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Cedar post for raised beds  RSS feed

 
                                  
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I would like to grow veggies in a cedar post raised bed. The entire bed is made out of cedar (fresh cut post), does anyone see a problem with this?
 
Rita Vail
Posts: 63
Location: Northwest
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Sounds like a good idea. Please report back your results. Try growing squash. I read that if you mulch with cedar, it repels squash bugs. We have a thread going about squash bugs, if you have anything to contribute to this beastly problem.

I used logs, mostly oak, to line my beds for a few years but quit because they turned out to be big slug and snail factories. I doubt cedar will do this. If it seems to be happening, go to the thread about slugs for ideas.
 
Dan D. Lyons
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Hi, in construction cedar is used as a rot resistant material that can be placed on direct ground contact and not rot which might suggest there is some chemical in the wood that does not allow it to break down (unlike other softer woods) with soil contact. In the house, cedar has traditionally been used as a natural pesticide (eg cedar lined closets, cedar moth balls). Underneath live cedar trees it is difficult to get anything to grow and is known to emit an allelopathic toxin or a 'natural herbicide' that prohibits growth of other plants. Having said this some people think using cedar in raised beds will stunt the growth of plants that are placed inside them for the reasons previously mentioned. However, does cedar continue releasing allelopaths long after the wood has been cut down and dried in a kiln?  And if it does, is it enough to stunt or kill the little growies in your raised bed?  I have no idea but for your sake I hope it works fine. I just don't like raised beds for various other reasons , personal preferences that's all.

Good question.
 
                                      
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it's the same issue out here in CA with redwood. the natural chemicals in the wood that make it resistant to rot also disturb plants that would be grown near it. it's recommended to only use aged redwood for containers/raised beds as much of the chemicals with have leached out over time....i'd imagine the same goes for cedar....look for some old fence boards on craigslist
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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This may be a clue:  Most of the better quality cedar and redwood planter boxes I have seen are lined with either plastic or a tar-like substance.  Hmm.
The nails usually rust out before the wood starts to deteriorate.
 
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