using brown treated timbers to build vegetable boxes

Asked September 14, 2017, 10:40 PM EDT

I'm going to have wood raised bed garden boxes built for a church garden. The boxes will be on the ground. We're want to use wood that is long lasting and keep costs down. What material is recommended? Is there any health risk to using brown treated lumber to build a vegetable garden box? What if it's stained? What height do raised beds need to be to keep rabbits out without using fencing? I've used the raised bed kits with cedar wood from a big box store in my own backyard. The boards are thin and tend to warp after a year or two. So I'd like something a little more sturdy. Thank you

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

To keep out rabbits a height of about 1 ft is the minimum. They rarely hop up unless food closer to the ground is not available. Rabbits have been very abundant and have become a significant pest. Cedar is a recommended wood because it is rot resistant. Thicker boards will warp less and last longer but they are expensive. Tuff stuff or synthetic wood is very durable and will last decades. Cinder block or bricks or cement blocks will last indefinately. If the brown treated lumber was treated with ACQ, the chemical that replaced CCA,
they are safe to use contain a raised bed.
http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6985
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/landscaping/raised-bed-gardens/