Planting on a septic field?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by moonwolf, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if anyone plants anything of their septic leach field. I know you don't want anything with invasive roots. If you were to plant something, would you put more soil on top? What is the best route to add some plants or bushes where the field is....and anyone's experience with it pro's and con's.
     
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    what is your goal?

    do you want flowers? do you want edible stuff? (blech, lol just don't like the idea but i am sure it would be ok)

    i have a patch of daylillies that i am sure were once part of a leech field. they hold the soil. they have not so deep yet firm roots and tubers. they probably dried the soil well and were also draught resistent.

    i think chuck could give you some good advice as he just discussed a water treatment plant using ponds, etc.

    do you wish to dry the area or just gussy it up?
     

  3. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    I'll watch this one. The PO had dug the tank and leach field in the woods behind the house (the house was plopped in the woods) and I'm debating what to do. I feel it would be safer to clear cut immediately around the area (not sure how far out I want to go) but I certainly don't want to leave it go 'wild'. I'd rather layer an inch or two of compost on top of it and plant something. What would be safe/good... I'll watch to find out!

    (Anyone know how to find the entirety of the field btw? Anything to pour into the exit pipe?)
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    My goal is to gussy up. Not for edibles...ick!
    I would like more shade somehow as this area is totally exposed. It is past the deck and would be nice also to attract birds. It's dries out quickly as it's high and flat, but below that slopes down hill.

    I'm thinking potentilla shrubs. How deep are those roots?
    Daylillys or asiatic lillies sound good.
    any more ideas?
     
  5. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i would shy away from trees. you do not want anything to crush or obstruct the pipes. find a schrub that has shallow roots and that may work.

    i would think anything tall enough to provide shade would need deeper roots to support itself. maybe you could carefully install a latice fence and plant vines for screening and shade.
     
  6. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    was that chuck or cabin fever MELOC? if the goal were to pretty up the area i would stay away from heavy rooted plants . these can travel quite far and damage the system! lilys would be very pretty and if kept between the runs should not interfere with the tiles.what type of bed have you got ? you would not want to pack the ground above the tile bed either as it cuts the beds absorption rate.
     
  7. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    We grow on our leach field and find it works quite amazing with raised beds. We built 4 30x4 raised beds with path ways between and have herbs and flowers, amaranth, orach, magenta spreen,...looks great and the plants are very happy.
    corry
     
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    my bad...i think it was cabin fever. the cool looking dude with the shades, lol.
     
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    thanks Earthbound. That's the sort of idea I was looking at. thanks for sharing the particular types of plantings, and the raised beds with pathways sound excellent!
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Grass, grass, and more grass. In most places it is illegal to plant anything but grass over leach fields. And if anything ever fails you would lose your carefully nurtured plants. What you could do is establish a potted garden. Get the biggest flower pots you can and set them there and plant in the pots.

    Having said that, I will admit to having a wildflower garden over my leach bed. Some of the drain lines got crushed and since we are required to hook into the central sewer system the flowers were a temporary fix to keep people out of the muck. (the effluent did not smell, this was after the tank actually the end of the leach field)
     
  11. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's never a good idea to plant any nursery stock, trees or shrubs, in the vicinity of leach fields. Daylillies are pretty shallow rooted but they can make an impermeable layer with the tubers. Don't do the potentilla. They'll do really, really well there if you get my meaning.
     
  12. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    Great friends on a farm in Maine always plant flowers in a raised bed over their leach field - anything shallow rooted - annuals, perennials, roses and bulbs. They are on the edge of zone 4/3 however over the septic area she says it's zone 6 (mulching for above-ground winter protection with lots of hay).

    I had always been taught to never plant anything there however they've had flowers growing over leach fields for about 100 years without any problems. Go for it.

    BW
     
  13. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    We have had no problems. as mentioned plant only shallow rooted plants and try to hook up some mist irrigation if possible so your not dumping water on the beds. many people i know plant this way as lawn is a pain in the butt and it makes the yard look so much better. Whenbuilding the beds just make sure that the pipes are in the pathways so if you ever need to dig up, you wont destroy the plantings.
    corry