Dress Up Your Yard with Your Septic Tank in Mind

September 9, 2016

Here at Bishop-Thiem Septic Services, we believe that the grass is always greener around the septic tank. And it’s true. All the nutrients around your drainfield are excellent for living organisms in your yard.

Yet, this isn’t to say that you should take advantage of all those nutrients by planting exclusively over your septic tank. It’s actually smart to do the opposite.

The standard advice is that you shouldn’t plant anything other than grass over a drain field just out of concern for the field itself. That’s because plants with deep, or aggressive, roots, can clog or bust through pipes in your septic system, which end up costing you a hefty amount of money to replace.

If you have a septic system though, don’t feel like you can’t plant in your garden. Instead, just be aware that your drain field should remain clear of plants with deep roots, or fast spreading, roots and should be kept clear of trees and heavy, decorative objects.

Instead, there a ton of plants that can work with your garden and septic system in tandem.

Gardening & Your Septic Tank: 10 Useful Tips

  1. For your garden, the absolute best thing you can grow is grass! Grass will be a great way to cover the area around the drain field and will help with soaking up moisture while adding stability to the surface. While you’re at it, avoid covering this same area with concrete, asphalt, or other hard surfaced. Believe us, when it comes time for septic maintenance, you’ll be sorry once you realize all that hard work will be excavated and torn up in order to access your tank.
  2. If you have a sand mound design, avoid working organic matter into the sand mound or covering it with mulch because the purpose of the mound is to get rid of organic matter and to evaporate moisture.
  3. Do try and divert surface runoff from roofs, patios, and driveways, away from the absorption field.
  4. If you are looking to grow a new tree in your yard, there is a great benchmark that you can follow: plant your new tree a distance equal to the anticipated height of the tree at is maturity plus 20%.
  5. Feel free to continue with regular gardening activities like digging into the first inches of soil over your drainfield. This won’t likely to damage your drain field.
  6. You can grow plant around your septic field. For example, The plants to grow near your septic herbaceous, perennials, annuals, and any other shallow-rooted plants are wonderful choices that aren’t likely to damage or clog your septic pipes.


One last note: try and avoid planning any valuable or cherished plants close to your drain pipe. When it comes time for maintenance, we would hate to destroy those plants should we have excavate or open your system’s cover.

We know that when it comes to your septic tank, there is slightly more to consider than with a regular garden but hopefully these tips will make growing your garden a bit easier!

To help even more, you can consider installing Risers for easy access to your septic system once it’s time for some routine maintenance. These will give septic professional easy access to pump out and clean the filter in your septic tank without digging up any grass or destroying any of your hard work. Plus, at Bishop-Thiem Septic Services, we will give you a discount for future pumps if you have these installed. Just give us a call today to learn more!

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