Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly : Farming Ranching Agriculture  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly : Farming Ranching Agriculture -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 08-19-2003, 16:14 Post: 62185
kwschumm



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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

We have a large septic field visible from our living room and it's sort of an eyesore. I bush hog it every month or so but it still looks like a weed field so I'd like to fix it up. Obviously you can't plant trees over the septic field and I don't want to have to mow a lawn twice a week (not to mention soil compaction issues) but something needs to be planted there to dress it up a little.

I've been thinking of planting clover to draw some wildlife, but I know nothing about it. Would it be OK for a septic field? How deep are the roots? Are there any downsides? How much maintenance is required? Any chemicals required? Etc.

Thanks in advance for any info.






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 08-19-2003, 18:05 Post: 62187
Chief



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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Have you thought about Z-52 Zoysia or Emerald Zoysia grass. These grasses do not grow any where near as fast as typical grasses, like fescues. They grow into a lush thick mat of grass that looks great. Only draw back is that they go dormant in cold weather. Deer and wildlife love clover but if you plant it over your septic drain field. You will be cutting it big time. Clover can really grow fast if it has lots of water, nutients, and sun.






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 08-19-2003, 18:27 Post: 62192
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Ken why don't you just mow it with your finish mower? You will/should not have a soil compaction issues with your little JD. I would not drive a BIG dump truck across one.

Clover works raelly good for helping nitrogin in the soil. And it works real well with other grasses. If kept mowed clover looks real nice but if you decide to go after the broad leaf weeds with a chemical you'll loose your clover.

All the leach fields around here are mowed.






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 08-19-2003, 18:42 Post: 62194
kwschumm



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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Chief, thanks, I'll look into zoysia. I don't much care if it goes brown in winter, but I don't want to mow it. I didn't know clover required mowing - yech.






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 08-19-2003, 18:47 Post: 62195
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Harvey, I don't have a finish mower! If I had a choice of mowing or letting the weeds grow I'd probably opt for the weeds Smile

I worry about soil compaction and leach field damage because our septic is only about 12-18" deep with plastic covers over the drain pipe. I forget the name of this type of drain field, but it seemed pretty fragile to me when they installed it. When dry I probably wouldn't worry about it as much but the normal condition here is wet and squishy.






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 08-19-2003, 18:53 Post: 62196
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Chief, does zoysia every stop growing? I don't care if it grows to 8" and stops but I don't want to mow it. Well, I guess I'd be willing to bush hog it once or twice a season but that's about it.






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 08-19-2003, 19:01 Post: 62199
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Ken How about a 10# bag of wild flower seed mix. That makes a real nice cover and they bloom all summer with different colors.






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 08-19-2003, 19:30 Post: 62201
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

During droughts and cold it will stop growing. Even when it is growing at its fastest, it spreads out and thickens more than anything else. If you let it go for a long time it is really thick to cut but I like it. I have have my yard growing it and each year it takes over a little more. It chokes out pretty much everything else and make a nice outdoor carptet.






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 08-19-2003, 19:31 Post: 62202
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

Centipee also is a good choice. I mow only once every couple of weeks even in the spring.
The only problem with the dormant varieties in the north west is that the weed never really stop growing and may over take the grass.
Is there natural ground cover in your area? Salal would look nice and could become a second income if you have a customer for it, like a flower shop. It goes wild in B.C. and WA but I am not sure how far south it grows.
Deer ferns might be another option and can also be sold to flower shops.






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 08-19-2003, 19:49 Post: 62204
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 Clover over septic field Good Bad Ugly

My dumb questions will expose me as one who is completely and totally horticulturally impaired. For some reason when it comes to plants and animals I suffer from CRS. I can remember anything about cars and trucks though Smile

Anyway, a friend of my wifes came over early last year and brought a bag of wildflower mix with her. "It will be so pretty", she said. Well we spent an hour throwing handfuls of seed all around the septic field and waited all spring for the blooms. Then we waited through the summer, then the fall. Nothing but weeds, no flowers, nada. I suppose the birds ate all the seeds.

Peters, thanks for the tips on Centipee and Salal. I've never heard of them. We are only a few miles from Washington so maybe one of those will work.

If I went with Zoysia maybe I'd only have to mow the weeds until the Zoysia thickens up. That may not be too bad unless it takes a year to thicken up.

We have these ferns that grow like crazy in the septic field. I bush hogged to 4-5 inches two weeks ago and there are already ferns that are two feet tall out there. I don't know what kind they are - time to buy a book I guess.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Farming Ranching Agriculture Forum

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