How To Landscape Your Septic System

23 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog


When it comes to your septic system, you should carry out routine maintenance on the tank and your drain field to keep them functioning properly.  Of course, even a sound septic tank system is not a particularly attractive feature in your yard. Fortunately, you can landscape your drain field effectively and safely if you carefully choose your plants and accessories.

Soil Preparation

You cannot really do much prep on your soil because parts of your septic tank system are not far underground. You may have only six inches of soil to work with. You may add some topsoil to the area, but you should stick with only a few inches. The drain field is essential to removing contaminants from the wastewater released there. Too much soil can impede this process.


You may wonder if planting vegetables in your drain field is a good idea. After all, this area is full of nutrients, so you would not have to fertilize your plants or water them much. And although experts say growing vegetables there would most likely produce a safe harvest, there is a small chance that root vegetables could become contaminated with bacteria. However, it is safe to plant plants that grow above ground, such as tomatoes, beans, and even peppers. 

Grasses and Flowers

All varieties of plant life planted anywhere near the septic system need to be shallow rooted. You can safely choose a variety of decorative, native grasses to safely place there. For instance, June grass, little bluestem, and prairie dropseed work well in Minnesota. Check with your extension office to see what grasses will work for you. For flowers, you should consider wildflowers that thrive in your region. Violets, coneflowers, asters, and butterfly weed are examples of wildflowers that will decorate but not harm your septic system. You can be as creative as you wish, as long as you choose plant life with roots that will not clog your septic pipes and possible damage your tank. Certain annuals and perennials will also work, depending on the amount of sun your drain field receives.

You can safely landscape your septic area if you follow a few rules. Be sure not to dig deep or plant anything with a deep and complex root system. Also, beware of putting too much weight near to your tank. You do not want to impede the natural purification process that takes place in the drain field or compromise the tank with heavy items from above. If you have questions, consult your local contractor, such as Tyler Contracting Co, for more information.