Septic tank areas are not normally the best places to consider growing a zen garden. They hold household wastewater from toilets, showers, kitchen sinks and laundry. In many rural areas, septic systems have a more benevolent role. They double up as wastewater treatment facilities.
A septic tank is an underground, watertight receptacle that stores all the murky wastewater that flows out of your drain pipes. The tank is designed to hold the heavy sludge at the bottom while the lighter scum floats on top. The liquid that lies in between the two layers, eventually flows out from a pipe. It is certainly not the kind of water you would want to grow carrots and potatoes with.
Many plants damage their roots when planted near these areas because of the bacteria infestation. The thicker roots of some plants can in turn damage septic systems too. However, landscaping these areas can make the area look visually more appealing and safe.
There are some plants and shrubs that are perfect to grow around septic systems. You just need to know which ones. Schlager Excavating, the landscaping experts for such projects, tells you more.
Best Plants to Grow Safely Around Septic Systems
- Grass and Weeds: Landscaped vegetation around these areas is well advised. Plants prevent soil erosion and absorb excess moisture from drains. Grow lawn grass or even weeds instead of leaving the ground bare. Other recommendations are Creeping Charlie, jewelweed, perennials and grasses. The shallow root systems are not likely to reach the drainage system. Perennials grow well in sunlit areas. Shade-garden plants are better to grow in areas with less sunlight.
- Perennials around Septic Tank Drains: Perennials such as bee balm, hollyhocks and wild violets grow well around septic tanks because the surrounding area is moist and salty. These plants flourish in such conditions.
- Deer-Resistant Plants: If the plants around your septic system are frequently attacked by deer, you may want to consider deer-resistant perennials, spring bulbs and ornamental grasses that are not really a dining choice for these creatures.
Worst Plants to Grow Around Septic Systems
- Avoid Food Crops: At all costs, resist growing food crops around a drain. Dangerous bacteria lurk around septic systems that will seep into your food crops right into your stomach from your dinnerware. Choose trees and shrubs with shallow roots such as dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, cherry trees, azalea, boxwood or holly shrubs.
- Fast Growing Trees: Steer clear of fast-growing trees with aggressively growing roots. These stretch deep down beneath the surface of the earth looking for water. If left to grow, they can find their way into your drain pipes. Some instances are willow trees, Japanese willow shrubs, aspen trees, birch, beech, elm, most maple trees except the Japanese maple, ash trees and tulip trees.
- Tall Trees: If your septic tank and drains are located near the woods, make sure mature trees are nowhere near the tanks. As a general rule, measure the tree in feet and keep them that many feet away from the septic system. For instance, a 50 feet tall tree should be kept 50 feet away from the drainage system or the roots can invade the septic area.
Remember, the less you dig and garden near the septic tank area, the better it is for you and the system. Make sure you are well protected when you are sitting on the dirt. Wear gloves and avoid digging too deep. Better still, call the experts to do it for you to be on the safe side.
Founded in 1986, we have been providing quality landscaping to Parry Sound and Muskoka. We offer a variety of construction services for both residential and commercial properties. We partner with our clients to deliver quality projects on time, within budget with all the equipment required to save you hassles. Call us for landscaping services to make your septic system area safer and more beautiful.