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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made a nice but simple 8'x8' raised garden bed for my wife to use for her "small crop activities" out of 6"x6"x8' PT wood stacked 2 units high. (not creosote railroad ties) - She wants to expand/double the size next year with another box adjacent. My concerns are using the CCA - PT wood again for this garden area.
I have read high and low and even had the soil sampled (took 15 soil samples) with a friend who is a chemical engineer with Shell & Dow. The results show that there is definately a rise in the arsenic, copper, etc in the soil areas closest to the boards but it is just a minute amount and not high enough for any real concern. My understanding based upon real scientific data and insight from college Biology professors is that the plants/fruit would die (as they are much more sensitive to improper chemical imbalances and arsenic poisoning) long before it was removed and brought into the house for eating.

In light of that, and not trying to start an organic vs. CCA war here --- What alternatives might be available in this area (Louisiana) for me to use? We don't have redwood or cedar locally to my knowledge. We do have cypress (extremely good) but it is expensive. What about the plastic lumber out these days or any other type of synthetic? Should I be more concerned with this mini-garden? She wants her own space and doesn't want to have to till, cultivate nor use a tractor to grow her own small plants (so telling her to stop it and use some rows is probably not a good option) ;)

Anyone else have experience with raised vegetable garden areas or beds and their construction?

Thanks!
Andy
 

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Hey Andy! How are you? I never did answer you about the satsumas. We have been buying a few here and there, so I guess we don't need any. I have mustard and collards coming out my ears if you want any for yourself or friends. My cabbage is about 3/4 the size you usually buy in the stores. About the raised beds, my Son's mother-in-law in Denham Springs has a few of the beds exactly like you described and the question you raised has never came up and she has some of the prettiest fall plants of anyone I know. I'm not sure what kind of fertilizer she uses.
 

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Well, They do have plastic peices just for that type of thing, but have never used it. How about stone, or concreat? They have those pre-cast reatining wall blocks. Not real cheep, but would last FOREVER. Or if you don;t mind rebuilding it every few years, just use pine and replace it alot. Or bite the bulit and use the cypress. She will be happy, [remember, she's happy, your happy:D ] and it would last a LONG time. That stuff is awsome. To bad I can't get it where I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by Merlin
Hey Andy! How are you? I never did answer you about the satsumas. We have been buying a few here and there, so I guess we don't need any. I have mustard and collards coming out my ears if you want any for yourself or friends. My cabbage is about 3/4 the size you usually buy in the stores. About the raised beds, my Son's mother-in-law in Denham Springs has a few of the beds exactly like you described and the question you raised has never came up and she has some of the prettiest fall plants of anyone I know. I'm not sure what kind of fertilizer she uses.
Yeah, I am going to do this: build another 8x8 box and line just the inside of the boards with heavy plastic to protect against any leaching of the CCA stuff. The ironic thing is that the background or control sample was 4.4ppm arsenic (from area of property never in contact with PT boards) - Readings 0-2" from boards in the soil was 20ppm (of course readings from the actual plant/fruit fibers was null - less than 1ppm something like 0.07ppm - as I dont think most plants will absorb too much of the stuff. Readings from 6" were nearly back at the control sample of 4.6ppm. And of course in the middle of the bed the readings were actually lower at 4.2ppm --- so I guess the rich soil I used actually had less to start out with. I have read in-depth on it and some plants absorb more than others but alot in the parts we dont eat. So, I will line the boards and build my cheap but effective box. Order a truck load of rich garden soil and spread it out. Thanks for the input.

Hey, Merlin --- I got like at least 100 satsumas left on the tree. They are nearly 100% orange now. I need to pick em and give em away before too long. My cabbage are large but still open (when do they close their leaves???) My broccoli are getting very large. I use osmocote, bloodmeal and lime in my soil and then I side dress certain plants with 8-8-8 and then I also water when needed with Miracle-Gro --- Those plants go wild and boy do they produce! :D

Do you know where Happywoods and Stein Rd. are located?
The red light near Player's Lounge and close to the Discount Bread shop right on Old Baton Rouge Hwy? I live off of Stein Rd back by the 2 huge towers (back corner of my property) Let me know if you want to get together sometime and chat. Or I could come out to the Ponchy!

;)
Cheers!
Andy
 

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I have a friend who once made an area about 25'x25' with railroad ties stacked two high. He lined it with black plastic. I hauled sawdust from my mill and filled it up. He grew potatoes and had a bumper crop with no weeds. They were clean when he dug them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like a great plan ---- With the addition, she will now have a 16x8 -- ~128sq foot area to grow some of her goodies. I will keep the box frames seperate (sharing one common side wall for wood savings) and see how it goes. I will line the sides with plastic liner and the bottom was stapled with landscape fabric to cover the ground and protect against weeds. Think she would go crAzY with a 25'x25' area --- too much for her to handle IMHO.

All I hear is the whining.... ;)
:whine:

Andy
 

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Andy

I forgot to mention, he told me NOT to use black walnut saw dust as it's pretty acidic. I know the sale barns wouldn't buy it either. They said it ate the hoof up on cattle. They say not to BBQ with it either. I know it will give you a rash if it gets under your belt when sawing it.....
 
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