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Richiek350
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Raised Bed Chemical Concern

Hello,

I am building two raised beds. I have heard Cedar is the way to go, but am looking for something cheaper and am not concerned about rot. I found "Premium Fir" at Home Depo in the lumber section. Would this be safe to use? Thank you in advance,

-Rich

cynthia_h
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Definitely, as long as it's not pressure-treated or had chemicals applied in any way.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Richiek350
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Thanks! I know it's not pressure treated. I don't know about chemicals. I found this on the website about the wood:

Manufactured from the highest quality Canadian timber, this lumber is ideal for all of your construction needs, from housing renovations to hobby work. The lumber also comes from sustainably managed forests to preserve this valuable resource for future generations.

* Wood is the only completely renewable building material. Its natural warmth and beauty is unmatched by other building materials, and its design flexibility simplifies all your projects
* Every piece of this lumber is made from Spruce Pine Fir (SPF) species, with a moisture content of 19% or less (heat treated-HT), a finished surface on all 4 sides (S4S), and eased edge (EE)
* This lumber meets the highest standards for strength and appearance and is graded to meet all National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) specifications. Its a difference you can see for yourself
* Perfect for major housing projects or minor do it yourself projects such as renovations, barns, sheds, playhouses, hobby work, and much more
* For interior or exterior use. Can be primed, painted, sealed, or stained.
* MFG Model # : 161926
* MFG Part # : 719148239356

Any idea if chemicals are involved? Thanks!

cynthia_h
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Doesn't look like it to me, but others may have other ideas.

Cynthia

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Richiek350
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Thanks! I'm sure its fine, I have a lot of vegetables I grew from seed growing indoors and wanted to play it safe before transferring them. Thanks again for the reply.

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Kisal
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I doubt there are any chemicals involved. It's been a while ... a long while :lol: ... since I talked lumber grades with anyone, and then I dealt only with Oregon mills. I'm not sure how they grade lumber in Canada, but it's probably not too different. :)

I think the "Premium" simply refers to the grade of the lumber, which would involve the straightness of the grain, moisture content, color, and various other properties. The wood, of course, is simply from fir trees, probably Doug firs, but possibly the genetically modified "super firs". Either way, it's just fir.

IMO, premium quality lumber is probably more expensive than you need for building raised garden beds. Top-quality lumber is usually used in situations where appearance is important, not so much for more utilitarian purposes. The finest grades won't be any slower to rot than a lower grade. But, as I say, that's just my opinion. I would probably opt for the next lower grade of lumber and put the money I saved into filling the beds with extra-nice soil. :)
Last edited by Kisal on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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froggy
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Depending on where you are, a local lumberyard may have better quality for lower prices than HD. They can usually give you better info on the product as well...
;)

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Richiek350
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Good advice, I priced the lumber at 12.25 for a 2X10 - 12FT, which I can cut in half. Then just the ends and some posts... I only need it to last a couple years...until I move. I will check out some lumber yards in the area.

As mentioned above, the real money is going to go into the soil. I am going to post a new question about that!

I'm finally just about at my last frost.

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