The Q&A Archives: Planting Vegetables on Top of a Leach Field

Question: Can I plant a vegetable garden on top of a leach field? Beth Miller Byram Township, Andover, NJ

Answer: I would definately not plant a vegetable garden on top of a leach field. Though a properly functioning leach field processes harmful pathogens in the decomposition and soil filtering processes, leach fields can fail, resulting in leachate rising to thesurface, or at the very least to the level of plant roots. It is generally recommended that you plant only grass on a leach field--at the very most I would plant annual flowers. I would stay away from anything perennial, because they will tend to have deeper roots that can damage leach pipes, and avoid planting anything you plan to eat.

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