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lining wood containers

La Cienega, NM

Has anyone ever used aluminum or galvanized flashing to line wood containers to make them more durable? I am also thinking about putting a layer of styrofoam between the wood and the flashing as I live in the high desert and I think both would help with moisture retention. Thoughts?

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

I don't think I'd use either aluminum or galvanized materials for worry about aluminum and zinc toxicity issues. The foam or plastic are probably better choices.

Al

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Aluminum wouldn't be bad as the aluminum will self coat itself with a rust or oxidation layer. The only problem is, It is relatively expensive; easy to work with though.
There is a material that the Aquaponiic guys use to line their grow troughs. It is UV stabilized and will last a long time.
By using this material, you can build your beds out of PT lumber without worrying. I us PT anyway as I don't think it is any longer a worry.
http://sz0001.wc.mail.comcast.net/zimbra/mail?app=mail#2
http://buyplasticnow.com/Products/String-Reinforced-Plastic/Dura-Skrim-R20WWK.aspx

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

Aluminium toxicity is one of the major factors that limit plant growth and development in many mineral soils, and It seems to most affect cells in the plasma membrane of the root apex. Along with the Al toxicity, you can expect antagonistic deficiencies of Ca, Mg, P, and Mo. Even though Al2O3 isn't soluble in pH neutral water, acid rain is enough to increase free aluminum, even in high bulk density mineral soils. We should think then, that when using acid forming fertilizers and possibly having our containers out in acid rain, that a significant amount of aluminum will end up in the soil solution ..... and that's not a good thing. I don't think the risk is worth it when there are other good options to line the containers with.

Al

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the correction Al. I learned something. I have never used aluminum for any growing medium even though I work with the metal all of the time in other forms.
What about galvanized tanks that I see used for farm watering troughs? I guess when they are new, they wouldn't be a problem, it is when they are a few years old that the problems would appear.
Paul.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Man, am I glad I came across this thread! I just bought an aluminum planter and was going to use it this spring. Is any kind of metal good to use as planters?

Also, going back to the OP's question, is there anything I can use against the wood to make my raised beds more durable? Paul, I know PT wood is supposed to be ok these days, but they kind of freak me out...

La Cienega, NM

This is just the info I was hoping to get - thank you! It is such a complex issue, and we are home gardening and buying organic and local as much as possible in order to avoid extra chemicals in our food. My partner has had lead and mercury poisoning from a tainted water supply (well next to a junk yard full of car batteries), and still has neurological effects - so you see why this is important! We live in the desert on a small lot, so raised beds and container gardening is a mainstay. Mainesue (yup, I used to live in Maine)

La Cienega, NM

PS I looked at the web site on "buy plastic now" and the hydroponic sheeting looks really good. I like that they also post MSDS on the components, and data sheets on the product specifications.

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