Replacing lawn over septic drain field

Asked April 25, 2018, 3:24 PM EDT

Hi, I am looking for a cost-effective, minimal impact method to remove the grass over my septic drain field so that I can replace it with a wildflower lawn mix. I considered using solarization, but would the lack of air flow for a couple summer months be bad for the drain field? My second choice would be smothering, such as with cardboard, but I have the same concern. Would either of these methods be acceptable, or should I use a different approach? Thank you, Beth

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for your questions, Beth. Interestingly, the OSU specialist who authored this article advocates for a lawn above a septic system. But if you want to replace the grass, this WSU Extension article has some great recommendations for the substituted plants. As you can see, the author advises against landscape fabric, plastic sheeting, and mulches as a long-range cover. Suppressing the existing lawn by covering it with newspaper and/or cardboard, both of which are water and air pervious, are less of a risk, but you also might want to consider using a sod remover, and then pull what plants remain. I hope this is helpful. Good luck!