How to Properly Landscape Around Your Septic System

If you have a septic system then you may be wondering how you can keep your yard looking nice even with the septic system in your yard. We all know that having a well-kept lawn and nice landscaping can add to the aesthetic of your home. However, if you have a septic system you may have been told to avoid gardening around certain areas. Today we’re here to share some tips on how you can landscape safely around your septic system. 

Planting a Garden/Crops

It may be tempting to plant crops or a vegetable garden over your drainfield or reserve because it’s such an open piece of land. It probably gets lots of sun and is unbothered by other plant life. However, this is not recommended. The drainfield is the place where your wastewater is sent after sitting in your septic tank. To put it lightly, this area can easily contaminate the plants that you grow above it. You should avoid planting any edible crops near your septic tank or drainfield to ensure they do not become contaminated. 

How to Landscape 

Just because you can’t plant a vegetable garden doesn’t mean that you have to avoid landscaping near your septic system altogether. We actually recommend planting grasses and other shallow-rooted plants around your septic tank and on your drainfield. Plants like these can help soak up the extra moisture and nutrients from the soil. They can also help hold soil in place during heavy rain ensuring that your drainfield stays properly covered. Plants and grasses should be drought-tolerant and native for best results. Here are some plants that you should consider 

  • Grass 
    • Fescue 
    • Lawn 
    • Ornamental 
    • Wildflower meadow mixes
  • Ground covers for shade 
    • Ferns 
    • Mosses 
    • Wild Ginger 
    • Wintergreen 
  • Ground covers for sun
    • Carpet Heathers 
    • Bugleweed 
    • Ground Ivy 
    • Periwinkle 

Do NOT plant large trees or shrubs around your septic system because their large, long roots can clog or puncture your septic pipes causing major problems. 

How to Care for your Lawn

You should be mindful as you care for your lawn in the areas around your septic tank. It’s also discouraged to use fertilizer or weed treatment around these areas because it can interfere with the natural bacteria in the septic system. If you have a drainfield you should not place any heavy items in the area. This means no playsets, no parking cars, no driveways, and other large or covering items. 

Overall, spicing up the landscape around your septic system is possible and even recommended. It’s just important to be mindful of what you’re planting and how it may affect your system. For more information about landscaping check out this infographic from the EPA Of course, if you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of septic system repairs give Miller’s team a call. Our knowledgeable professionals are eager to help you take the best care of your home. (804) 758-4314

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