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Avatar for edwards3311
Aug 11, 2021 2:32 PM CST
Thread OP


We just moved into a new construction home, and are working to figure out landscaping. I am a novice at best and have found the process exciting, but also overwhelming! We put a patch of sod in the front and back of our house as a quick fix while we start to plan the larger layout.

One area that has me scratching my head is the side of our home. It's a nice large area that we intend to seed for grass this fall. But, we are next to a currently vacant lot, that I know will be built on in the next few years. We'd like to get started on some sort of privacy trees now along our property line, to get ahead of any future construction. The issue is that this side of our house also has our septic tank and drain field.

I would love anyone's thoughts on how to tackle this blank slate!

I am located in Montana (zone 4).

Thank you so much!
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Aug 14, 2021 4:04 PM CST
Name: Vera
ON CA (Zone 5b)
Birds Butterflies Cat Lover Container Gardener Frogs and Toads Heirlooms
Garden Ideas: Level 1
That's a toughie! Normally, I'd put cedar, poplar or bamboo, but the septic system makes that problematic - at least. Anything that grows tall will have deep roots.
Have you considered climbing plants? Of course they need support, so you'd have to build a frame. It looks like a long stretch and would be a lot of work, as well as expense (which is likely a consideration when you've just bought a house.) For a cheap, quick fix, you might think about Pampas grass - but y6ou'd also better think, right from the start, about how to contain it.
Behind every opportunity is a disaster in waiting.
Avatar for karmahappytoes
Sep 4, 2021 4:38 PM CST
PNW/SW WA State (Zone 8b)
First Fence your property!! Do not put trees on your property line!!
As for the septic tank and drainfields, do not put trees near them.
You can garden on top of them if you understand plants, if not
grass is the best route to go. To garden in this area you can't
plant veggies that grow downward, carrots, potatoes are a no no.
Tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, veggies with shallow roots are the
best for the drain fields. Putting in grass, a good perennial rye
is the best and easy to maintain. Are you in the city or county?
Size of the lot? Sorry for all the questions but I have seen so
many folks fail on their landscapes and when the trees grow they
area shocked at the size that they can get and placement can
cause neighboring issues.
Avatar for Frillylily
Oct 12, 2021 11:25 PM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
contact the people who did your septic system and ask what you can do. I can plant and dig all sorts on mine, as the lines are over 3 ft deep, so no issues. Depending on how deep your lines are and the soil type ect, you may easily be able to grow root type vegetables, or put in raised beds. We were even told that we could use a tiller over our area as long as it wasn't too deep. Avoid planting trees near that have invasive roots like willow, poplars, maples. Shrubs would probably do fine as they have a much more shallow root system than trees, but you should ask your builder first what they think. I found some tall narrow shrubs that get 9 ft tall, 2 ft wide, evergreen, GreenTower Boxwood. If your lines/drainfield is deep enough you may have no issue growing these. Also ask if your sewer line from your house to your tank is schedule 40 or if it is the cheap thin stuff. Ours here was thin stuff and we dug it all up and redid it in the heavy material. Much more difficult for roots to damage that.
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