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septic drainfield  RSS feed

 
                        
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Rockies
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Anyone have any ideas about how to use the space above a drain field and a reserve drain field?  Each are c. 50'x100'. 

The reserve could host any kind of guild one would be willing to sacrifice given failure of the first field.

The working field, though, would require annual or short root perennial plants... so perhaps a network of annuals guilds or polyculture
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
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Our neighbors have a sheep paddock there.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I would use it as a place for growing compost ingredients such as grass and forbs like sunflowers.  You could put a few chickens or turkeys in there but not so many they would clear the soil.  You want to make sure the field is always growing well with grass, not shrubs or trees

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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our main drainfield is raised 4' and is directly off our rear porch. First there is a tank out about 16' from our house, the tank now has a birdbath on it with strawberries growing around it and an herb garden on one side, perennial flowers on the other.

going out from the tank is a drainfield about 60 x 60 '..as I said raised 4' above grade..we had fill brought from a pond dig so we could gradually slope the area from the drainfield gently down to the grade..

at the close end we have a lawn path going down the grade wide enough for a double mow on the riding mower..in a curve going to main grade..from the center north of our tank we have a 24' circle of lawn with an arbor on the far end of the circle with a lawn path going under the arbor and then another oval of lawn more wide than long..and opposite the arbor is a small deck with steps going down the north side of the drainfield to a full size apple tree and more lawn.

around the circle and oval lawn are mixed beds..these contain dwarf apple and cherry trees, lilac, honeysuckle, smoke bush, barberry, and other shrubs, as well as every kind of perennial from hostas, to blackeyed susans, iris, sib iris, daylilly, lupines, p coneflowers, dames rocket, oregano, roses, blue globe thistle, agastache, spring bulbs, hardy geraniums, euonymus, ornamental grasses, etc..

the arbors are covered with grapveines and climbing roses..

the central lawn circle is the most difficult to maintain as it is very dry on the very top of the drainfield so i have to reseed some areas every year when we have a wet spell..but otherwise the drainfield gardens are very healthy and we love them.
 
                        
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Rockies
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Brenda, you don't have problems with roots from the trees or shrubs penetrating the leach drains? 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Maybe a rotation like pumpkins and winter wheat, sunflowers and quinoa?
 
                                                
Posts: 33
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Maybe a rotation like pumpkins and winter wheat, sunflowers and quinoa?


agreed,
good place for crop rotations to improve soil properties.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I'd want something perennial... Pumpkins leave a lot of bare ground in winter, when you want the soil biota and plant roots to be functioning well.  (This is probably only relevant in our maritime climate...)  I just grow grass (mostly Agrostis), and harvest it as an input for my vege garden mulch--since I like having a donor area, since I shy from permanent mulch on large portions of my annual garden.  Since I have a gravity system, only a small portion of the leach field is actually being used--but it is nice to try to capture the septic nutrients.
 
                        
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Rockies
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I just want to register my appreciation of you people who are replying to this thread with your ideas.  This is how we're going to grow -- like hyphae coming together to form mycellium...
 
                      
Posts: 53
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i was thinking blackberries and raspberries ... maybe blueberries perhaps a mostly clover and round fescue to keep it from washing out..
are black berries root too deep or something
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Rickster wrote:
I just want to register my appreciation of you people who are replying to this thread with your ideas.  This is how we're going to grow -- like hyphae coming together to form mycellium...



Hey, Rickster, watch the language!  This is a family-friendly forum!
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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I planted clover. The tall red type. Cut it with a scythe and feed it to the rabbits and chickens.

Karl
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
Posts: 143
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Our septic field is raised, like Brenda's.  We use the area as a grass patio.  We use the cuttings in our compost.
 
                        
Posts: 57
Location: Northern Rockies
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@muzhik, no kidd'n. eukaryotic euphoria.
@sticky_bur:  I'd worry about the roots with those berry shrubs.
@mustang breeze, I sort of agree.  For now the plan is to sow with a mixed cover crop and run chicken tractors on it. 

Cool... I was just rereading in T. Hemenway's _Gaia's Garden_ that bamboo is deer proof AND can be planted over a septic field.  Perfect.  I'm in deer country (hope that goes for elk too) and I wonder if this this could work well as an edge and maybe to break up the septic field a bit (tho I don't want to obstruct the chicken tractors).
 
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