Convert Your Leach Field From Barren "Wasteland" To Lush Garden

If you have a septic system installed on your property, you are all too familiar with the bland, bare patch of yard known as a leach field. Under the leach field lies the septic system and a collection of lines that connect the system to your home.

Because the system and the lines are susceptible to damage, many people avoid landscaping their leach field. In most cases, you will read about how to properly care for your septic system from inside the home, but what about outside? As it turns out, you can take care of your septic system and still enjoy landscaping your leach field without worry.

Consider Your Plantings Carefully

If you want to plant anything on your leach field, you will need to consider your choice of plants carefully. The depth of septic line trenches are 18-30 inches and the maximum soil coverage is an additional 36 inches.

Make sure you choose shallow root plants otherwise you risk damaging the septic lines. Roots that grow to deep can break apart the septic lines, which means you should not put trees on your leach field. Shallow rooting plants include:

  • Lilacs
  • Hydrangeas
  • Viburnums
  • Daylilies
  • Heathers
  • Miniature roses

If you are unsure about trench line and root depth, you could always talk to a septic tank professional to find out what suggestions they may have as far as acceptable plantings for a leach field. An expert can also tell you how deep your trench lines sit so you have an idea of how much room you have for root depth.

Avoid Heavy Yard Ornaments

Yard ornaments can turn any yard from drab to fab with little to no effort. Therefore, it makes sense that you would want to add some yard ornaments to your leach field. However, you should choose your ornaments and other decorations carefully.

Yard ponds and other heavy objects are a big no for leach fields. Also, it may look cute to park an old pickup truck out in a field and turn it into a planter, but that is not the case for the area over your septic tank.

Vehicles and other heavy objects can break the septic lines or damage the septic tank in general. Heavy objects can also cause soil compaction, which can reduce the porosity of the soil. Septic systems need soil porosity to maintain aerobic bacteria, which provides treatment to the system.

Therefore, keep your yard ornaments smaller and lighter. You could decorate the area with small statuettes, such as garden gnomes. A small birdbath is also acceptable, though you should avoid most other water features since excess water in the leach field can also create issues with soil porosity.

If damage occurs to the system while you are landscaping the leach field, make sure you contact a professional. An expert can provide septic pumping and septic system repair services.