Railroad Ties Leaching into Garden Soil

Asked May 17, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

Our home has railroad tie retaining walls that are 20 years of age. They were not creosote treated. They may have been pressure treated -but we do not know that for sure. They frame an ideal area for a vegetable garden. Do we need to be concerned about pressure treatment chemicals from 20 year old railroad ties entering our produce? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Douglas County Colorado fruits and vegetables

1 Response

Consider having your soil tested to check the level of arsenic that might have leached from the timbers. Testing is also great for assessing the quality and fertilizer needs of your soil. Below are several resources with information about pressure treated lumber in vegetable gardens and soil testing.Pressure treated lumber & raised beds: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/w10PressurizedLumberhttp://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/2030.htmlSoil testing : http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00520.html