Vegetable garden near a pressure treated wood retaining wall

Asked April 20, 2017, 8:05 AM EDT

I am building a vegetable garden that would be about 20 feet from a retaining wall made from pressure treated wood. The wall is at least 20 years old so the wood has creosote and is about 15 feet in height. My property slopes down from the wall. I was planning on planting directly in the ground without raised beds. I am mid project. Do you think my vegetables will be affected by polluted soil from the pressure treated wood? I am interested in whether the vegetables will have toxins and are 'organic'? Thank you.

Rockland County New York

1 Response

Dangers of Pressure-Treated Lumber

The main failure of pressure-treated lumber is not with the performance of the wood, but rather that the chemicals used in the treatment process are a danger to consumers. Over time, the chemicals have a tendency to leach into their surrounding environment, which can have a hazardous effect on humans who come into contact with the chemicals. This is a particular concern for householders, who may find themselves at risk due to the materials used in and around their home. More here: http://consumerwatch.com/construction/pressure-treated-lumber/

You may want to contact your local Cooperative Extension Service to have a soil test done. Please contact agent Jerry in Westchester county at 914 285-4620, before 12 noon daily M-F.

Hope this helps.