native groundcover for septic field

Asked August 5, 2020, 2:32 PM EDT

We are building a home near Snow Hill on the eastern shore and near the Nature Conservancy Nassawango creek. We plan to use only native plants. The first question is getting the septic drainfield planted. Am I right to assume annuals and perennials will have shallow enough roots that they will not bother the pipes, etc underneath? I was looking at the list of groundcovers and ferns and some flowering plants to give a meadow like look to the area. There should be partial shade/sun in the area. Then I also need a source of seed or plants.

Worcester County Maryland

1 Response

The roots on annuals and perennials should be fine for use over the field. A mix of natives would give you not only a natural "meadow" look but be of the most benefit to wildlife as well. Here are several reference publications for native plants to help you choose which might be best suited to the site's sun and soil moisture conditions:
https://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf

https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG120_Native_Plants%20_of_MD.pdf

http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B25LXUJQvd_6YlBhd1ByTzY2ZW8/edit?pli=1 (a Northern VA guide but still applicable here)

As for sources, we do not have a list ourselves, but the MD Native Plant Society provides a list of regional native plant growers: https://mdflora.org/nurseries.html

Miri