I would like to use lumber to edge my garden, what would be recommended? Should I use Cedar, Pine or Pressure Treated wood? I am expecting to have part of the garden used to grow food.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.
Building new gardens is exciting and it is important to choose the correct materials for your plans..
Using pine for your borders would be a short term solution as it will break down the fastest.
The use of pressure treated wood is widely debated with some saying it is a negligible risk and others saying never use it around food gardens. Research is ongoing and the chemicals used today are better than the ones used years ago. If you choose this option I recommend you know who the supplier is and exactly what they use. There will be chemicals leaching into the soil with any pressure treated wood so it is best to make an informed choice.
Cedar is a good choice as it will last a long time with no chemical issues and no leaching. The down side is it will probably cost a bit more.
There are many entries in our library about building gardens and choosing materials to meet your needs. I am attaching two below for further information.
Community Garden – Wooden Boards for Soil Erosion and Soil for Raised Beds