Ask a Question forum: Good spot for garden?

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Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
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Apr 27, 2015 3:46 PM CST
Is this spot ok for a garden? The photo is looking west. The white thing is a septic thing that sticks up.
Thumb of 2015-04-27/Anderwood/167834

Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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Apr 27, 2015 4:40 PM CST
So, it's the south side of the house. Good. Over a septic field? Not so good. I think you can get away with being near a septic field, but I wouldn't think it would be smart to be right on top. Maybe it's the flush out and not the actual septic field?
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 27, 2015 5:19 PM CST
Not sure. It is a house we might consider buying. But garden space is high on my list!! Less on my wife's list.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Apr 27, 2015 7:20 PM CST
The grass is always greener over the drain field... Whistling

(I'm not sure what a "flush out" is... Arlene?)

I'm also not sure I would be comfortable locating my veg garden over the drain field, but a flower garden should be pretty happy!
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Apr 27, 2015 8:50 PM CST
I don't know what the specs are for septic tanks or drain fields up here. Garden or no garden, you'll want to know what's actually under there if you're considering purchasing the house lot. If it is not used anymore, it could be a liability that might be negotiated in a better price. I wouldn't grow any edibles there, either.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Apr 28, 2015 8:16 AM CST
I would think that vent might be over the septic tank itself. Also, if the septic tank and drain field are still in use (i.e. the house is not connected to city sewer system) you absolutely can't plant anything with a deep root system over or around the drain field. No trees or shrubs.

I have a large raised bed over my septic field, but it's an old field and at least a foot underground. The raised bed is 18in high, too. So I am confident that my shallow-rooted plants are not getting any roots down into the septic field.

You can find out the extent of the septic system by just taking a sharp rod or a piece of rebar and poking it around in the grass back there. If you encounter gravel under the soil about 8in. deep, that's what the septic field is bedded in.

You might also be able to get a lot survey from your county zoning office, and it will show you where the septic tank and field are.

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