raised garden queston

Want to put in vegetable garden and have few questions......the only place I can locate garden is low and does not have good drainage. In early spring there is usually some standing water ( inch or two) in this area. Spring rain snow melt etc. When the rain stops the water will disappear in couple of days, more or less. I am thinking of a raised garden. This is a 500 sq ft area that I would like to plant tomatoes, beans, beets, carrots, peppers. I was wondering if 2x10's would work for this project? What about pressure treated lumber? any advise appreciated.
http://www.gardeningblog.net/2009/04/12/using-pressure-treated-lumber-in-raised-garden-beds /
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http://www.gardeningblog.net/2009/04/12/using-pressure-treated-lumber-in-raised-garden-beds /
We have a small raised bed for the same reason. We used cedar logs rather than treated lumber. We felt it was safer.
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Kelly..........
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snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

Yo pays yo money, and takes yo chances. Like taking chances?
Does Pressure-Treated Wood Belong in Your Garden? (excerpt) A couple of decades ago, lumber impregnated with chromated copper arsenate (known as CCA) was considered the answer to a gardeners prayer. It boasted longer life than rot-resistant species like redwood, you could buy it almost anywhere, and manufacturers said the treatment chemicals, though toxic, safely stayed put in the wood. The main plus for gardeners was that the chemicals didnt harm plants, unlike creosote and pentachloro?phenol, two previously popular wood preservatives. . . .
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- Billy
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On 6/5/2009 10:02 AM, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

http://www.gardeningblog.net/2009/04/12/using-pressure-treated-lumber-in-raised-garden-beds /
I wanted to plant a dwarf tangelo (cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit) in my back yard. Citrus requires good drainage, which my heavy clay soil does not have. So I created a raised bed of concrete blocks just set in place without any mortar or foundation.
I dug out the space first, to a depth of about 18 inches. I mixed compost, wood chips (from a recent tree pruning), peat moss, coarse sand, gypsum, and a little superphosphate into the native soil. This created a mound. I then laid out a square of concrete blocks, two on each side with the holes facing up. The blocks are 16 x 8 x 6 inches. I used nothing to stabilize them. After planting the tangelo, I packed potting mix into each of the holes in the blocks and planted wax-leaf begonias. Excess water in this raised bed drains between the blocks.
For a vegetable bed, you can lay out more blocks to frame a larger bed. If you want, you can even stack them two rows high, staggering them. If stability is a problem, just pound 2-foot lengths of 1/4-inch rebar through the holes and into the ground, using a small block of wood on top of the rebar to drive it 2 inches below the top of the upper blocks.
Another way to get two rows high is to frame a slightly larger area with only one row and fill it with your amended soil to the top of that first row. Tamp down the soil about a foot inside the frame, adding more soil as needed to keep the surface at the top of the frame. Then lay down another row of blocks just inside the frame to complete the raised bed, filling that frame with more amended soil to the top of the second row. Stabilizing this with rebar would require twice as much rebar, but the result will be even more stable than having the second row directly over the first.
You can get split-face blocks, which are decorative on both sides, or half-split-face blocks (somewhat harder to find but cheaper), which are decorative only on one side. In any case, a raised bed framed with concrete blocks will last much, much longer than framed with pressure-treated wood or cedar logs.
You can then plant flowers or more vegetables in the holes in the blocks.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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http://www.gardeningblog.net/2009/04/12/using-pressure-treated-lumber-in-raised-garden-beds /
Think outside the box. You don't have to bring the whole garden up to your level. You can make benches, or supports out of pipe, and garden to your heart's content in containers. IIRC, there are even a lot of boxes that you can get from military surplus. Other than that, cut off plastic barrels, old bathtubs, lots of things that will hold a reasonable amount of plants, be reusable year to year, and like tomatos, give you a special little environment there where you can absolutely control the amount of fertilizer and water that goes in.
I was considering this recently, and went through all sorts of mental gyrations on lumber, treated vs. untreated, types of wood, lots of things.
One thing's for sure, if you build something that is that big, it's going to be gawd awful heavy. That's where some surplus pipe supports come in handy. Plus, you can reposition stuff around your garden if you don't make big mondo honkin' structures to hold a lot of dirt.
Just some thoughts. I've tilled mine for this year, and stuff is growing, but a full greenhouse is on the list for next year. Raised boxes, overhead water system, opening windows, the works. But I will do a lot of it from scrap, and the sewing of the woven poly I can do myself. I just fixed two of those big ratchet strap contraptions this evening that one would otherwise throw away.
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http://www.gardeningblog.net/2009/04/12/using-pressure-treated-lumber-in-raised-garden-beds /
Here's a layman's level perspective of PT (pressure treated) lumber. Good information. http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infxtra/infpre.html
In my area, central TX, CCA version of PT lumber hasn't been available since 2004 at the big-box stores and lumberyards. Its common for pier and beam houses here to have PT lumber in them. Sole plates (bottom plate) for the framing is also common.
There's no long term observations on current chemicals used for current PT lumber toward food growing areas. Redwood, cedar, and cypress are naturals. I would stick with that around a garden.
If you are deadset on using current PT lumber, avoid ferrous hardware. ACQ eats it.
--
Dave



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