best wood for planter box

Hi,
What would be the best wood to use for making an outdoor planter box? I think the choices are pressure treated, cedar or redwood. The boxes will potentially be used for growing some vegetable plants so I am concerned about the pressure treated. Obviously cost is always an issue. Are there any other choices? I also wonder about the synthetic materials that are used for decks. Is this a good idea?
Thanks, Doug
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Redwood was used for the several I've made. Henry Asphalt Emulsion was used on the interior up to dirt level for waterproofing.
On 26 Apr 2004 05:05:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (kilerbbb) wrote:

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On 26 Apr 2004 05:05:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (kilerbbb) wrote:

Pressure trated is ugly if nothing else. Probably would hold u and I have no idea about the chemicals. I'd avoid it personally.
Redwood, at least in the east, is very expensive. I just priced some at $6.79 a bd. ft. White oak and cypress are $3.25. Cedar should be down there also.
I have no idea how well the decking material would be. What I've seen has grooves on the bottom for the floor and does not seem suitable for making things from it. It is not cheap either.
Even pine will hold up for a couple of years with a little protection. Look for the close-out buys at Home Depot. You may waste some but you can often get 50 boards. Ed
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kilerbbb asks:

Drop PT, add cypress.
Cedar and redwood heartwood only.
IME, the synthetics used for decks are useful only in small objects, which might or might not mean a planter. They are useless in decks where span between joists is more than 16" OC, because of flex. I'm not at all sure of what the chemistry is that forms these things from ground up bits of plastic and wood, but I think for planter purposes, I'd be more inclined to go with red cedar, redwood, cypress and leave the chemists to their cauldrons.
Charlie Self "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." Thomas Paine
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What about Teak? Water doesn't damage it? Boats are made of it. Alex
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So are second mortgages made from it. Ed
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Too much for planter boxes -laughs, teak might be worth it for an outdoor work bench I bet, if it is to stay there and be used for years and years... Alex

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AArDvarK asks:

Yes, well, boats are made of cedar, too, and it's one helluva lot cheaper than teak. I think the OP had something in there about cost of the wood, and teak tends to be on the high side of 10 bucks a bf. Whoo, I just checked and Paxton's is getting $20.56 a bf.
I think I paid $3.60 for some cypress late last year.
Charlie Self "Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger." Thucydides
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I went to a Smith & Hawken store yesterday to scout out a chaise lounge. They have stuff made from teak. I'm figuring either white oak or cypress is going to cost me $130 or so. Teak would be $700.
They were selling their lounge for $1100. IMO it was not worth $130 I'm going to spend. Mine will be heavier and better built. But I can't justify $700 in wood just to nap on the patio. Ed
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How about locust or white oak? cheap, looks good, and at least locust is weatherproof enough for fence posts. From what I understand, white oak would also be a good choice as long as it wasn't continually wet.
Jim
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in

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I like the plastic inserts with well-drained wood around them. Then you have cedar, redwood, tropicals, or just paint to keep up.
Oh yes, if the durable woods had been treated for resistance by man rather than nature, I doubt they'd make it to market. Chemicals is chemicals, but fortunately plants take up what they need in preference to just what's there.

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That's not really true. Plants synthesize (and/or concentrate) all sorts of stuff that's hazardous. Poison ivy would be a common example. Venus fly traps make enzymes which digest entire insects. Rhubarb leaves contain enough oxalic acid to be toxic. And of course there's all sorts of wonderful and fun chemicals made by cannibis, poppy, mushrooms, etc.
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Roy Smith adds:

Rosewood is also a fun wood. Almost everyone is at least slightly allergic to it.
Charlie Self "Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger." Thucydides
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HUH? I said "Take up," not synthesize, didn't I?
And it's really true.
wrote:

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says...

the cedar bottom, please) and fairly cheap. I've also used redwood, but it's hard to beat the price of cedar fence boards. Laminate a couple for the posts.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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On 26 Apr 2004 05:05:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (kilerbbb) wrote:

White oak is a good outdoor choice. But, for a planter box, you should line the box with plastic or tar paper. The composite decking boards, as you mentioned, are good too. PT wood should not come in contact with food, and PT dust should not be inhaled. If you can find plastic containers (wastebaskets, tubs, etc) you can build the planter box such that the containers slip inside the planter box. Make sure there's plenty drainage holes.
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kilerbbb wrote:

You might want to take a look at <http://www.forestry.uga.edu/warnell/service/library/index.php3?docID26&docHistory 5B%5D>, which contains a good deal of information about the decayresistance of both natural and pressure treated woods, including a good list of reasonably available decay-resistant species--there are many choices available, which you go with depends on how much you want to spend and whether you're going to paint the box or not (some very durable species don't take paint very well, on the other hand there's no point in springing for Brazilian rosewood if you're going to cover it up with paint).
Note that in all cases it is the heartwood that is resitant, not the sapwood.
Once you think you've decided on a species, look it up in the FPL database <http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/CommNames2000.html or on the various listsaccessible from <http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/CommNames2000.html and make sure that the particular variety you're looking at is in fact decay resistant ("cedar" for example covers a lot of territory) and find out what other names it is sold under (for example "Lapacho" from the paper I referenced above is also sold under the name "Ipe" as decking).
The FPL database will also give you some information on workability, toxicity, and problems with glueing or finishing.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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