Groundcovers For Drainfield - Knowledgebase Question

Inchelium, WA
Question by marileeseymo
March 29, 2000
Hi, I have a real problem about what to plant to cover an unsightly drain field from our septic tank. The ground is too soft for grass, and too gravely for most plantings. It is in full sun for most of the day. I was hoping you could give me recommendations of shrubs and groundcovers that would work at this site.


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Answer from NGA
March 29, 2000

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Finding just the right plants to grow over a drainfield can present a real problem. You don't want to hinder the natural evaporation, and you don't want plants with invasive root systems. Grass is the first choice because it wicks water away, helping it evaporate quickly. But, there are some other choices, as well. Groundcovers and shrubs include Ajuga (carpet bugle), Calluna (heathers), cotoneaster, ground ivy, Arctostaphylos (kinnickinick), Vinca (periwinkle) and Saponaria (soapwort). Wildflower meadow mixes look nice in the right setting, too.

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