The Q&A Archives: Landscaping Over a Lateral Septic System

Question: We have a very boring back yard that needs some interesting elements. The yard is about 250 ft long by 100 ft deep. We have no trees because of a lateral septic system in this area. We were told that tree roots would harm the system. Any ideas that you have to make this area more appealing would be appreciated. Thank you so much!

Answer: No trees, how sad! Are you at least allowed to plant shallow-rooted shrubs? Here are a few suggestions -- you can even mix and match them: rock garden; a water garden in a series of above-ground containers; ornamental grasses; azaleas; a prairie/wildflower meadow; heathers and heaths; a tallgrass maze. Also, sculpture and furniture can be part of your garden getaway. First, have your soil tested to see which plants are most likely to thrive there, or to learn how to amend your soil to make it suitable for the plants you wish to grow. Be sure to have your plans reviewed by the zoning board or other official body to make sure they will approve your planting. Good luck, and have fun.

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