I'm replacing my garden edging (the separator between lawn and flower beds), and I have some treated pine I would like to use.

Like this:

Treated Pine Edging

What's the best way to stop the pine from rotting?

  • 1
    You mention the pine is treated. Do you mean it's already pressure-treated?
    – rob
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 0:37

3 Answers 3


You might want to consider non-toxic alternatives:

  • You could use plastic edging, possibly reinforced with stakes.
  • You could choose thin, untreated lumber that you are willing to have rot. This would enrich the soil. Choose thin, narrow lumber, so that it does not leave behind a hole big enough to break someone's ankle.
  • You could place a gravel border. Embed the stones in the ground, so that you can safely run a lawnmower wheel along the border, without risking "mowing" the stones.
  • Consider using redwood, cedar, or another wood that rots more slowly than regular lumber, but is less toxic than pressure-treated lumber.

Buy pressure treated lumber. It's going to cost more than plain pine, but it will last significantly longer in direct contact with the ground, as that's what it's intended for. There's a reason that every telephone/power pole you see is that dark green color.

  • 1
    If you didn't want to buy pressure treated lumber, you can buy a brush on version of the chemicals used in treating wood, however it is very expensive and will not last as long. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:49
  • @BrownRedHawk -- Another answer discusses Copper-Green, which is a brush-on or spray-on chemical for treating lumber. Since the original poster is using treated lumber, he could use Copper-Green on the surfaces he has to cut. He might also need to use it on the ends of the lumber.
    – Jasper
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 20:16
  • Since the garden edging is just for flower beds, pressure-treated lumber is fine. But if you're growing edible plants you may want to look into some of the discussions on the safety of using pressure-treated lumber with edible plants.
    – rob
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 23:18

You're kinda fighting a loosing battle. A high grade marine varnish such as Epifanes would do the best in terms of water and UV protection, but I doubt it would give you the look you want. Here's a link to some other alternative marine finishes.


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