General Discussion:

Planting around/on septic tank

Messages posted to thread:

Liz14-Feb-06 01:22 PM EST 5a   
Patricia 14-Feb-06 06:41 PM EST 5a   
Nancy16-Feb-06 03:58 PM EST 5   
Liz23-Feb-06 10:51 AM EST 5a   
bruce05-Mar-06 08:42 AM EST 3   

Subject: Planting around/on septic tank
From: Liz
Zone: 5a
Date: 14-Feb-06 01:22 PM EST

Hello all,

My husband and I are planning to build in the countryside and we have to install a septic tank. I've been reading about what we can/cannot plant on top of the septic lines which, I think, we'll be putting at the front of the house.

We don't really want to put in the recommended lawn, but from what i've read trees and shrubs are out (potential root damage to tank).

I really wanted to plant evergreens for winter interest at the front of the house but am now considering tall grasses and a wildflower mix.

Has anyone had success w/ other plants?


Subject: RE: Planting around/on septic tank
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5a
Date: 14-Feb-06 06:41 PM EST

Yep, grasses would work well and wildflowers. If the area is sunny, you could also sow an assortment of groundcovers that can take light traffic, like thymes, ajuga, etc. For shade, you could still use ajuga plus plants like lily of the valley, wild ginger, violets.

Subject: RE: Planting around/on septic tank
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 16-Feb-06 03:58 PM EST

It's not so much the tank that you have to worry about, although you do need to keep the lid accessible for the occasional pump out.

The issue is more a matter of root infiltration of your tile bed and blockage of the weeping tile system. Woody plants will do the most damage, but also be careful of perennials with large and deep root systems. Obviously you also won't want to any major digging to avoid disturbing the tiles.

Here's a good link to page on just that topic from Virginia State University:

Good luck!

Subject: RE: Planting around/on septic tank
From: Liz
Zone: 5a
Date: 23-Feb-06 10:51 AM EST

Hi, everyone,

thanks for the responses and the great link.


Subject: RE: Planting around/on septic tank
From: bruce (
Zone: 3
Date: 05-Mar-06 08:42 AM EST

For the tank itself, this is what I did. I boxed it in and then insulated the box with styrofoam. I then covered it with decking making sure to leave a hatch for pump outs. The decking is just high enough to serve as a low seat and we keep potted plants on it.It looks great and actually gets a lot of use. You would never suspect that there is a septic tank underneath.

In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row