If you have a septic tank, then there are certain plants, trees, and shrubs that you cannot plant around the tank due to safety. While you can safely plant some things around your septic tank without worry, some trees have aggressive root systems that can break the septic tank or the plumbing leading out to the septic tank. The last thing you want is a foul odour, a wet spot in the yard, and backed up sinks and toilets thanks to a cracked or damaged septic tank. Here are some landscaping tips for beautifying the area around your septic tank without the fear of breaking it.

Nothing Heavy

Not to do specifically with flowers, but driving over the top of your septic tank can cause damage. Anything heavier than a light riding lawn mower is probably too heavy, especially considering the soil density at your home. Hard packed soil will give you a bit more wiggle room but generally stick to a light riding lawn mower or a push mower to cut the grass around your septic system.

Avoid Trees

Generally, trees are not a great idea to plant around septic tanks. If you must plant trees or shrubs, then there are a few options that you can go with that have shallow root systems. Dogwood trees, eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, Japanese maples, azaleas, boxwood shrubs, and holly are all acceptable options for a septic tank field, as they have relatively non-invasive root systems.

Trees and shrubs that you need to avoid due to having invasive and robust root systems include pussywillows, Japanese willows, aspen, Lombardy poplars, birch, beech, elm, maple trees other than the Japanese maple, ash trees, and tulip trees.

A good rule with any of these types of trees is that they should be the same distance away from the septic tank that they are tall. So if you plant a tree that will one day be 20 feet tall, you need to put it 20 feet or more away from the septic tank to keep everything safe. You can install root barriers into the ground, but the best practice is still to keep trees away.

Great Alternatives

The right kind of vegetation is important and can help protect the area around your septic tank from erosion as well as suck up any excess water. Grasses are a great thing to grow around a septic tank including Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue grass, or other lawn grasses. Creeping Charlie and jewelweed will help protect the area and grow easily. The important thing is though that you should not have a flower garden as you will have to dig it up when you need to replace your septic system.
If you need landscaping assistance, grading, excavation or any kind of garden cultivation, then you need to contact our team at Cripple D’s. We are the skid steer work experts and can do anything you need in your yard, including snow clearing and removal when winter comes around. Contact us today!


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