While there are no specific distance mandates on vegetable gardens and septic fields, staying 10 to 20 feet outside the perimeter of your septic system’s drainage field is a safe bet for clean veggies and an effective septic system.
- According to the University of California Small Farm Program, fruits and vegetables should be planted at least 10 feet from a septic system or leach field to avoid bacterial contamination. Click to see full answer Besides, is it safe to plant a garden near a septic tank?
Is it safe to grow vegetables near a septic tank?
Septic tank vegetable gardens are not recommended. Although a properly functioning septic system should not cause any problems, it is very hard to tell when the system is working 100 percent efficiently. Vegetable plant roots grow down in search of nutrients and water, and they can easily meet wastewater.
How close can you plant to septic?
Any trees planted in your yard should be at least as far away from the septic tank as the tree is tall. For example, a 20-foot-tall tree should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic tank. Some trees need to be located even further from a septic tank.
Can you put raised garden beds over septic field?
Tip. A raised garden can interfere with the functioning of a septic or drain field. Installing a raised garden bed over the leach lines is not recommended.
What plants can you grow near your septic system?
If you must grow trees and shrubs, shallow-rooted kinds are better to grow around septic tank drain fields. Shallow-rooted trees and shrubs include:
- Dogwood trees.
- Japanese maple trees.
- Eastern redbud trees.
- Cherry trees.
- Azalea shrubs.
- Boxwood shrubs.
- Holly shrubs.
- Dwarf tree varieties.
Can you build a greenhouse over a septic field?
A greenhouse can be erected on a septic field to grow certain types of plants. The greenhouse should not have permanent foundations, which could easily damage the septic system. Do not plant directly into the ground over a septic field, as the plants could absorb contaminants released by the system.
Can you plant arborvitae near septic tank?
A common hedging plant for narrow spaces is pyramidal arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Fastigiata,’ or its greener cultivar ‘Emerald Green’). From my observation, it forms a dense root mass that would run into the septic field unless contained, but could provide a decent screen with a confined root run.
Can you put a deck over a septic tank?
You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.
What to plant around septic tanks?
Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.
Can you plant vegetables over a septic drain field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.
How far should garden be from septic tank?
While there are no specific distance mandates on vegetable gardens and septic fields, staying 10 to 20 feet outside the perimeter of your septic system’s drainage field is a safe bet for clean veggies and an effective septic system.
What can you plant near sewer pipes?
The best trees to plant around your sewerage system include shallow-rooted trees and shrubs:
- Cherry trees.
- Japanese maple trees are among one of the few maple trees that are likely to cause less damage.
- Eastern redbud trees.
- Dogwood trees.
- Holly shrubs.
- Boxwood shrubs.
What can you put over a septic field?
Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.
How to Plant a Garden in Relation to a Septic System Drain Field
For many individuals, living in the country represents a new way of life. Gardening and orchard planning are important aspects of country living, but so are other aspects of country life. A septic system is required for the majority of country residences, for example, to dispose of sewage. In spite of the fact that septic systems are generally effective, the leach field is a critical component in the treatment and dispersion of waste water. Because of the risk of bacteria in the soil, only grass, shallow-rooted flowers, bulbs, and meadow grasses are planted immediately over a septic system to prevent bacterial contamination.
In accordance with the septic plot plan submitted with the local building department, identify the location of the septic tank and leach lines on the property.
While a plot plan is required for new construction, older properties may not have any records accessible that specify the placement of the septic tank and leach pipes.
Septic tank site can be identified by the presence of a clean-out, risers, or a manhole cover on the ground surface.
- To identify the gravel drain field, use a metal rod and gently press it into the earth to probe the area around it.
- Make your way out of the home and away from the house.
- Take a 10-foot measurement from the outside boundary of the leach field.
- To minimize bacterial contamination, according to the University of California Small Farm Program, fruits and vegetables should be grown at least 10 feet away from a septic system or leach field to ensure proper drainage.
- In order to ensure that non-aggressive shrubs and trees thrive, they should be planted at a distance equivalent to their maturity height.
Bulletin #2442, Vegetable Gardens and Septic Fields Don’t Mix
Visit extension.umaine.edu for more information on the University of Maine Extension programs and services. More information about our publications and books may be found here. atextension.umaine.edu/publications/. According to data from the United States Census Bureau, Maine is the most rural state in the US, with around 61 percent of our people living in rural regions.
1 Due to the fact that many rural-area properties are not linked to municipal sewer systems, many Mainers rely on septic systems to dispose of their household wastes instead.
Planning Around Your Septic System
In addition to an underground tank, a septic system also includes a soil absorption field, which is sometimes known as a septic system disposal field and is also referred to as a “leach field.” Through filtration and the work of microorganisms in the soil, the wastewater treatment field cleans the wastewater, preventing polluting water from entering nearby bodies of water such as lakes, streams, and groundwater.
Because of the presence of a septic system on your property, you may need to adjust your land use to accommodate the system.
This is especially true in the case of vegetable gardens.
What if You Don’t Know Where Your Septic System Is?
The challenge of locating your system is not always straightforward. Even if you are able to locate your septic tank, the disposal field may be several hundred feet distant. Refer to your septic system design form for assistance in locating your system (known as the HHE-200 form). Whether you are unable to locate a copy, you should inquire with your local plumbing inspector to see if he or she has a copy on file. Maine Subsurface Wastewater Program may be reached through the Maine Subsurface Wastewater Team page on the Division of Environmental and Community Health (Maine.gov) website, or by phone at (207) 287-5689.
If no record of your system can be discovered, you can contact a Site Evaluator to assist you in locating it.
How Septic System Wastewater Can Contaminate Your Garden
Untreated wastewater, commonly known as sewage, can be a health issue since it contains pathogens. Septic system disposal fields are intended to treat or refurbish the wastewater produced by septic systems. Because plants can become polluted by wastewater that has not yet been refurbished by a septic system disposal field, it is imperative that you do not grow a vegetable garden on top of, or immediately close to, a septic system disposal field. Plants growing on disposal fields have the ability to absorb pathogens from wastewater.
What You Should Know About Disposal — Field Design
Since 1974, the majority of septic system disposal fields have been designed to be built partially or entirely above the original ground surface. This is due to the fact that the majority of Maine’s soils are hardpan, bedrock, and/or have a shallow seasonal groundwater table. A sufficient elevation above any of these limiting constraints is required to allow wastewater to flow into and be rejuvenated by the soil underneath the disposal field’s bottom layer of soil. How a disposal field is built is explained in detail.
- The upper layer is made up of components such as plastic or concrete chambers, fabric-wrapped pipe, geo-textile sand filters, or stone.
- A layer of compressed hay or filter fabric is placed just above the stone or other disposal-field components to prevent fine soil particles from entering the crevices between the stones or in other devices in the disposal field.
- A layer of fill material is placed above the compressed hay or filter fabric, which is typically eight to twelve inches deep.
- This is done in order to allow for the open flow of air into the disposal field, which will allow bacteria to immediately attack and refurbish the wastewater as fast as possible.
In most cases, just the top four or five inches of this fill material contains silt or clay, as well as organic debris and other contaminants. The reasons why septic system disposal fields are undesirable for gardening purposes
- The wastewater level in a new septic system disposal field is often fairly low, especially in the early stages of the system’s operation. Over time, however, as the disposal field grows, it is possible that effluent will accumulate in ponds. A partial obstruction of the soil pores by particles escaping from the septic tank as well as the live and dead bodies of microorganisms is the cause of this. The greater the thickness of this clogging layer, the higher the level of wastewater in the disposal field will grow. The amount of wastewater produced will also increase over time as the number of family members grows and matures, as well as as a result of high-volume events. Water (including wastewater) will wick up into soil as a result of capillary attraction, and eventually the levels of wastewater in a disposal field will be high enough for even shallowly rooted plants to come into touch with it
- Even shallowly rooted plants will come into contact with it. The capillary pull of the wastewater might lead it to wick up to a height of 18 inches in the disposal field if it rises high enough in the disposal field to come into touch with the fill material on top of it. This could happen depending on the texture of the fill material. Consequently, it is not recommended to plant a vegetable garden next to a landfill fill expansion, especially if it is located close to the landfill. However, even though there may be no wicking up to the top of the disposal field or fill extension material at first, it is possible that it will occur as the disposal field matures. Generally speaking, the soil over the top of a septic system disposal field is very permeable, particularly in the early stages of the system’s installation. As a result, in order for the plants to thrive in a garden that has been planted on top of a septic system disposal field, irrigation will be required. Addition of water to the top of a disposal field, particularly if the disposal field is only moderately functioning, has the potential to cause it to collapse. Turning the top of a disposal field might cause harm to the compacted hay or filter fabric on top of the field. if the compressed hay or filter fabric is damaged, it could allow soil particles to migrate down into the stone or other devices in the disposal field, reducing the wastewater holding capacity
- If the compressed hay or filter fabric is damaged, it could allow soil particles to migrate down into the stone or other devices in the disposal field
- In order to provide a safe growing environment for vegetable plants on top of a waste field, it is not recommended to place extra fill on top of the field. The addition of fill material has the potential to choke the disposal field by interfering with the free flow of air in the area. It is significantly more probable for an anaerobic (oxygen-free) disposal field to become clogged and fail than it is for a well-oxygenated disposal field. Additionally, adding more fill material to the disposal system may result in damage to the components of the disposal field. It is expected that any plants put on top of the disposal field would shoot roots down in search of water and nutrients, which will not be found in the gravelly sand fill material used for the disposal field. After everything is said and done, septic system disposal fields are unsuited for gardening because roots that come into touch with wastewater might absorb infections such as viruses, which can subsequently infect anybody who consumes the plants.
Better Choices for Covering Disposal Fields
A new septic system disposal field typically has a very low quantity of wastewater since the system is still in the early stages of being constructed. It is possible, however, that effluent will accumulate in the disposal field as the field grows. A partial obstruction of the soil pores by particles escaping from the septic tank as well as the live and dead bodies of microorganisms is the cause of this phenomenon. This clogging layer becomes thicker as time goes on, and the amount of wastewater in the disposal field increases as well.
- Water (including wastewater) will wick up into soil as a result of capillary attraction, and eventually the levels of wastewater in a disposal field will be high enough for even shallowly rooted plants to come into touch with it.
- For this reason, a vegetable garden should not be constructed on a disposal field’s fill extension, especially if it is located close to the landfill.
- For this reason, irrigation would be necessary for the growth of plants in a garden that was established on top of a septic system disposal field.
- Turning the top of a disposal field might cause harm to the compressed hay or filter fabric on top of the pile.
- By preventing the free flow of air in the disposal field, the additional fill material might suffocate the site.
- Additional fill material being placed on the disposal system may also cause harm to the components of the disposal field.
After everything is said and done, septic system disposal fields are unsuited for gardening because roots that come into touch with wastewater might absorb infections such as viruses, which can subsequently infect anybody who consumes the plants;
Septic System Gardening Info: Planting Gardens On Septic Drain Fields
Susan Patterson, Master Gardener, contributed to this article. A common source of concern for many homeowners is the planting of gardens on septic drain fields. This is especially true when it comes to planting a vegetable garden over a septic tank area. Continue reading to find out more about septic system gardening and whether or not it is advised to grow over septic tanks.
Can a Garden be Planted Over a Septic Tank?
Susan Patterson, Master Gardener, provides the following information: Homeowners are often concerned about the safety of their landscaping when it comes to planting gardens on septic drain fields. This is especially true when it comes to growing vegetables in locations where septic tanks are present. Please continue reading to find out more about septic system gardening and whether or not it is advisable to cultivate over septic tanks.
Best Plants for Septic Field Garden
A septic field garden should be planted with herbaceous, shallow-rooted plants such as the grasses indicated above, as well as other perennials and annuals that will not damage or clog the sewage lines. Planting trees and shrubs over a septic field is more challenging than planting shallow-rooted plants over a septic field. It is possible that tree or shrub roots may cause damage to pipelines at some point in time. Small boxwoods and hollybushes are preferable than woody shrubs or huge trees in this situation.
Vegetable Garden Over Septic Tank Areas
It is not suggested to grow vegetables in a septic tank. Although a fully functioning septic system should not create any difficulties, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the system is operating at peak performance. As vegetable plant roots grow downward in search of nutrients and water, they may come into contact with sewage or other liquid waste. People who consume the plants may become infected with pathogens such as viruses. Whenever feasible, it’s a good idea to reserve the space above and near the septic field for decorative plants and to locate your vegetable garden someplace else on the property.
Septic System Gardening Info
It is generally a good idea to obtain as much information as possible about your specific septic system before you begin planting. Consult with the house builder or the person who built the septic system to see which option would be the most appropriate for your unique scenario. Learn more about General Vegetable Garden Care in this article. This content was last modified on
Planting Vegetables Over a Septic Leach Field
It it OK for me to establish a vegetable garden on the drain field of my septic tank. – Eric et al. The drain field of a septic tank makes for an attractive location for a vegetable garden since it is vast, flat, and typically sunny. However, it is typically not suggested to grow vegetables in this location for a variety of reasons, including the following:
There is a risk of contamination:
- As septic tank effluent drains out into the lines, it is gently filtered through the soil, where helpful soil microorganisms digest dangerous bacteria and viruses, allowing the effluent to return to the tank. This indicates that there is some level of contamination around the lines, and the extent of the contamination is dependent on the kind of soil, the rate of absorption, and the overall quality of the system. Septic systems are intended to prevent disease-causing soil pollution, but there is no simple method to determine whether or not your system is working correctly. Consider all of the home chemicals that are flushed down your drains on a daily basis, in addition to bacteria. In general, plants benefit the environment by absorbing and digesting chemicals – some of which may wind up in your food. Root crops are more susceptible to contamination, and their roots can become entangled in drainage systems. Leaves and vegetables might be polluted by water that has splashed up from the soil surface. Higher-growing or fruiting plants (such as tomatoes and cucumbers) are less likely to be infected
- But, there is no way to know what kinds (or how much) bacteria are present on them. It is possible that you have a water-softener system that may release brine (salt) into the system, which will hurt salt-sensitive veggies such as peppers and beans
- Nevertheless, it is not recommended.
Also, the proper functioning of your septic system can be harmed by:
- Septic tank effluent flows out into the lines and is gently filtered through the soil, where it is consumed by helpful soil microorganisms, which in turn digests pathogenic bacteria and viruses. In other words, there is some pollution around the lines, and the extent of it varies depending on the kind of soil, the rate of absorption, and the overall performance of the system. Septic systems are intended to prevent disease-causing soil pollution, but there is no simple method to determine whether or not your system is operating correctly. Consider all of the home chemicals that are flushed down your drains on a daily basis, in addition to germs and other contaminants. In general, plants benefit the environment by absorbing and digesting chemicals, some of which may end up in your food. It is more difficult for root crops to be polluted, and their roots might become entangled in the drainage system. When water splashes up from the soil surface, it can infect leafy vegetables. Higher-growing or fruiting plants (such as tomatoes and cucumbers) are less likely to be contaminated
- However, there is no way to tell what kinds (or how much) bacteria are on them. It is possible that you have a water-softener system that will discharge brine (salt) into the system, which will harm salt-sensitive vegetables such as peppers and beans
- However, this is unlikely.
Instead of vegetables, you should plant your septic drain field with decorative plants, grasses, or ground coverings that have shallow roots and are drought resistant. For further information and plant recommendations, please see:
- Planting on your septic drain field (Virginia Tech)
- Planting on your septic leach field (University of Nevada)
- Planting on your septic drain field (Virginia Tech)
- Planting on your septic leach field (Virginia Tech)
Is it okay to plant a garden over a leach field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible, but it must be done with caution to avoid contamination. If you just have a little amount of garden area on your home, the leach field may be the only place you can plant flowers or vegetables. Growing shallow-rooted plants over the drainage region is advised since they aid in the removal of surplus moisture and nutrients from the soil as well as the reduction of soil erosion.
A range of different herbaceous perennials, annuals, and groundcovers can be safely and efficiently planted in addition to turf grass, which is the most common choice. It is not suggested to grow vegetables over a leach field.
About Septic Systems
The majority of residences in rural regions, where city sewer connections are not readily available, have their own septic systems, which are comprised of a septic tank and a leach field. The septic tank decomposes organic matter and removes oil, grease, and particles from the waste water generated by a home. Septic tank effluent is released to an underground network of perforated pipes, which allow the liquid to gently flow back into the surrounding soil. Water that percolates through the soil and into the water table in a well working septic system is free of hazardous bacteria and nutrients before it reaches the water table.
Planting over a leach field requires special care since plant roots can block drain pipes and cause damage to the drain field, which can be a costly problem to repair after it has occurred. Several herbaceous perennials are relatively risk-free choices since their roots will not grow deep enough to reach the sewer lines. Because they require less irrigation and because their roots will not seek to penetrate the continually moist soil around the drain pipes, drought resistant plants are favored.
- Additional considerations include minimizing the quantity of water supplied over the leach field, since saturated soil can inhibit effluent evaporation and increase the likelihood of groundwater pollution.
- Solid woody plants have deeper roots that have the potential to clog drain lines in a very short period of time.
- Planting a tree towards the end of the drainage line, where there is less water to attract the roots in the direction of the leach field, is an option if you absolutely must.
- The roots of a tree will normally reach at least as far from the trunk as the tree’s height from the ground.
- The detergents and cleaning chemicals that are flushed down the toilet are often alkaline, and this can cause the pH of the soil to rise over time.
- Furthermore, residential effluent typically contains significant quantities of sodium, particularly if you use a water softener.
- It is not a good idea to plant vegetables over a leach field.
- A further consideration is that many vegetable gardeners are apprehensive about growing their food plants on soil that is regularly contaminated with household pollutants.
Unfortunately, building raised beds over the drainage region is also not a viable option. The increased soil depth created by the beds may reduce evaporation and reduce the effectiveness of the septic system’s efficacy.
|Barren strawberry||Waldsteinia ternata|
|Butterfly milkweed||Asclepias tuberosa|
|Globe thistle||Echinops ritro|
|Hens and chicks||Sempervivumspecies|
|Lamb’s ears||Stachys byzantina|
|Moss phlox||Phlox subulata|
|Purple coneflower||Echinacea purpurea|
|Russian sage||Perovskia atriplicifolia|
|Wild bergamot||Monarda fistulosa|
|Woodland sage||Salvia nemerosa|
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How far should a garden be from a septic tank?
Fruits and vegetables should be planted at least 10 feet away from an aseptic system or leach field, according to the University of California Small Farm Program, in order to minimize bacterial contamination of the crop. Planting yoursepticfield is typically seen as a nice idea, but it is not the best location for a vegetable garden. Planting root crops above drain lines is not recommended. It is possible that leafy vegetables will be polluted by rain splashing soil onto the plant; thus, either mulch them to prevent splashing or don’t grow them.
Listed below are some useful “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to gardening in a septic tank friendly manner:
- DO keep your plantings shallow
- DON’T plant trees too near to your septic system
- DO use shrubs that don’t demand a lot of water or are drought resistant
- DON’T plant trees too close to your septic system
- DO NOT grow vegetables in close proximity to your sewage tank
- DO prepare ahead
How near may a garden be to a leach field when taking all of this into consideration? a distance of 10 feet When it comes to a septic tank, how much earth should be on top of it? the level of soil backfill over the septic tank lid or septic tankriser lid, which can range from 0″ (which implies you should be able to see it) to only a few inches (which indicates that the grass in the region may be dead) to 6-12″ or even more.
Can You Plant A Garden Over A Septic Field?
How near may a garden be to a leach field, taking all of this into account? length: ten foot When it comes to septic tanks, how much earth should be on the top? It is the level of soil backfill over the septic tank lid or septic tankriser lid, which can range from 0″ (which implies you should be able to see it) to a few inches (which indicates that the grass may be dead in this region) to 6-12″ (or even more) in depth.
After persuading you to keep your garden away from the septic field, you’re probably wondering how close you can get to the edge without falling off. Keeping your fruit and vegetable plants at least 10 feet away from the outer perimeter septic system or leach field is the safest chance for avoiding contamination and avoiding damage to the septic system itself, which can be quite costly.
Can I place a raised bed over a septic field?
Placing a raised garden bed on top of a septic field might be fatal. Don’t even think about it! However, while this may assist to protect your plants from a higher danger of pollution since it effectively shifts the plants and roots further away from the septic system, it will cause problems with the septic system itself. Septic systems and leach fields must be able to drain moisture from the system. Placing a raised garden bed on top of your septic system or leach field keeps rainwater from escaping and can cause harm to the system and surrounding area.
Don’t do it, once again. Everything from paths and pavers to firepits and raised garden beds should be avoided over your septic system since it will prevent rainwater from evaporating. This includes any type of hardscape, including pavers and pathways, firepits, and raised garden beds.
Is it Dangerous to Plant on a Septic Field? – Ask Dr. Weil
Planting your septic field is typically considered a good idea, but it is not the best location for a vegetable garden. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), shallow-rooting plants can aid in the proper operation of a septic drain system by removing moisture and nutrients from the soil; they can also help to decrease soil erosion. When it comes to planting vegetables, the VCE materials state that the soil’s ability to filter viruses and bacteria is dependent on the soil’s ability to filter viruses and bacteria: clay soils can eliminate bacteria within a few inches of the drain trenches, whereas sandy soils may allow bacterial movement for several feet.
The VCE recommends that you use your septic field for decorative plants and that you move your veggie garden somewhere else.
- Root crops should not be planted over drain lines. It is possible that leafy vegetables will be polluted by rain splashing soil onto the plant
- Thus, either mulch them to prevent splashing or avoid growing them. Fruit-bearing crops are most likely safe
- Vegetables that grow on vines, such as cucumbers or tomatoes, should be trained onto a support so that the fruit is not on the ground. Before consuming any garden produce, be sure it has been well cleaned. It is not recommended to build raised beds over the field because they may interfere with the evaporation of moisture.
The VCE recommends that at a bare minimum, the septic field be planted with a thick cover of grass to prevent erosion. The septic field of my vacation residence in coastal British Columbia, Canada, was covered with lilies, which I planted. They have shallow roots and are very appealing. When planting on septic fields, VCE suggests shallow-rooted herbaceous plants that do not require a lot of water to establish. The pipes in a leach field are buried at least six inches below the surface of the ground, allowing septic tank effluent to flow across a vast surface area.
- The removal of surplus moisture and nutrients by plant roots can assist to improve the efficiency with which the residual effluent is purified.
- As a result, the issue of leach field gardening is to locate plants that will suit your landscape requirements while avoiding clogging the drain pipes.
- The Virginia experts also advise against being overly excited when tilling the soil when laying out your plants, and to always use gardening gloves to avoid direct contact with any hazardous organisms that may be present in the soil during the planting process.
- Andrew Weil is a medical doctor who practices in New York City.
Can vegetable gardens be planted near or over septic fields?
Our vegetable garden is built on top of a portion of our sewage system. This is the only portion of our yard that receives sufficient sunlight. Is it possible that there will be a problem with probable contamination? Contamination can be an issue in several situations. Because septic tanks are not totally self-contained and do not seep into the soil, there are health risks associated with them. To preserve Michigan’s groundwater from pollution, the majority of governmental entities have forced that homeowners switch to self-contained water treatment systems.
- The behavior of a septic system is influenced by the kind of soil present.
- Clay, on the other hand, does not percolate or drain well, making it an unsuitable material for a septic site in general.
- Contaminants have the ability to traverse longer distances in this situation.
- Plants that grow above ground, such as lettuce or broccoli, may be infected by pathogens that are washed up from the soil surface during irrigation or a rainstorm.
- Homes with “hard” water and that employ a salt-based water softening system are more likely to have significant volumes of brine flowing into the septic drain field than other types of homes.
- Septic effluent pours out into the pipes and is progressively filtered via the earth as it travels through it.
- Even though septic systems are intended to prevent disease-causing soil pollution, there is currently no reliable technique to determine whether or not your system is operating effectively.
Plants are, by their very nature, absorbing and digesting “factories,” and as a result, they clean up the environment. The crops you planted in the only sunny spot of your yard might be contaminated by all of this.
West Coast Gardener: Gardening Around Your Septic System
NEWater SepticDrainage Ltd.’s John Langard contributed to this article. Incorporating gardens and establishing a landscape plan for newly constructed homes or older homes with onsite sewage systems (septic systems) may be both gratifying and demanding endeavors. There are several different types of septic systems, each with a distinctive appearance in your yard. These range from an in-ground gravity system with a single tank to a raised sand mound with a treatment plant and up to three tanks, among others.
- The following are some general guidelines to consider while landscaping over a septic system drain field: Keep all irrigation lines at least 10 feet away from one other.
- On or near your drain field and septic tank, keep plants and shrubs with aggressive root systems out of the way, such as cedar, willow, maple, bamboo and aspen.
- Do not plant anything near your septic field that will interfere with water drainage.
- However, a blend of wildflowers and other grasses may be used to produce a low-maintenance, meadow-like look that is low in care.
- If you are going to plant flower gardens, annuals and perennials with shallow root systems are suitable selections for your planting needs.
- A well built and operating drain field can help support the growth of vegetable gardens, albeit it is not suggested for use with an old-fashioned gravity system.
- Planting root vegetables over your septic field is not recommended.
- Now is an excellent time to think about any new landscape ideas you may have.
- Any landscaping or garden features, as well as the construction of any retaining walls within 25 feet of your drain field, should be discussed with your maintenance provider or landscape designer before beginning work.
Safe Plants to Grow Over Septic Tanks & Drain Fields
When some trees and bushes are planted near septic tanks and drain fields, their vigorous roots can cause harm to the tanks and drain fields.
Find out which plants are the most dangerous to cultivate near a septic system and which ones are the safest.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
Keep in mind that you should not become so concerned about the possibility of root damage to septic systems that you avoid planting in these places completely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. Growing tall fescue grass, Kentucky bluegrass, or other lawn grass over that section of earth should be the bare minimum solution to the problem.
Plants such as creeping Charlie, stonecrop, and jewelweed will proliferate and cover a septic area effectively.
Because of their thin root systems, they are less prone to infiltrate and destroy the subsurface infrastructure.
It goes without saying that there are several instances of such plants, so you will want to limit down your options.
- If the location is sunny, try planting one of these 10 great perennials for sunny locations: However, if the location does not receive much sunlight, you will most likely be pleased with these shadow garden plants. Septic tank drain fields have soil that is sometimes wetter than usual, sometimes saltier than average, and sometimes a combination of the two. Make sure to cover both bases with perennials that can withstand both damp soils and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets. When it comes to plants growing over septic systems, deer will not turn their noses up at them
- Therefore, if you have a problem with this large pest eating your plants in your area, you will want to consider deer-resistant perennials and deer-resistant ground covers, as well as spring bulbs and ornamental grasses that deer do not eat
It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms. It is preferable to plant shallow-rooted trees and bushes around septic tank drain fields if you must plant trees and plants. The Spruce is an example of a shallow-rooted tree or shrub. K. Dave’s / K. Dave
The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems
Planting huge, fast-growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples: If you have avoided planting any of the most dangerous plants right over your septic tank drain field, you should still be concerned about the consequences.
- Any huge, mature trees that may be growing in close proximity to your septic system continue to pose a threat.
- As a result, a mature specimen 50 feet tall should be at least 50 feet distant from the viewer.
- The Spruce Tree K.
The Basics of How Septic Systems Work
Septic systems are used to treat wastewater in rural regions that do not have access to sewer systems. An underground, waterproof container, the septic tank is where wastewater from your toilets, showers, sinks, and clothes washer is stored after it has been removed from your home via a pipe. Solids (sludge) and scum are separated from liquids in a septic tank, which is intended to do this. Solids sink to the bottom of the container. The slime rises to the top of the heap. The liquids create an intermediate layer between the scum and the sludge, separating them from the other two layers.
- The introduction of more wastewater from the residence serves as a stimulus for their expulsion.
- Upon discharge, liquids are channeled into a much bigger portion of the septic system known as the “drain field,” “leach field,” or “leach pit.” Typically, a drain field is composed of a number of perforated PVC pipes that are installed in subterranean trenches.
- Drain field cloth can be used to protect dirt from getting into the holes.
- “Percolation” is the term used to describe how wastewater moves through the earth.
- The evaporation of excess moisture from the soil will take care of any excess moisture unless you (inadvertently) do something to hinder it.
A septic service must be hired at some time (usually after three years) to pump away the sludge and scum that has accumulated in the septic tank. The Spruce / written by K. Dave
Planning a Septic Field Garden
When it comes to planting near septic tanks, the drain field pipes are the most important thing to consider. If roots penetrate the perforations and clog the system, it is best to remove them immediately. All of the components of this meticulously calibrated system must be in good working order, or else the consequence is a complete disaster (and a costly one). While annual flowers such as impatiens are shallow-rooted enough to be used as septic-field plants, the fact that they must be replanted every year makes them less than ideal for this purpose.
If you are digging in a drain field, you should always wear gloves to protect your hands.
All of the following are terrible ideas because they may interfere with the regular evaporation process, which is responsible for removing excess moisture from the environment:
- Increasing the amount of soil in the region Using excessive amounts of mulch
- Providing more water to the plants than is strictly necessary
garden over a septic tank? (organic forum at permies)
PollinatorPosts totaled 4437. North Central Michigan is the location of this event. 9 years have passed since this article
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A septic tank is not the same as a drainfield, for example. So I’ll limit myself to talking about the tank area for the time being. I used to have an agreenhouse over my tank, but I’ve since moved it somewhere. One way that I have found to be extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely beneficial is to THINK about what is down there. First and foremost, something should be placed over each of the tank openings. Mine has a fabric covering over it to keep sand out, but it also has a little layer of dirt on top of it, and one of the tank covers (I have 2) has a bird bath lying directly on top of the hole cover to indicate where it is.
It is simple to raise and remove the item.
Alternatively, you may draw a map.
Your best chance is to create a Mediterranean-style herb garden on your flat property.
owing to the fact that the soil would be thin, dry, and heated within the tank itself On the tank itself, I’ve planted sage, thyme, violets, sedum, creeping thyme, parsley, lamiums, and other herbs.
I have Swiss chard and hollyhocks in those areas, as well as other deep-rooted plants.
The tank is in the center of a garden bed, which is a nice touch.
I have some dwarf cherry trees behind my house, away from the tank, and I have a lot of honeysuckle, lilac, spirea, barberry, and other plants growing on the downslopes of backfill because our drainfield is raised 4′ above level, as is our house, which is all backfilled with very high quality soil.
I also have some dwarf cherry trees behind my house, away from the tank. We have a picture of our drainfield garden on our blog BrendaBloom, where you can see where you are planted.