Re: [gardeners] Question about pressure treated wood

George Shirley (
Thu, 22 Feb 2001 14:36:50 -0600

A straw bale garden down here could be a problem. Most bales now are round and
about six feet in diameter. King Kong couldn't garden with those babies around
the garden.


Wendy Arons wrote:
> perhaps "metastudy" isn't precisely the right word--I was referring
> to a global study of other people's research; i.e. reading a bunch of
> research reports & collating all the data and reporting on it.  In
> other words, they don't do the experiments/research themselves, but
> look at all of the data from people who do.  I was in a hurry and
> grabbed the first word that came to mind...
> I've seen pictures of straw bale gardens and they look cool.  I can
> see your point though--if you lay a bale on its flat side, it's
> really wide and you can't reach beyond it easily; if you lay it on
> edge, it's pretty high & you have to fill it with a ton of soil.
> Hmmm...  I think I'll still give it a try for a bed or two & see how
> it pans out, worse comes to worse we can always use the straw for
> mulch next year.  Wendy
> >I've considered that. Straw bales sound reasonable until you
> >actually face one. The width of one straw bale is about as far as I
> >can reach from a kneeling or sitting position.  Leaves no room for
> >garden soil.  What are "metastudies"?  Margaret L
> >
> >At 09:07 AM 2/22/01 -0500, you wrote:
> >>Organic Gardening magazine has done a number of metastudies of the
> >>literature on CCA wood and has recommended strongly that it NOT be
> >>used for vegetable gardens or for children's play structures.  They
> >>say arsenic DOES leach out into the soil; they also have found that
> >>your plants don't thrive as well.
> >>
> >>I've never used CCA wood for raised beds, so I don't know if plants
> >>do more poorly; I personally wouldn't take the chance of having my
> >>food plants so close to arsenic impregnated wood.  If you read the
> >>handout that lumber stores are supposed to give you with the wood
> >>(my partner's a carpenter, we get these things all the time) they
> >>tell you that you shouldn't bring the dust into the house, you need
> >>to launder clothes separately after working with CCA lumber, you
> >>need to wear gloves and a mask while working with it, you shouldn't
> >>eat or drink while working with it...frankly, this doesn't sound
> >>like something I want near my food.
> >>
> >>There are other cheap alternatives, like "plastic" wood for raised
> >>beds.  We're experimenting with using straw bales to build a couple
> >>of  raised beds this year:  they may be too high, but we won't have
> >>to kneel...
> >>
> >>
> >>Wendy, Indiana zone 5