Generally, people avoid major landscaping projects around the septic system. This is because the roots of the plants can easily twine around pipes and even invade them, causing substantial damages. However, plants and shrubs also absorb excess moisture and slow down the erosion process, so planting some of them around your septic system is not a bad idea if done right. The key here is to do it in a way that does not interfere with the functioning of the septic tank or leech field.

If you are planning to refresh your outdoor look without harming your septic system or drain field, here are some useful septic tank landscaping tips for you.

Landscaping Do’s

1. Opt for plants that do not need a lot of water and maintenance. There are many shallow-rooted herbaceous plants like annuals, perennials, and ornamental grasses that are perfect to be grown on a septic drain field.
2. While directly growing plants over the septic system are not recommended, you can grow them around it. Make sure that the spacing is right when planting gallons, quarts, or plugs. The plants must be close to each other to help control erosion and suppress weeds.
3. Keep in mind the future growth of your trees and shrubs and how it will impact the access to the septic tank lids and leach field.
4. It is a good idea to mark the septic tank access location with a potted plant or lawn ornament. This way, you will easily identify the area when it comes time to dig it up.
5. Use non-woody ground covers over the septic entrance, as it will be easy to move and add to the aesthetics of your yard.
6. Take extra care while digging around the septic field.

Landscaping Don’ts

1. Never leave the area barren. You can use grasses and plants that are great at absorbing excess moisture to prevent problems from overwatering.
2. Avoid putting any heavy items (sprinkler systems, statues, landscaping rocks, birdbaths) or traffic (vehicles) over and around the septic tank. It may cause the soil to compact and damage the flow of the drain field.
3. Never plant any type of vegetation over your drain field, as it may cause bacterial and viral contamination from the effluent.
4. Never create walkways or high traffic paths on top of the leach field.
5. Avoid installing ponds, plastic sheeting, or high maintenance plants that may interfere with your drainage system.

Which Plants Are Safe To Grow Around Septic Systems?

By making careful landscaping choices, you can avoid the stress of any potential damages to your septic system. In fact, growing the right kind of plants near your septic tank is advisable by experts. When it comes to landscaping, perennials and grasses are a great option considering they have shallow roots that are less likely to invade the underground system and cause damages.

Here are a few examples of such plants that you can narrow down for your landscaping project:
● Dogwood trees
● Cherry trees
● Holly shrubs
● Japanese maple trees
● Azalea shrubs
● Eastern redbud trees
● Boxwood shrubs

Refrain from planting fast-growing trees or trees that aggressively seek out sources of water. A notorious example of this is weeping willow trees. Also, never consume vegetation grown in the ground around a drain field, as it may entail ingesting harmful bacteria.

Finally, before you decide to make any significant changes to your backyard, make sure to consult an experienced septic specialist like Juddy’s Septic Service & Portable Toilet Rentals. Our team can provide answers to all your landscaping related inquiries, as well as help you with the maintenance of your septic system. Call us for septic tank solutions in Northern Vermont and Northern New Hampshire at 802-895-4445 or 802-742-1696.