Landscaping Over a Septic Drain Field Part I - Pointers on Plants

Septic drain fields can be an eyesore for the homeowner. Hence, many septic system users are looking for methods of landscaping over the top of their leach fields while preserving or enhancing the function of their septic drainage system. There are numerous creative ways to keep your yard looking pristine while remaining functional at the same time.

Don't Dig Down Too Far

Refrain from roto-tilling the leach field. Various parts of your drainage system may only be 6 inches below the surface. If the soil is poor, feel free to add about 2 inches of topsoil if more nutrients are necessary.


Which Plants? - Shallow Roots and Sunlight

Generally, a leach field is covered by grass. However, shallow-rooted plants are a pleasant and innovative alternative to a generic lawn. It is vital to make sure the plants have shallow roots so they don’t interfere with or break your underground system of pipes.

Take note that specific plants and flowers grow best in areas that receive certain amounts of sunlight during the day. Assess whether your leach field is deeply shaded, is partially shaded, or receives full sunlight. Research which shallow-rooted plants or wildflowers would be best for the amount of sunlight your drain field receives.

Example - Wildflower Garden

You can mark the perimeter of your drain field with a natural stone wall, landscape timbers, a brick mowing strip, or river rocks to frame your lovely flower garden. If your leach field is currently covered by grass, you cannot simply sprinkle the seeds and expect them to grow. Remove small patches of grass, perhaps 6 inches in diameter, and sow the seeds in those areas.  Due to the wildflower’s natural reseeding process, those 6-inch circles will expand and spread across the field. After a time, you’ll have a lovely wildflower bed that doesn’t require much maintenance or replanting. If for any reason you need to dig up the drainage field to fix or replace the system, the wildflowers will regrow atop the field again after the soil is replaced! May is generally the best month to plant a wildflower garden.

Turn the dreary prospect of a septic leach field into a glowing, vibrant asset to your property. Stay tuned for the next installment in this landscaping series!

You can mark the perimeter of your drain field with a natural stone wall, landscape timbers, a brick mowing strip, or river rocks to frame your lovely flower garden. If your leach field is currently covered by grass, you cannot simply sprinkle the seeds and expect them to grow. Remove small patches of grass, perhaps 6 inches in diameter, and sow the seeds in those areas.  Due to the wildflower’s natural reseeding process, those 6 inch circles will expand and spread across the field. After a time, you’ll have a lovely wildflower bed that doesn’t require much maintenance or replanting. If, for any reason, you need to dig up the drainage field to fix or replace the system, the wildflowers will regrow atop the field again after the soil is replaced! May is generally the best month to plant a wildflower garden.

Turn the dreary prospect of a septic leach field into a glowing vibrant asset to your property. Stay tuned for the next installment in this landscaping series!

Check back with our blog regularly for home improvement and septic maintenance tips!