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bethany14 09-20-2006 06:58 AM

what to grow above septic drain field?
We currently have plain old grass on top of the drain field. My husband heard somewhere that code requires grass, and that is the only thing you can grow above it. So far, we haven't been able to find anyone who "knows" about these things. I understand not wanting roots to corrupt the function of the drain lines, but I'd much rather plant something else. Firstly, we're trying to eliminate mowed grass from our property-:eek: -I know, we're nuts. Secondly, I'd like to plant something aromatic like lavender. So, who out there knows the nature of septic fields? What are my limitations for planting?
No hurry, we've got oodles of time. The grass can stay, especially if it has to. But, it's fall, and as soon as I finish the giant hole in the front of my house, I'll be dreaming of how to landscape our new facade.
Thanks for any ideas!

inspectorD 09-23-2006 06:53 AM

Lavender sounds nice....
The basics are you can plant anything with no extensive root systems.
This means any wildflowers or grass.
No small trees or schrubs are know why.:D
Also ....don't plant anything you want to eat.:p

My last house we had a wildflower field with all kinds of stuff, the sunflowers really grew there.

Have fun with it.

Never heard of a grass code.:rolleyes:

glennjanie 09-23-2006 10:49 AM

Hello Bethany:
Grasses are good for septic tank drain fields, except for Bermuda grass which has roots and rizones 3' deep. We use a lot of Fescue in Kentucky for erosion control.
The theory of septic drain fields is that the water is not soaked up by the earth but evaporates by sunlight and the more vegetation, the better the evaporation. With that in mind some aquatic plants like Cat-tails, Cane or Bamboo should do the job. River birch trees and Cypress would do well too. I don't know where the drain field is in relation to your house and how decorative or private you would like to make it. Vetch would be another high evaporator with beautiful purple blossoms and lots of greenery. I see the roots more as a conduit to remove the water rather than a blockage; solids don't run in the drain field anyway.
The one plant you don't want is Cudzu the Japanese vining plant that has been used on highway right of ways and has taken over acres of land nearby. It is a very agressive vine that is almost impossible to kill out. Just some options to think about.

akradar 07-01-2007 10:54 AM

OK pardon me butting in, but grass and vegetation is good, trees are not? I have sticker bushes and tall grass on mine, it's kind of back in the woods behind the house. I usually whack it all down once a summer. But some vegetation is OK?:confused:

hondadrv24 04-20-2008 07:42 PM

Cedar Trees
My dad's place has cedar trees about 20 ft away from the drainage field. He's lived there over 15 years and hasn't had a problem with them. The nice thing about them is that they use water in the winter and in the summer.

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