Thursday, October 22, 2009

Safe Wood Treatment for Vegetable Grow-Boxes

Some have worried about using treated lumber to make their Grow-Boxes because of warnings about harmful materials in store-bought treated lumber.
Following is a recommended treatment you can apply yourselves to untreated lumber. This comes from an article in a recent Organic Gardening magazine, for which we thank them.

• "Melt 1 ounce of paraffin wax in a double boiler. DO NOT heat over a direct flame (that's a great way to start a fire).
• Off to the side, carefully place slightly less than a gallon of solvent (mineral spirits, paint thinner or turpentine at room temperature) in a bucket, then slowly pour in the melted paraffin, stirring vigorously.
• Add 3 cups exterior varnish or 1.5 cups boiled linseed oil to the mix, stirring until the ingredients are blended. When it cools, you can dip your lumber into this mixture or brush it onto the wood."

This should give you several years' extended life for your Grow-Boxes.

The other alternative, as I have suggested previously, is to paint them with a good exterior paint – preferably acrylic. The boxes in Dr. Mittleider's back-yard garden were in use for 25 years.

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