Are Railroad Ties Safe For Gardening: Using Railroad Ties For Garden Beds

<img src="×671.jpg&quot; width="550" height="360" title="Dad and I spent a brisk day installing railroad ties in our garden. Behind us is a blackberry or raspberry thicket. The rhubarb patch was behind that. A row of grapevines marked the rear border of our property. In the background to the left you can see the Concordia Lutheran Church where we attended worship services regularly. To the right you can see the top of the Greenwood water tower, marking the location of Greenwood Park Mall.

Greenwood, circa 1984.” alt=”” />

By Bonnie L. Grant Railroad ties are common in older landscapes, but are old railroad ties safe for gardening? Railroad ties are treated wood, steeped in a toxic stew of chemicals, chief of which is creosote. You can find old railroad ties for sale even at garden centers, which makes the question confusing. The EPA has denounced these repurposed barriers as toxic and not recommended for the garden. Let’s explore why and what alternatives for railroad ties for landscaping are safer and just as effective. Should I Use Railroad Ties in My Garden? If you have just purchased a property and want to build some raised garden beds, railroad ties seem like an inexpensive easy option. However, you might ask yourself, “should I use railroad ties in my garden?” True, you have probably seen them in friend’s landscapes and neighborhoods are rife with the wood. Unfortunately, what we traditionally have


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