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Organic treatment for raised beds

Hi folks!

I'm planning on building a couple of raised beds and a compost heap soon in our new garden. (Just turf when we moved in, so blank slate to create a garden - very exciting!). Part of the attraction of growing my own is growing organically, so I don't want to use any nasty chemicals on the wood. Does anyone know of anything I can treat the wood with that will extend its life while remaining organic?

Thank you!


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,878

    It's best to use pressure treated timber as that will have a longer life.  I then brush on one or two coats of cheap light olive oil or rapeseed oil mixed with the juice of 1 lemon per litre and let it soak in a few days before constructing.  If you're going 2 or 3 or more planks or beams high then line the inside with some black plastic which can be slit bin bags, old compost bags or newly bought form good DIY centres which have it on big rolls by the metre.  This will help keep moisture from the soil away from the wood and also prevent any chemicals leaching into the soil.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Wood tar. Sticky, but effective. You can also mix tar and flaxseed oil (50/50). 

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