What To Plant Near My Septic Tank? (Solution)

Perennials and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain field. Their shallow root systems are less likely to invade the underground system and cause it damage. For the same reason, small, non-woody ground covers are a good choice.Perennials and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain fielddrain fieldThe drain field typically consists of an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material (often gravel) covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from reaching the wastewater distributed within those trenches.https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Septic_drain_field

Septic drain field – Wikipedia

. Their shallow root systems are less likely to invade the underground system and cause it damage. For the same reason, small, non-woody ground covers are a good choice.

What can you not plant near a septic tank?

You definitely shouldn’t plant large shrubbery or trees anywhere near your septic tank. 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.

How close to a septic tank can I plant vegetables?

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.

Can you plant above a septic tank?

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.

Can you plant a garden on top of a septic field?

The most important reason you should not install a vegetable garden on top of, or right next to, a septic system disposal field is because the plants can become contaminated by wastewater that has not yet been renovated by the field. Plants on disposal fields can absorb wastewater pathogens.

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.

What can you put over a septic tank?

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.

Can you plant raspberries over a septic field?

Raspberry Growing on Septic Systems Given that the drain field is in good working order, raspberries should pose no threat to a septic system. The roots of raspberry plants are fibrous and relatively shallow, with the majority of the plant’s root system contained in the first 10 to 20 inches of soil.

Can you put 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.

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.

Can I build a deck over my 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.

Why is grass green over septic tank?

Greener grass over the septic tank may be the result of someone seeding that area if the tank cover was excavated for service. A backing up pipe to leachfield (or worse, a failing leachfield) could cause effluent to drain too slowly out of the septic tank or back up even into the building.

Can you plant shrubs on a septic field?

Avoid growing water loving plants, shrubs, and trees near your septic system. Do not grow vegetables over your septic system because of the risk of bacterial contamination and the health risks association with it.

Can you put a raised bed garden over a 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.

Septic Tank Care: Which Trees to Plant Near Your Septic System

The addition of trees, bushes, and other plant life may improve the overall look of any landscape, but it is important to exercise caution when planting anything near a septic system. In our last article, we discussed which portions of your septic system are most sensitive to tree-root damage, as well as how far away you should place your trees from the septic system’s perimeter. The moment has come to take a look if you haven’t already done so. The trees, shrubs, and other plants that are safe to plant near your sewage system and the trees and shrubs that you should avoid growing anywhere near your septic system will be discussed today in detail.

Why might it be beneficial to plant vegetation near or over your leach field?

The addition of trees, bushes, and other plant life may improve the overall look of any landscape, but it is important to be cautious when planting anything near a septic system. When we talked about tree root damage in our previous article, we discussed which portions of your septic system are most prone to it, as well as how far away you should put your trees. if you haven’t already, this is a great moment to do so! The plants, trees, and shrubs that are safe to plant near your sewage system will be discussed today, as well as the plants that should not be planted anywhere near your septic system.

Which plants are safe to place near or over your leach field?

Planting plants with shallow root systems, such as grasses, annuals, and perennials, is your best hope for preventing soil erosion. Spring bulbs, wild violets, hollyhocks, bee balm, and deer-resistant perennials are all excellent alternatives for planting in the early spring. When it comes to planting trees and shrubs, on the other hand, you need to be a little more cautious. Planting trees and shrubs with shallow root systems near your septic system is perfectly safe. Here are a few examples of such plants:

  • Japanese Maple Trees, Holly Shrubs, Dogwood Trees, Cherry Trees, Boxwood Shrubs, Eastern Redbud Trees, Azalea Shrubs, and other ornamental plants

Keep in mind that you should avoid planting any plants near your septic system if you intend to eat the produce from it. It is possible that you may have better development, but none of the fruits or vegetables that are grown will be safe to consume.

What plants should you avoid placing near your leach field?

As a general guideline, you should avoid planting any trees or shrubs that are known to develop quickly and become enormous, as well as those that are known to actively seek out water sources. Other trees are more picky about the water sources they will seek out than others, and some species, such as weeping willow trees, will go for the water in the pipes that go through the leach field and into the surrounding fields. In the following list, you will find some examples of trees and plants that you should avoid planting in or near your leach field.

  • The following plants are included: Japanese Willow Shrubs, Ash and Birch trees, Pussy Willow Shrubs, Aspen trees, Tulip trees, Maple trees, Beeches, and other similar plants.

As we discussed in our last article, any trees or bushes that you plant should be placed as far away from your septic system as possible, regardless of how large they are. For example, a tree that grows to be 30 feet tall will need to be placed at least 30 feet away from your septic system in order to be effective.

Our objective at Septic Remedies is to serve as your one-stop shop for all of your septic tank needs. Please contact us or visit our website for additional information on how to properly maintain your septic system.

What Trees Are Safe to Plant Near a Septic Tank?

Davey utilizes cookies to make your experience as pleasant as possible by giving us with analytics that allow us to provide you with the most relevant information possible. By continuing to use this site, you acknowledge and agree to our use of third-party cookies. For additional information, please see ourPrivacy Policy. Subscribe to the “The Sapling” on the Davey Blog for the newest advice to maintain your outside area in tip-top form throughout the year. Septic systems, which have thick pipes that go deep throughout the yard, raise a lot of problems regarding what you may plant and where you can put it.

Landscaping Ideas Around Septic Tanks: What to Plant Over a Septic Tank

Regardless of what you’ve heard, it’s not impossible that this will happen! It is true that the correct type of plant or tree may assist the system in keeping water flowing smoothly and preventing erosion. Plants that function well often have supple, green stems and are well-adapted to your area’s rainfall. In other words, we’re talking about annual plants versus perennial plants against wildflowers versus bulbs versus grass. Trees may also be used, as long as you select one with shallow roots and place it a long distance away from the tank.

Can I plant oak trees, Japanese maples or fruit trees near a septic tank?

It is possible, but it is really difficult! The roots of trees are wired to follow the flow of water. As a result, if you plant trees or bushes too close to your irrigation system, they may pry into the pipes and block them, causing harm to the system and the water flow in your home. When it comes to landscaping near the tank, the plants we described above are typically a better choice. In fact, you may cover the system with flowers like those (or even grass) to disguise the system’s presence.

Thus, white oaks and crabapples are both good choices for landscaping.

Maple trees are infamous for blocking drains and sewer lines.

Biological or viral contamination of any plants grown in close proximity to your sewage tank may be a concern.

What trees are safe to plant near a septic system?

Getting back to the original reader who sparked this discussion: because of their shallow roots, skyrocket junipers may be planted in a variety of locations. However, there is a caveat to this, as well as to all of the other options listed below. If possible, place the tree as far away from the system as the tree will be when it is completely matured.

So, because skyrocket junipers normally reach 20 feet tall, place it at least 20 feet away from the system. The following are some more plants and shrubs to consider planting near a sewage treatment system:

  1. In zones 3-8, hemlock grows to be a beautiful evergreen that may reach heights of up to 80 feet. (Zones 3-8): An evergreen with wonderfully colored needles that may grow to be 80 feet tall
  2. It can be found in zones 3-8. Boxwood shrub (zones 4-9): An evergreen that is commonly used for hedges and grows to be around 10 feet tall
  3. It is a good choice for small gardens. Dogwood (hardiness zones 5-8): A spring-flowering tree that normally develops to be around 30 feet tall
  4. It blooms in the spring. Stunning blooming trees that grow between 30 and 50 feet tall in zones 5-8, ornamental cherries are a must-have for any garden. An added bonus is that there are several kinds and cultivars to pick from. In zones 5-9. American holly (Acer rubrum): An evergreen with vivid flashes of berries that often grows to reach around 50 feet tall
  5. It is a multi-stemmed palm that develops to be around 6 feet tall in zones 5b-11. The lady palm (zones 8-11) is a distinctive palm that may be grown to seem like a shrub and can grow to be around 10 feet tall. The pygmy date palm (zones 9-11) is a pint-sized palm that grows to approximately 12 feet tall and is extremely easy to grow.
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Want a local arborist to plant your tree to keep your septic system safe? Start here.

Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.

You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.

Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts

  • Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
  • Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
  • Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
  • Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.

Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields

As long as you choose the landscaping for the region around your septic system with care, you won’t have to be so concerned about the possibility of septic system damage caused by roots that you refrain from planting in these places entirely. 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. The ideal plants to use around your septic tank and drain field are perennials and grasses (including decorative grasses).

Small, non-woody ground coverings are a wonderful choice for the same reason: they are low maintenance.

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.

The following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:

  • Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, azalea shrubs, boxwood shrubs, and holly shrubs are examples of ornamental trees and shrubs.

The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems

Planting huge, rapidly 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:

  • The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
  • American sweetgum trees
  • Ash trees
  • Tulip trees

It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.

If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we have specialists standing by to help you resolve them and get your system back up and running.

What Trees Can be Safely Planted Near a Septic Tank?

Your septic tank is connected to your home by heavy pipes that run over and through your property. Because of the requirement of these pipelines, you may be wondering what you may safely grow in the vicinity of this location. It’s unfortunate, but there are some tree types that can cause major harm to a drain field or a septic tank, so you must exercise caution while working around them. However, if you follow the advice and information provided here, you may be certain that you have identified a few viable possibilities.

What to Plant Near or Over Your Septic Tank?

Across and through your property, large pipes carry waste from your septic tank. Since these pipelines are required, it is possible that you may be wondering what you can securely grow in the vicinity of this region. It’s unfortunate, but there are some tree types that can cause major harm to a drain field or a septic tank, so you have to exercise caution when planting trees near these structures. But if you follow the advice and information provided here, you may be certain that you have identified a few viable alternatives.

Fruit Trees, Japanese Maples and Oak Trees

While it is feasible to grow the three trees mentioned above near your sewage tank, doing so can be difficult. Because tree roots are naturally drawn to water sources, it makes sense that they would do so. It follows as a result that if you choose to plant your trees or shrubs in close proximity to your septic system, it is quite possible that they will make their way into the pipes and create difficulties. This will have a negative impact on the water flow in your home as well as the complete septic system.

Crabapples and white oaks are two examples of such trees.

Other varieties of fruit trees are also unlikely to be a good match for this particular variety.

Consider the implications of this.

Safe Trees for Septic Tank Areas

A list of trees that can be planted in and around the septic tank area can be found further down this page. Although it is recommended that you keep them as far away from your system as possible, it is still a good idea. Some plants to consider for these kind of environments are as follows:

  • The boxwood shrub, Hemlock, White oak, White pine, Pygmy date palm, American holly, Ornamental cherry, Lady palm, and Dogwood are some of the plants that grow in the United States.

Getting in touch with professionals is the best course of action if you have any more inquiries concerning trees or your sewer system. They may assist you in determining which trees are suitable for specific locations and which trees should be avoided due to the possible damage they may bring after they have reached maturity. Also, bear in mind the material presented below, which gives a useful summary of this essential subject matter.

How to Plant Bushes Near a Septic Tank

Homes in metropolitan areas are often linked to the city sewage system; but, if you live in a small neighborhood with homes that are widely spread apart, you may have a septic tank to manage your wastewater treatment needs as well. Wastewater is flushed through drainage pipes and into a septic tank, where it is distributed through a series of pipes to a drainfield on the grounds of the home. While some people assume that it is impossible to plant near septic tanks, it is feasible to landscape this region if you pick plants that will not grow in such a way that they will interfere with the underground drainage pipes.

  • It is sometimes easy to identify the position of a septic tank, such as when the grass is flooded or when there is a raised sewage mound.
  • Select shrubs that don’t use a lot of water or that are somewhat drought resistant to avoid overwatering.
  • Because the septic tank and septic field are both high-moisture areas, the roots can become entangled in the pipes and potentially cause them to burst.
  • Choosing smaller shrubs instead of bigger ones is a good idea since the root systems of larger shrubs are often more extensive than those of smaller shrubs.
  • Create a landscaping plan to help you figure out where you’re going to put the plants.
  • Shady trees and bushes should be planted at the foot of septic mounds or on their side slopes.
  • Bushes placed downward absorb excess water, which helps to keep the soil atop the mounds from eroding.
  • For each shrub, dig a hole that is at least as deep as the root ball or the original planter container.
  • After planting, the roots begin to spread.

Make sure to backfill the holes with dirt, but do not cover the trunks of the shrubs with any more soil than you did when they were originally planted in their pots. Mulch should be placed around each shrub, 3 to 4 inches thick, to help in moisture management and soil compaction reduction.

6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank

You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.

  • One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.
  • Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.
  • You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
  • In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
  • Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
  • In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
  • Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.
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Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.

There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.

You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.

Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.

Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.

As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.

The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.

If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.

What to plant near septic system? – Novice needs HELP! – Toronto Master Gardeners

(Question) I recently purchased a lakeside home in the vicinity of Kingston. The vista is breathtaking, and the tranquility is much needed. However, I am originally from Toronto and have never even attempted to mow a lawn before. I now have a mower and am doing a better job of maintaining it, but I also have a massive hill over a septic tank and a couple of bogs near drainage pipes to contend with as well. Everyone wants to assist. yet they all have different ideas about what they can do.

  1. And, on the hill, I’d want to plant wildflowers, but which ones should I choose, and how can I assure that the flowers outcompete the grass that is now growing there?
  2. I’m not sure where to begin with my gardening endeavors.
  3. (Answer)Congratulations on your major relocation!
  4. In general, your septic system may be thought of as a little wastewater treatment facility.
  5. The effluent is gently drained and evaporated from the tank through a network of perforated distribution pipes that are often installed in gravel pits (this is the septic field or leaching bed).
  6. Because these pipes must be buried at a specific depth below the surface in order to operate correctly, it is critical not to pile up too much earth on top of the drainage field.
  7. If you have marshy regions around the pipes, you may want to consult with a professional to ensure that the septic system is operating correctly, as described above.

Depending on your municipality or regional district, you may have to request it.

Plants with shallow roots, such as grasses and flowers, are the most successful to grow.

Also, avoid heavy mulching and watering the plants more than is absolutely required – all of which might interfere with the field’s ability to operate.

Lawn mixtures might differ in terms of what exactly is contained within them.

It’s a fantastic alternative to traditional lawn care.

These mixtures are referred known as ‘Envirolawns’ in certain quarters.

Within a few years, many trees grow woody roots that are more prone to clog and damage the pipes that they are attached to.

Water-seeking trees such as willows and poplars, as well as other trees with vigorous water-seeking roots, should be placed at least 15 metres (50 feet) away from the leach field. Cedars are also not suggested for use. Avoid the following items as well when working in the septic system:

  • Aspen, Lombardy poplar, weeping willow, birch, beech, elm, most maple trees, American sweetgum, ash, and tulip tree are examples of trees that grow in the area. Pussywillow and Japanese willow are examples of shrubs.

According to experts, planting any type of tree too close to a septic system is not a good idea. If you wish to plant trees near the septic tank, make sure to place them as far away from the outside perimeter of the leaching bed as feasible. Planting distances may be calculated by taking into account the height of the mature tree – for example, a tree that grows to be 25 feet (8 metres) tall at maturity should be planted at least that distance from the edge of the bed, according to this guideline.

Here are a few illustrations:

  • Dogwood, Japanese maple, Eastern redbud, and cherry trees (but not the edible kind!) are examples of trees. Azaleas, boxwood, and holly are examples of shrubs.

Planting in the marshy region you specify should be done with caution, since trees, bushes, and other plants may suffer from root rot if the drainage is poor or the area remains wet for long periods of time. Please visit the following websites for further information and reading:

  • The SF Gate’s How to Plant a Garden in Relation to a Septic System (with Pictures) The Spruce
  • The Drain Field. Plants that can be grown safely over septic tanks and drain fields
  • Huron-Kinloss is a township in Huron County. Landscape design as well as your drainage field When it comes to planting over sewage pipes, this municipality offers suggestions for grasses and wildflowers that thrive well
  • A lot of governments and municipalities have excellent information regarding septic systems available on the internet. Check out theNottawasaga Valley’s Septic smart – Understanding Your Home’s Septic System for an example of this. This paper covers recommended separation distances between leaching beds and other structures such as gardens, trees, pools, and so on.

Think about talking to some of your neighbours, who presumably had the same questions as you had when they first moved in and may have discovered some plants that function well in the septic system. Additionally, your town may provide you with useful information and specialists that you may consult. Discuss the finest plants for on and near septic systems with someone at your local nursery; you won’t be the first person to inquire about this! Regarding your request for a “idiot’s handbook” to rural gardening, you are off to a good start by researching what can and cannot be grown in and around the septic bed.

Always remember to research the soil, water, and sunshine needs of any plants you are contemplating growing.

Landscape Ontario offers a fantastic website that will assist you in locating professionals in your region.

What Should You Plant Over the Septic System?

Among the plants seen here are creeping phlox, dwarf boxwood, hebe,thyme, and iris, all of which are deemed acceptable for planting over a septic field.

Interested in Onsite Systems?

Creeping phlox, dwarf boxwood, hebe, thyme, and iris are examples of plants that would be considered safe to grow over a septic field.


Your knowledge of the first guideline of planting around a septic system includes knowing to avoid thirsty plants that have deep roots. Water-loving trees such as willows, birch, silver maple, elm, beech, walnut, and linden, according to Nielsen, should be kept at a safe distance from homes. The use of aggressive, dense ground coverings that will interfere with the evaporation process, such as pachysandra, cotoneaster and periwinkle, is discouraged, according to her.

Others to stay away from because of their aggressive roots include vines and wisteria, as well as bittersweet, morning glory, campsis, and hops. Nielsen has compiled a broad “badass” list of plants that should be avoided in close proximity to a septic system, which includes:

  • Any species of bamboo
  • Any plants with very strong lateral root development
  • Any other trees with a particularly strong lateral root growth Pond grasses that thrive in water and grow in vast quantities
  • Clematis native to the area (self-seeding)
  • Cedars (with the exception of genetic dwarfs)
  • Vinca stolonifera

Prairie grasses and meadows can be no-mow and can prevent driving across septic fields, both of which are beneficial characteristics, leading some people to believe they are desirable. Nielsen, on the other hand, believes that they are frequently poor alternatives for the septic field. The prairie grasses and perennials contain some of the longest, tangliest, and strongest roots on the planet, according to Dr. Smith. Prairie grasses have vigorous roots that are good at searching out water sources such as perforated drainpipes as a result of their drought-resistant characteristics.

  • While cedars are beautiful, they may be a nuisance when they grow next to a septic field.
  • When homeowners insist on planting trees with significant lateral root development, encourage them to take a deep breath and wait.
  • The owners of landscape-intensive yards must be cautioned not to plant vegetables over the septic field as this might cause serious problems.
  • They are cautioned, however, that disturbing the soil with these annual crops is detrimental to the septic system, and that the wastewater may include diseases that can be transmitted to the edibles.


While typical lawns are permitted for use over septic systems, Nielsen notes that many homes are moving away from that type of ground cover that requires a lot of upkeep and requires a lot of water. She cites a few grass kinds that are commonly considered to be superior than others. Alternatives that are less risky include:

  • Eco-grass and fescues that have been pre-mixed
  • The tufted fescues, the feather grass, the pennisetum, and the deschampsia are examples of small grasses. Plants that look like grass, such as mounding mondo grass, liatris, liriope, and armeria

“Lawns are not particularly environmentally friendly. Most animals do not thrive in them, but we still have children and dogs, who enjoy running about on them,” she explains. “They are also a terrific location for youngsters to play.” As an alternative to standard lawns, Nielsen advises drought-tolerant plants with short, fibrous root systems that are hardy in your area and can thrive in both sun and shadow situations, depending on the situation. Her top recommendations include the use of microclover/ecograss/carex pensylvanica dwarf, the introduction of white clover, carpets (thyme, sedums, low-growing ground coverings), shallow, short/soft rooted perennials, bulb/corm/rhizome/tubers in lawns, and moss in the landscape.

Another option for adding interest to the landscape without putting the septic system at danger is to intersperse annuals or bulbs throughout the ground cover, according to Nielsen.

Furthermore, the newer dwarf tree and shrub kinds do not pose the same threat as their larger counterparts.

Cedars, cherry, crabapples, dogwoods, cotinus, cercis, snowbell, acer palmatum, acer grisem, and acer amur are among the trees that grow in the area. Fibrous root systems are found in a variety of shrubs including boxwood, potentilla, daphne, and choisya, as well as the euonymous and hebe.


Most of the time, homeowners employ Nielsen to design a landscaping plan after a site has been created and a home has been constructed. Developers and septic installers, on the other hand, should incorporate a landscape designer earlier in the process in order to ensure the greatest possible use of the site, according to Nielsen. According to Nielsen, the position of the septic field is frequently dictated by the land’s topography, and it is typically the flattest, sunniest section of the property that is also the greatest location for intensive horticulture.

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“These choices have a negative impact on their capacity to use property that they have paid a lot of money for, which is unfortunate,” Nielsen adds.

They aren’t considering how the homeowner will wish to make use of the property while making their decisions.

Nielsen hopes to educate residents about septic systems and perhaps preserve a few septic systems as a result of her landscaping presentation and getting to know the pumping specialists on Bowen Island she is visiting.

Planting On Your Septic Systems, Landscaping Ideas for Your Drain Field

In the event that you want to plant over your septic drain field, When it comes to landscaping around a septic tank, there are a few plants you may use safely, and then there are the ones you should avoid. Is it possible to grow plants over your septic drain field? If so, which plants are the most beneficial and which are the most detrimental? We will discuss landscaping and gardening ideas for septic tank owners in this post, which is written in English and Spanish.

Landscaping and Planting Ideas for your Septic Drain FieldSeptic Tank

Water is a precious resource in most rural and regional parts of British Columbia, and access to a public sewer system can be difficult to come by in many of these locations. As a result, many households and businesses in British Columbia require a septic system in order to function properly – both to conserve water and because there are no other waste disposal choices available when outside of the city sewage system. If your family or business relies on a septic system to manage waste, you will be acutely aware of the financial outlay you have invested in the system’s purchase, installation, and ongoing maintenance.

  1. Because of this, it is critical to understand not just how your septic system works, but also how landscaping and planting can have an influence on the lifetime of your septic field.
  2. What is the operation of a septic drain field?
  3. The wastewater from your toilet, shower, kitchen sink, dishwasher, and washing machine runs to your septic system if your house or company does not have connection to a public sewer.
  4. So, how exactly does a septic system function?
  5. In your septic system, waste gradually separates, with liquids rising to the top and solid, inorganic waste (such as sand, synthetic fibers, and small pieces of plastic) settling to the bottom as sludge as time goes on.
  6. Tank sludge must be pumped out at regular intervals, often every few years, to guarantee that the septic system continues to work effectively and lasts for an extended period of time.
  7. The sewage system, as well as recycling This’soil absorption area’ is also referred to as a leach field or a septic drain field, depending on who you ask.

After a few preliminary phases, the ultimate treatment and distribution take place in this location.

(See Figure 1).

It is necessary for the effluent to drain at a sufficient rate in order for the organisms to operate efficiently.

Observations on Mound Systems In certain septic systems, such asAbove Ground Septic Systems or Sand Mound Septic Systems, the drain field is elevated above ground in an artificial mound, allowing for better drainage.

In regions where specific environmental factors (such as a high water table, shallow soil cover, and/or when the land drains too rapidly or too slowly) preclude the installation of a standard septic system, the system was created to address these issues.

Mound systems operate in much the same way as typical below-ground systems; however, the mound itself must be stabilized in order to prevent erosion and other disturbances that might cause damage to the drain field.

Septic Field Landscaping, is it necessary?

In a nutshell, sure. There are a variety of factors contributing to this. Perhaps most persuasive is the fact that planting on a septic drain field can assist to stabilize the region and lessen the likelihood of the soil cover eroding in the future. Erosion can cause damage to the drain field, which can be extremely expensive to repair because the drain field is often the most expensive component of a septic system. Besides that, plants have the ability to take surplus nutrients and moisture from the soil.

  1. The capillary action of the vegetation’s roots will also suck some of the wastewater out of the soil, which will aid in not only cleaning the water but also in removing some of the soil moisture from the environment.
  2. The planting of grass or low root plants is often required by code to aid in transpiration, erosion management (as previously indicated), and to provide insulative characteristics in cold areas, among other things.
  3. Landscape design over the septic tank will conceal the lids and access locations, while planting on the septic field will provide you with a lush grass and abundant plant life.
  4. Planting on your septic drain field with the appropriate grasses and plants not only improves the performance of the system, but it also completely conceals any underground infrastructure.
  5. Because the root systems of some plants can penetrate and cause damage to the pipes or other components inside the drain field, this is a major reason for this.

So, what should you consider when planting on a septic drain field?

In an ideal situation, you would choose plants that would fulfill your house or business landscaping needs while also maintaining the drain field as free of deep-rooted vegetative or weather risks as feasible. Finding out about a plant’s rooting tendencies and water requirements is the most straightforward approach to determine whether or not it is suitable for a drain field. Look for shallow-rootedherbaceous plants that are already established in your location or that have been acclimated to the average rainfall quantities in your region.

Choosing flora that is both shallow-rooted and drought-tolerant will help you to decrease your effort to a bare minimum totally. These kind of plants should require little to no watering, if any at all.

Some of the plants that are safe for your drain field are:

  • Holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, Holly Hocks, wild violets, and spring bulbs are some of the options.

Some trees that are septic safe, including fruit trees, include:

  • Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern Redbud trees, and cherry trees are examples of such trees.

When planting fruit trees near a drain field, extreme caution should be exercised, especially if there is a surface breakout from the septic system. Pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Enterobacter spp., which can be transferred from the septic drain field to the trees, have been identified. It is recommended by North Dakota University that a root barrier be erected, since this will prevent roots from entering into the septic lines. A typical rule of thumb, while not always applicable, is to maintain a distance between the septic system and the tree that is proportional to the height of the tree.

Some of the worst plants and trees to cover a septic drain field or septic tank are:

  • Pussy Willow Shrubs, Japanese Willow Shrubs, Aspen Trees, Lombardy Poplar Trees, Birch Trees, Elm Trees, Maple Trees (other than Maple Trees), American Sweet Gum Trees, Ash Trees, Tulip Trees, Walnut Trees, Willow Trees, Cypress Trees, and Pine Trees are some of the plants that grow in this area.

It is also not suggested to grow shrubs with extensive root systems, such as Caryopteris (also known as Bluebeard or blue mist spirea). Planting vegetation with a deep root structure, water-loving roots that will develop aggressively deep and perhaps block or harm the pipes in the septic drain field is something you should avoid. As previously stated, septic systems – especially the drain field – may be quite expensive to repair. Furthermore, a faulty system might get extremely clogged and can have a negative influence on the environment.

(For example, avoid planting immediately before a major rainstorm.) You want the plants to establish themselves fast in order to reduce the likelihood of soil erosion.

Irritating the drain field can cause the soil to become saturated to an unacceptably high degree, preventing the effluent from evaporating and, as a result, increasing the likelihood of groundwater pollution.

Maintaining septic drain field vegetation

As much as you may want to plant over the drain field so that it integrates smoothly with your landscape and you forget that it exists, this is not the ideal option in most cases. Maintain visibility of your drain field, or make people aware of it through other methods, such as a plant barrier or fence. Holding big social events is discouraged; mowing the grass is OK; however, foot traffic should be kept to a minimum. If you are unclear of any potential conditions that might have a detrimental impact on your system, always consult with your Septic System Installer.

This is OK, as long as they are at least 50 feet away from your septic system and drain field, which is recommended.

Keep these trees at least 20 feet away from the septic tank and drain field, or as far away as the mature height of the tree allows you to go.

Can I plant a vegetable garden over the Septic System?

As much as you may want to plant over the drain field so that it integrates smoothly with your landscape and you forget that it exists, this is not the greatest solution in this situation. Maintain visibility of your drain field, or make people aware of it through other measures, such as a plant barrier or fence, to discourage people from entering. Large social events should be avoided; mowing the grass is perfectly OK; however, visitors should be limited. If you are unclear of any potential scenarios that might negatively impact your system, always consult with your Septic System Installer.

The fact that they are 50 feet or more away from your septic system and drain field is OK.

Remember to keep these trees at least 20 feet away from the septic tank and drain field, or as far as the mature height of the tree allows.

  • Covering the drain field with more dirt unless the amount is insignificant or the material is being used to repair an area that has been eroded or dragged up by the removal of another plant should be avoided.
  • Covering the drain field with more dirt unless the amount is insignificant or the material is being used to restore an area that has been eroded or pushed up due to the removal of another plant should be avoided at all costs
  • Addition of dirt to the drain field should be avoided unless it is a small amount or it is being used to repair an area that may have been degraded or dragged up by the removal of another plant.
  • Use of groundcovers– If you are selecting a groundcover for your drain field, such as a native grass or creeper, avoid using species that are known to form a thick, dense canopy over the drain field. In order for your septic system to work efficiently, the effluent in the drain field must be allowed to evaporate, which cannot occur if the ground cover is too thick.
  • Native species– Select plants that are native to your area and have a high level of adaptability. It will be less necessary for you to fertilize or water the drain field area as a result.
  • Make sure that there is no foot traffic on the septic drain field in order to limit the likelihood of damage occurring. Choose low-maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of attention or mowing
  • And

A selected listing of plants for use on septic drain fields

The following are some more suggestions for plants that do well in drain fields in British Columbia. This list is not exhaustive, so make sure to conduct more research to confirm that the plants you pick will survive in the circumstances that are typical of your region before purchasing them. Fescue, lawn, and ornamental grasses are examples of grasses. Meadow mixtures with wildflowers Groundcovers that are tolerant of the sun Kinnickinick heathers (Calluna) are a kind of heather (Arctostaphylos) Soapwort is a kind of plant that is used to make soap (Saponaria) Groundcovers for Providing Shade Bunchberry is a kind of berry (Cornus) Ferns that are indigenous to the area Mosses that are indigenous to the area Sweet Woodruff is a flowering plant that is native to the United States (Galium) Ginder in the wild (Asarum) Wintergreen (Gaultheria) is a plant that grows in the winter.

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