• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Haasl
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Carla Burke
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean

What to plant over septic field?

 
Posts: 98
Location: Chipley, FL
22
trees chicken homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Finishing up my house and had septic tank and field installed a few weeks back.  Been thinking about what to do with that area since trees (at least most trees) are supposed to be problematic according to the plumbers.

It's the east side (NE, to be specific) of the house and is very level.  The soil is more sand, but with a decent amount of clay in it which tends to leach down with the rain (been seeing a lot of hard rain late afternoons of late.) This area was already disturbed from the dozen that cleared the brush (slash pines, a few maybe 10' or so, some small oaks (which I have them leave if over 5' or so), lots of tall ragweed, blackberries/dewberries, tall grasses, some unIDed softwoods, etc.) A couple days after they finished, I put in black-eyed peas and sunflowers so something is growing (aside from the ragweed!), but wondering what to do here in the longer run.

It's zone 1. Planning to put some tree/guild islands on north side (off back "porch,"just a slab for now) and filled a hole I had dozer leave me (about 10x20') with debris from around the area, rotting stumps, brush, pine, etc. in one place where I aim to put a banana circle.  The tree line about 50' off on north side (edge of property) is mostly pines right now, but aim to shift towards cedars (lots of small ones I should be able to transplant), maybe some clumping bamboo, some deciduous trees, while leaving some of the better pines.  I am considering how to route runoff from roof back to that banana circle area. Hoping to make a microclimate back in that area to keep damage from the occasional winter frost from setting bananas back too much.

So, with house and some (eventually) taller trees on west side of this area, a bit of open area to the east of it followed by (at least for now) more fast growing pines (that need thinning), it's effectively full sun (hot NW Florida sun) for some years, then maybe narrowing down the window of sun exposure some (probably even then going to remain effectively full sun though.)  My garden area is to south of the house, and the chicken yard beyond that.  West side will probably get a pole barn "garage" and another as a barn/storage.  Main driveway will end in front of house (south side) with a way into the "garage" on west side.  Point here being my zone one is intended to be the backyard, that area between house and property line. South side will get a hedgerow on other side of drive before garden area.

Some ideas swirling around are making that area an apiary... but... full sun might be a bit brutal.  Though just occurred to me I might be able to make enough shade to make a difference with something with less invasive roots. Just don't know what so far.  

Another idea is grapes.  Not sure how those roots would work with the septic field though.

Are fruit tree roots too invasive for this situation?  Shrubs?

Should I just make it a meadow and let it go at that?  I can put some trees (or let some trees grow) off 50' or so from the actual field, so it wouldn't have to be a large meadow.  I do have some oaks, softwoods, pecans (I think) already popping up and letting them grow for now.  Just mowing the ragweed around them.  I'll probably seed ryegrass again this fall.winter.  Just to keep live roots in the ground. Don't like letting the ragweed go because it gets too hard to mow.  Not using anything bigger than a push mower so far so limited to seed I can scatter on the surface (and maybe mulch over with the mulch mode on my mower.)

Any ideas or advice appreciated.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1305
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
340
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Given the rather shocking cost of a septic field that meets code and is registered with regulators, I would keep anything woody or deep-rooted well away.

There is nothing wrong with a small meadow. You can still plant grasses, clovers, wildflowers. Feed bees. And harvest the biomass for other useful projects on your land.  
 
Posts: 39
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have a similar issue - septic tank is basically Zone 1 for me because we spend so much time out back (not so much out front).  I am going to redo our porch to redo some zoning and make the front/side yard an easier "zone 1"or at least Zone 2 because I need more garden space.  

We overseeded clover, triticale and alfalfa over our septic tank and use it in our paddock rotations for chickens =)
 
pollinator
Posts: 3125
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
340
2
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recommend carbon farming, so get a pasture mix growing then harvest it like you are going to bale hay, bring it to another site in your garden and add it all as biomass/fertility.
 
That new kid is a freak. Show him this tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic