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aperfectlawn
02-16-2004, 12:25 AM
I have a friend that has a 10'x10' area with a septic tank below. They have averaged to get it pumped twice a year. What would be the best thing to plant/ place above this area?

NCSULandscaper
02-16-2004, 12:30 AM
Never plant anything over a septic tank. If the roots dont get in and ruin the tanks, you will have to dig them up each time you pump it out.

aperfectlawn
02-16-2004, 12:38 AM
Here is the area....

aperfectlawn
02-16-2004, 01:03 AM
should i just get rid of the grass in the area and apply red mulch. I have no idea.

hole in one lco
02-16-2004, 01:15 AM
mulch and some potted plants

Is the tank in the yard or the bed?

aperfectlawn
02-16-2004, 01:32 AM
It is in the bed. The reason for the border is to know where the tank is. Would a bench look good, or a table?

hole in one lco
02-16-2004, 03:28 AM
A nice wicker bench would look good with some potted plants for color.

bcx400
02-16-2004, 07:49 AM
You should be safe with perennials around the tank, but no trees or shrubs. More importantly, where does the sewage go after the tank? If there is some kind of absorbtion field on the property, that would be the bigger concern as far as planting. Tree and shrub roots getting into the absorbtion area can cause major damage to an on-site septic system.

I am currently purchasing a property where tree roots have caused the complete failure of a seepage pit system. The closest tree (silver maple) is 20 feet from 1 of 3 seepage pits.

TerraVenture
02-16-2004, 07:53 AM
How about an annual bed? Annuals are great for what you are doing. You could go with a nice mixed bed of petunias, marigolds geraniums maybe for some added height in the rear you could use snapdragons. A medium size stone located between the tank covers would add some character to the bed. Don't worry about weight on the tank with the stone. Those tanks have six inch reinforced tops. You won't break the tank.

AGLA
02-16-2004, 08:36 AM
Septic tanks are not a big problem. All you need is access to the lid to empty it. If the lid is deep, you can add a riser to bring it close to or up to the surface. Roots entering a tank is not much of a problem, as someone else mentioned it is the soil absorption component that has that problem.

The problem here is access. If the lid is deep it requires a big wide hole. That means moving several plants or having a big open area. Put the riser on the tank and maybe a nice stone or sculpture on the lid. Then you have no digging, you know where it is, and the garden will look nice.

PS. I am very involved with onsite sewage disposal system design.

aperfectlawn
02-16-2004, 06:33 PM
Where can a riser be found or purchased?

AGLA
02-16-2004, 09:08 PM
They are found at the same places you get a septic tank. Around here it is at a precast concrete concrete plant. I think that they may also be using plastic risers as well.

Jb3NH
02-16-2004, 10:05 PM
if grass isn't really workin out, try somethin different, i like the idea of flower beds, anything to add intrest to the whole area. Screen houses are always nice when you have family come over.

ksss
02-17-2004, 08:45 PM
Your pumping a septic tank twice a year? I install them and so I familiar with design of septic systems. I have never heard of having to pump twice a year. In this area 3 bedrooms and under require a 1000 gallon tank 4 and over require 1500 gal. soil conditions may dictate design and tank alterations. My personal example is I have 1000 gallon tank and I pump every five years. My concern would be that unless that is the norm for your area, you may have drain field problems.

AGLA
02-17-2004, 09:57 PM
KSSS brought up a good point (must be a U of Idaho grad like myself). Are you sure it is a septic tank, or could it be a cesspool?

aperfectlawn
02-17-2004, 11:28 PM
It is a septic tank. I ment to say once about every 2 years.

lawnGUYnMD
02-18-2004, 12:23 AM
I would tell him to put a riser on the tank to bring it up to about 4 inches below the soil and then do some type of bird bath or feeder or some type of stone around it to break up the yard. Good luck with it

GreenMonster
02-19-2004, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by lawnGUYnMD
I would tell him to put a riser on the tank to bring it up to about 4 inches below the soil and then do some type of bird bath or feeder or some type of stone around it to break up the yard. Good luck with it

Yeah, Agla said this too. You can't beat the risers. There are plastic ones available now too, that come in 6" height. Dig up the tank once, install as many risers as needed, then put on the cap that is made for the risers. Cover with a few inches of soil, and it's a much easier job every year or two to pump out.

This will also minimize damage to whatever landscaping you choose for this area. As someone else said, annuals seem like a good idea. Pump in spring or fall when the annuals are gone anyhow, or put a birdbath, sundial, or other moveable garden feature in that spot.

aperfectlawn
02-19-2004, 06:46 PM
Thanks for all your help.