Whether you walk by them or have to stare at them from your kitchen window every day, septic lids can be an eye sore in an otherwise beautiful garden. While it’s important that you are able to access your septic lids, it doesn’t mean you have to look at those big, plastic circles all the time. Here are some tips and tricks for landscaping around your septic lids to hide them from view.
Landscaping Do’s Around Septic Lids:
- Use shallow rooted plants such as groundcovers, ornamental grasses, herbaceous perennials, annuals/bulbs, and shallow rooted shrubs.
- Use native plants when possible. Natives know how to tolerate your weather and soil conditions and combined with other shallow rooted plants, can help with erosion, and absorb extra water.
- Use mulch around planting areas to keep weeds at a minimum. A thin layer of mulch can also be placed over the top of the lids to hide them if they are at ground level.
- Add a non-tree focal point such as a decorative urn, outdoor art piece, birdbath, or sculpture and place directly on top of your chosen septic lid.
- Plant lawn grass, lawn alternative mix, or a wildflower mix over drainfield area to reduce maintenance, heavy equipment use, and foot traffic.
Landscaping Don’ts Around Septic Lids:
- Don’t use water loving/seeking plants as the roots will grow deeper to find water and could damage pipes.
- Don’t plant trees within 10 feet of your lids or anywhere in your drainfield area.
- Don’t add any new trees or shrubs to your drainfield area as this can cause damage and clogs to pipes.
- Don’t put patios, pools, or sport courts over the septic lids as it can compact the soil around the system and will limit access.
- Don’t plant fruit trees or in-ground vegetable gardens near lids or drainfield to avoid any bacterial contamination in your edibles.
- Don’t place water features/ponds near lids or drainfield.
Safe to Grow Plants
Although trees shouldn’t be placed within 10 feet of lids and never in a drainfield area, if you have space, smaller trees that have root systems that typically don’t spread as far or deep are good options. These include, but not limited to: Japanese Maples, Dogwoods, Smoketrees, and Non-Fruiting Cherry Trees.
While you can get shrubs as big as trees, you’ll want to avoid those and stick with smaller growing shrubs like Dwarf Leucothoe, Gulf Stream Heavenly Bamboo, and Hydrangeas.
Perennials will come back year after year and with so many options for color and texture, you can easily hide septic lids with just perennials if you wanted to. We love using Astilbe, Hostas, Crocosmia, Echinacea, and Ferns around septic lids.
Ornamental grasses are perfect for covering septic lids either by height or with their cascading growth habit depending on the species. Japanese Forest Grass, Pennisetum, Carex, and Liriope are all great options that will cascade over the lids when planted next to them. Calamagrostis and Miscanthus will help hide septic lids with their height.
Most annuals and bulbs are going to be completely safe to plant near your septic lids, so these are great to add in seasonal splashes of color through your septic lid area. Just remember to stick to native and non-water loving options.
What unique ideas have you implemented to hide septic lids from view? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!