmless however." In fact I visited the link provided and read the data sheet related to the product before accepting the manufacturers 'safe to use' claims.

"Please look to the spirit of the inquiry."

That is in fact what promted my response. The questioner's tone sounds perhaps a little too comfortable with the term "organic." And even if meandmom is very sophisticated wrt such issues, many consumers are not. Therefore the word of caution was provided.

If you are overly bothered by the content or tone of the post, feel free to delete it. I reread the post and it does not appear to me to have any personal remarks directed toward you, nor to the questioner. The word of caution was mostly directed toward any readers of the thread who might be overly disarmed by claims of less that ethical marketing agents.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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