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Amy Jeanroy

No Creosote Railroad Ties For Garden

By July 4, 2008

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I received an email from a concerned reader, asking for more information on the dangers of creosote covered railroad ties being used in an edible garden. I was not able to reply via email for some reason, and I realize that this is important enough to discuss further. If you want more information about the danger of creosote, I have added links to the original article.

I have started a folder in the forum. Please share your thoughts and any links you may have that are not listed.


March 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm
(1) Wayne says:

I have about 30 railroad ties in my garden due to my back yard being a hill. The ties allow me to create a level space to garden in. The garden space has grown over the years so naturally I am worried about the health issues I may encounter. First I will need to find a replacement to hold the dirt back. Pressure treated wood has it’s issues. Concrete products leak chemicals into the soil also that can harm plants if not humans. Plastics are also cancer causing. Not sure what the solution is. Second, I will most likely need to move the garden so the current soil that is possibly contaminated will not be used again. I would like someone’s advice on my issues. Thanks

March 25, 2013 at 11:49 am
(2) herbgardens says:

Thanks Wayne – I just wanted to let you know that I have presented your question to the entire Garden staff and will get back to you with our collective ideas.

Amy J

April 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm
(3) jen says:

question. when we bought our house it had railroad ties holding up the ground between us and the neighbors behind us. they are one atop another, for a retaining wall. i have a vegetable/fruit garden on half of the yard. i have raised beds about three/four feet from the ties of strawberries and usually plant sunflowers in a bed up against the ties trying to mitigate too much seepage. all over the web i am finding conflicting advice. i can’t really get rid of them all just like that and build a whole new wall, and would it matter. am i crazy to have strawberries in a bed so close to them? wondering….thanks.

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