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Growing a vegetable garden over a septic field

Is it safe to plant a vegetable garden over a septic field?

##FULL QUESTION## Dear *Gardening Life*, Is it safe to plant a vegetable garden on top of a septic field? *—Shawna*

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##FULL ANSWER## Shawna, It is not recommended to grow veggies on top of a septic field as the soil may be contaminated with viruses and bacteria from the effluent. Some soils filter these out better than others but why take a chance? Anything you plant on your septic field should be shallow-rooted, salt-tolerant and easy-care, so think ground covers, turf grass, annuals and perennials such as yarrow and columbines. Don’t try to dig too deeply and always wear gloves when working in this area. *—Karen York, Botanical Editor* Other questions recently answered by the GL team: Eliminating earwigs from clematis flowers Beetle damage to spruce trees Removing whiteflies from hibiscus leaves Building a cactus garden Maintaining redbud trees Maintaining Boston ivy growth Using black walnut leaves for mulch Stopping powdery mildew on maples Planting trees near a swale Growing on a septic field How to battle weeds between flagstone and alternative options Mysterious orange powder on the lawn What to do with end-of-season potatoes on the vine How to control Japanese knotweed What to grow in a dry area The proper way to plant astrantia What is the star flower and how do I manage it? How do I eliminate my ant problem? Preventing red beetles from attacking lilies Vine types to grow on a new pergola Maintaining purple fountain grass Keeping bougainvilllea healthy throughout the winer How to rid invasive green goutweed Good garden uses for fireplace ashes Growing grape hyacinth indoors The best way to convert a lawn into a meadow The proper way to grow rhododendrons Eliminating beetle damage to spruce trees Annual resembling Japanese maple Planting ivy near cedar trees In search of the 'Sundance Kid' sunflower Caring for canna bulbs A supplier for barren strawberry ground cover Winter care for roses Cutting back mauna loa The best time to harvest curly-leaf lettuce Eliminating invasive trumpet Caring for double-flowering hibiscus trees Eliminating white aphids from honeysuckle vine Where to purchase Japanese blood grass An alternative to rhododendrons

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