How Do You Keep Landscape Timbers From Rotting?

A popular element that is often added to gardens that not only looks great but is supremely practical too is landscape timbers. These wooden beams that are either custom made or are old railway sleepers (depending on availability and your budget) are perfect for sectioning off areas of your garden or even building up levels within it to give it a more structured look.
The problem is, being made of wood, these timbers can start to rot, and when that happens, they will need to be replaced. Here are some useful tips to keep the landscape timbers from rotting and keep your garden looking great. 

Treat The Wood For Fungal Growth 

It may not be evident to the naked eye, but some timber has fungal growth in it. This is an issue and will cause the wood to rot because the small organisms feed on the wood and weaken it. If you are using the landscape timber to building a retaining wall, for example, and you don’t spot there are fungi in it, that wall could easily fall down and cause a lot of damage. Before you make any purchase, check the wood thoroughly for fungi. Your garden will definitely be better for it.  

Treat The Wood For Exposure To Moisture 

Of course, the very point of landscape timber is that it remains outside, and is therefore subject to all kinds of weather conditions. However, too much moisture and the wood is going to rot. Timber can retain a lot of moisture, so once it gets wet, it is almost impossible for it to dry out again, and this leads to rotting. 

Luckily, wet rot like this can be treated, and as long as you get to it quickly enough, the damage shouldn’t be too bad. 

Paint The Wood 

Bare wood looks great in a garden, and when you are building a structure or creating raised flower beds, keeping the timber as natural as possible will probably be your first thing. Unfortunately, as lovely as this might look, natural wood is vulnerable to rot since it can get wet and burrowing insects and other organisms can make their home within it. 

An excellent way to protect your wood is to paint it. This doesn’t necessarily mean the wood needs to be changed from completely natural to a bright colour that looks bad with the rest of your garden (although some bright colours will look great, so don’t dismiss the idea altogether), but it does mean it should be coated with a protective layer. Options for you to consider include:

  • Oil
  • Protective spray
  • Varnish 
  •  Wax 

Using landscape timbers in your garden is something that can make your entire outside space look attractive, neat, and a pleasure to be in. However, as with any aspect of your garden, these timbers need to be cared for. Treating them well will give you a garden to be proud of for years to come. 

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