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Reusing an old shed....?

Hello, I am new to the forum.
I love up cycling and reusing anything I can.
 I recently turned an old shed into 4 raised beds but I am now worried that because I don't know what the wood is or how it has been treated that it is unsuitable for a raised vegetable patch. Any help will be much appreciated, including if the answer is a definite no what else I can use the wood for.
 thank you in advance.


  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,668
    I doubt that the type of wood will be detrimental to any crops that you grow it may be that it has been treated with something that isn't so good though. What does the wood look like is it covered in tar or bitumen paint or old lead paint? it's hard to say if it will have any affect at all.

  • Thank you Barry. it's so hard knowing whats what when all your reading is different names of chemicals.
     this is my raised beds I don't know how much you can tell about the wood from the picture.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,668
    Personally looking at that picture I wouldn't have any worries about it, whatever it has been treated with looks like it has largely washed out. The only problem that I can see is that it is rather thin wood to use on a raised bed, you have made a good job of putting it together though. You could make it a bit smaller and cover it with a lid of corrugated plastic as a cold frame, sorry I used the plastic word!
  • thank you Barry I've already filled one and it still seems rather strong so we're quite happy about it. And if it doesn't last it's not the end of the world it would of just got used for something else. As for the naughty word "plastic" we need to do the roof of a lean-to eventually so that's what we can use that for, thank you for the advice I feel a lot happier.
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    edited October 2018
    Doesn't look like it has been treated with anything much, if at all,  for a long time.
    I would not worry, it looks weather worn and grey, if it had been treated recently you would notice.
    The far side golden brown is that from the inside?
    Though you say old shed I am guessing it is not terribly old, so in shed age most shed wood is treated with relatively safe preservatives these days and for a number of years now. most folks use shop bought stuff that is all safe enough.
    Only concern is that your hard work will not last a long time it looks thin. Sorry not trying to be rude. If it does a job for a couple of years, recycling it is good :)
     Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your veggies.
  • The golden brown is from the inside but I think it's just the way the sun is catching the wood. I can honestly say I don't know how old the shed is it was here when we moved in 3 years ago. I don't mind it not lasting to long I just didn't want to get rid of good wood without finding another use for it first. plus it only lasting a few years gives me an excuse to do more with my garden in a few years time :smile: thank you for your help. 
  • Portions of an old shed were used in the construction of this raised bed/ runner bean 'box' earlier this year. [Note: the green painted wood = outside of box]. *I also lined the box with spare bubblewrap to keep the damp soil away from timber - you could use old compost bags with the black side towards the soil in your raised beds. Best of luck with your gardening projects!!

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