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What To Plant On Septic Mound - A Comprehensive Guide

What To Plant On Septic Mound

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Have you ever wondered what plants are suitable for a septic mound? A septic mound is an essential part of any septic system that helps to purify wastewater and prevent groundwater contamination. However, not all plants are suitable for this type of environment. In this article, we will explore the best plants to plant on a septic mound to ensure the health and longevity of your septic system.

Why Plant on Septic Mounds?

Planting on septic mounds offers several benefits. For one, plants help prevent soil erosion and hold the soil in place, which is crucial for maintaining the structural integrity of the mound. Additionally, plant roots absorb excess moisture from the leach field, reducing the risk of system failure and promoting healthy soil.

Planting on septic mound systems requires careful consideration of various factors to avoid damaging the system and ensure its longevity. Here are some critical factors to keep in mind when planting on septic mounds:

1. Shallow-Rooted Plants

To prevent damage to septic systems, it’s crucial to plant shallow-rooted vegetation that won’t interfere with the pipes or leach field. Deep-rooted plants, such as willows and poplars, should be avoided as their roots can easily grow into the septic system, clogging the pipes and causing system failure. Shallow-rooted plants, such as herbaceous plants and some trees and shrubs, are better suited for septic mound systems.

2. Perennials Over Annuals

Perennials are a better choice than annuals for septic mound landscaping because they require less gardening, which means less soil disturbance. Disturbing the soil around the mound can damage the system and cause it to malfunction. Additionally, perennials provide year-round cover and don’t need to be replanted every year, reducing the risk of soil erosion.

3. Protective Gear

When working around septic systems, it’s crucial to wear protective gear, including gloves, to avoid contact with harmful bacteria and pathogens. Septic systems can contain hazardous waste, and proper protective gear can reduce the risk of infection or illness.

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4. Avoid Digging Too Deep

It’s important to avoid digging too deep when planting on septic mounds as it can damage the system’s components. Instead, use shallow planting techniques to avoid disturbing the mound’s surface.

5. Don’t Add Too Much Soil or Mulch

Adding too much soil or mulch to the septic mound can interfere with the evaporation process, which is essential for the proper functioning of the system. Excess soil or mulch can prevent the soil from absorbing moisture, leading to system failure. Additionally, overwatering the plants can interfere with the system’s ability to drain properly.

Herbaceous Plants: Ideal for Septic Mounds

Herbaceous plants, such as wildflowers and grasses, are ideal for septic mounds. Their fibrous root systems help hold soil in place and prevent erosion. They also provide year-round cover and can be a source of food and habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife.

Shallow-Rooted Trees and Shrubs

If you’re set on having trees and shrubs around your septic system, it’s essential to choose shallow-rooted varieties. Deep-rooted plants, such as willows and poplars, can damage the septic system’s pipes and leach field. Suitable options include dogwoods, Japanese maples, Eastern redbuds, cherry trees, hydrangeas, azaleas, boxwoods, holly, and dwarf tree varieties.

Tips for Choosing Plants for Septic Mounds

When selecting plants for your septic mound, consider the following:

1. Consider Sunlight

If the area receives ample sunlight, plant perennials that thrive in sunny areas, such as black-eyed susans, coreopsis, and coneflowers. If the spot is shaded, look for shade-tolerant plants like ferns, hostas, and astilbes.

2. Consider Soil Conditions

Soil conditions around septic systems can vary widely, ranging from wet to dry, and from salty to alkaline. To cover both bases, plant perennials that tolerate both wet soil and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets.

3. What To Plant On Septic Mound: Consider Deer Resistance

Deer can be a nuisance in many areas, and they may eat plants growing over septic systems. If you have a high deer population, look for deer-resistant perennials, ground covers, bulbs, and grasses. Examples of deer-resistant plants include lavender, daffodils, and fountain grass.

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What To Plant On Septic Mound: Worst Plants

When it comes to planting or landscaping on septic mounds, there are some important factors to consider. While selecting suitable plant options is crucial for maintaining the longevity and efficiency of septic systems, there are some plants that you should avoid at all costs.

Firstly, it’s important to note that planting vegetables on your septic mound is a health risk due to bacteria and pathogens present in the drain field. Therefore, it’s best to steer clear of any vegetable plants.

Another important factor to consider is the depth of the plant roots. Deep-rooted trees and shrubs, such as pussy willows, Japanese willows, weeping willows, aspen trees, Lombardy poplars, birch trees, beech trees, most maple trees other than the Japanese maple, and elm trees, can cause clogging of the septic pipes, which can lead to system failure and costly repairs.

What To Plant On Septic Mound: FAQs

What to plant on septic mounds is a common question among homeowners who want to maintain the efficiency and longevity of their septic systems. Here are some frequently asked questions about planting on septic mounds:

When it comes to what to put on a septic mound, it’s essential to keep in mind that anything that interferes with the functioning of the septic system can cause significant problems down the line. This includes materials such as concrete or plastic, which are bad for septic mound systems. These materials prevent the natural evaporation process from occurring, leading to moisture buildup that can result in system failure.

Other materials to avoid on a septic mound include anything that can cause clogs or damage to septic components. This includes items like grease, oil, paint, and chemicals. These substances can interfere with the natural bacterial process that breaks down waste in the septic system, leading to clogs or even system failure.

On the other hand, grass vegetation can help prevent soil erosion and absorb excess moisture from the leach field, leading to a healthier septic system. Additionally, natural mulch or compost can help regulate soil moisture levels and provide nutrients to plants without interfering with the septic system’s functioning.

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When it comes to selecting the best grass to grow over a septic field, it is important to consider grasses that have shallow roots and can tolerate the occasional wet conditions that may occur in the area. Some of the best grasses to grow over a septic field include Augustinegrass, bahia, zoysia, and bermudagrass.

Augustinegrass is a warm-season grass that can grow well in the Southern United States. It has a dense growth habit and shallow root system, making it an excellent choice for septic fields. Bahia grass is another warm-season grass that has a deep root system, but it can still be a good choice if mowed regularly to keep it at a manageable height. Zoysia is a warm-season grass that is known for its drought tolerance and can grow well in various soil types. It also has shallow roots and can be a great option for septic fields. Bermudagrass is a popular grass type that is known for its durability and quick growth. It has a shallow root system and can tolerate the wet conditions that may occur in septic fields.

Planting wildflowers over a septic field can be a great option as they have shallow roots that won’t interfere with the septic system. Wildflowers can also add beauty to your yard while helping to prevent erosion and promoting biodiversity. Some popular wildflowers that can thrive over a septic field include Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Coneflowers, and Goldenrod.

What To Plant On Septic Mound: Final Thoughts

In conclusion, planting on a septic mound requires careful consideration of the type of plants to use. It is essential to choose plants with shallow roots, such as wildflowers, to avoid interfering with the septic system’s functioning. Additionally, perennials are preferable to annuals as they require less maintenance. Trees and shrubs with deep roots should be avoided as they can clog septic pipes and destroy septic components.