The best way to ensure our raised beds last for years is to give the timber a coat of non-toxic wood treatment at the assembly stages. This will ensure that the lumber will be able to sustain the elements and will ultimately save on our pockets big time. Something that we don’t wish to do is to remove rotted timber on a regular basis and we want the raised bed frame to last for as long as it can. Raised bed wood treatment is cheap, inexpensive and easy to apply, especially and more importantly, before we put the topsoil into the beds.
In some cases there is certain timber that don’t need to be treated, can be used in it’s raw state and will last for approx. 20 yrs or more. This would be black locust, red cedar or redwood. We can expect to pay double for these types of lumber compared to the ordinary standard pine or common fir. The redwood variety is particularly very difficult to get a hold of and is not available at all hardware stockists, unfortunately. With these types of wood being rot resistant and moisture resistant, they would obviously be the best types to use, if we could get our hands on them.
Raised bed wood treatment;
Fortunately for us, there is now a wood or lumber treatment that is readily available online and is safe to use with all types of wood. It has been passed safe and certified to use when growing vegetables and fruit, which is a health safety issue that a lot of people are concerned about. This product is known as ‘Eco Wood Treatment’ and is available for purchase in most online stores. It’s not very expensive and one coat will last a lifetime, which is a fantastic bonus. The finished look will have a silver weathered appearance and will give our timber a natural aged appearance when applied. This wood treatment is also safe for family pets, it can be used for garden furniture, patios, decking and flower or plant containers, so it has multi purpose uses.
Eco wood treatment story;
The history of this product is a closely guarded Canadian family secret, save to say that this formula is made up from natural organic minerals and no harmful ingredients or colourants are used in the making of this wood stain. The fact that it’s formulated from naturally occurring plant and mineral extracts, this wood preservative penetrates all the wood fibers to provide adequate protection from the sun’s rays, moisture decay and will last for decades. Eco wood treatment does not contain any toxic solvents or substances that would be harmful to people, animals, vegetables or the environment. It comes in powder form, needs to be mixed with water and can be applied with either sprayer, roller or paint brush. EWT are a member of the US Green Building Council.
Benefits of eco wood treatment stain;
- Protects all outdoor (and indoor) wood surfaces
- Penetrates the wood fibres for decades long protection
- This EWT can be applied to bare untreated wood
- One application is sufficient
- Will not stain, run, peel or flake
- Safe to use around people, pets, plants and vegetables
- Made from natural, organic, mineral based ingredients
- Will give a silver, semi-transparent grey patina finish.
Where else can this treatment be used;
Along with using this formula in our raised garden beds, we can also use this stain in the protection of all our outdoor timber constructions. Our sheds or garages will benefit greatly from this product, if we have a chicken coop or dog kennels, it’s readily safe to use on these and any other wooden fences, sidings, timber deckings, railings, patios, plant containers or planters. As we mentioned earlier, just one coat is sufficient and will last for a lifetime. This product is also safe to use with beehives, birdhouses, bird feeders, animal enclosures, kids playgrounds, log cabins or any indoor or outdoor furniture that we can think of.
How to use EWT;
This product comes in powder formula and all we do is mix with water, apply to the untreated wood, allow to dry and we are done. The packet which weighs just 2 ozs, will make one gallon or 4·5 litres of stain at a time. Just apply with a brush or roller, or if we have a bigger project we may want to use an air-sprayer gun. Any unwanted left-over stain can be stored in an airtight glass container, for future usage. The cost for a 2oz packet is approx $20, which is great value especially when we see all the benefits that this product can do for us. A larger size package, costing $75, will render 5 gallons of stain formula.
Other types of raised bed wood treatment;
We have seen or heard of pressure treated timber and probably have used this type of wood, somewhere at home, say maybe as a fence post or railing of some sort. This treated wood is factory manufactured, it is chemically treated under pressure and all of this formula is absorbed into the wood, before being sold at hardware stores and garden stockists. The make-up of this compound is really hard to get hold of and we really don’t know what elements are used for this purpose. Although this type of wood is used from time to time, most gardeners who use this will line the insides of their raised beds with plastic sheeting or waterproof membrane lining. This prevents any leeching of the chemicals into the soil and by using this method, its safe to grow vegetables, without fear of contamination.
Creosote is a non runner for this purpose as it’s deemed toxic and emits harmful vapours. It was used in the making of railway sleepers, as it was considered to be one of the best waterproofing compounds available. Linseed oil is another product that is used now and again, but not very often. The reason is that it takes days to dry after application and during very hot weather, it sometimes begins to leech into the soil.
I trust once again that this information will address some of our concerns and if you would like to join in the conversation, please do so, via the comments box down below.