If you remember, I mentioned we were getting a new septic drain field at the house. Well, that time has come and they are putting it in, they should be completing it today. Let me give you the details and then our idea.
So, our drain field is not normal. Most drain fields are a minimum of 6 inches below the soil, but usually not more than 20. Our drain field is 3ft underground because of the grading here. Unfortunately, because of all the mishaps, Justin and I have no money to get them to grade it lower. This means that our drain field is not going to function as well or for as long as most drain fields do. This means that the rate of evaporation is going to be VERY slow.
Now, all “experts” say that drain fields function better with plants, at the very minimum, grass. But this is with that 6 inch deep drain field. Our soil is clay, which means even slower evaporation. Most experts agree that a few inches of clay soil with filter out ALL harmful bacteria.
So here’s our idea, why not use all this freshly tilled ground? I know that bushes and trees cannot be planted on top of a drain field. Even at 3ft deep, it could clog all the pipes up and then it REALLY wouldn’t work. But at 3ft of clay, I don’t understand why a vegetable patch wouldn’t be a good idea. Most places urge against putting vegetables on a drain field, however, with 3ft of soil between us and the drain field, I could probably lick the ground and not get sick.
Vegetables have shallow root systems, which won’t clog the pipes. They will dry out the surface of the yard, which will wick water up through the soil in an effort to stay moist, making our drain field function better. On top of that, I will be mulching with leaves and straw, so there won’t even be soil splashing up onto the plants. I think that, along with 3ft of clay soil, pretty much leaves zero chance of it getting contaminated. I won’t plant any roots (for obvious reasons) or ground fruit (like strawberries) on this plot to lessen the minute possibility of contamination.
We have to seed this plot in the next couple of days, so I wanted your thoughts on it. I’ll probably just put a cover crop on it for this year and plant it up next year.
After everything I’ve read, I don’t see any possibility of problems occurring and we could sell the excess veggies at the farmer’s market to make some extra money. I’ll even wash the veggies before taking them if I get worried about it.
Let me know what you think.
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