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Disguise septic tank manhole with shallow planting ground cover

I've got 4 manhole about 80 feet along my garden for the septic tank and would like to disguise them with some planter and perhaps feature(water or ?). but still need to access the covers every 18 months or so.
Any ideas to solve this challenge


  • TackTack Central South UKPosts: 983
    I use lightweight shallow bowls and plant with sedums. The one I have over our septic tank is shallower and wider. This one, to keep it lighter has broken polystyrene as a base layer, sedums don't need much depth. It is placed over a soakaway
  • Thats great thank you.
    Ideally I'd like to plant directly in the ground on either side of the manholes
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119
    You can certainly plant into the ground, but if you need access, you'll also have to accept you may lose them if they get cut back. 
    A lightweight planter of some kind is easier, whether made to fit the manholes, or a ready made purchase. 
    It's either that, or general planting in front if there's enough room in front of the manholes. That could be almost anything depending on the site and conditions, and where you see them from etc.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you..
    I am concerned about the roots..was thinking of shallow routing flowering plants with ground cover
  • Planting into the surrounding soil might not be such a good idea if the septic tank has to be emptied or checked every 18 months, the hose used for emptying is quite heavy and of a large diameter so at least some of your plants will be squashed or trampled on. Workmen wear large heavy boots and are not usually gardeners so may not be too bothered about a few plants in their way.
    Just a thought.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119
    I'd agree. Anything ground covering and/or shallow rooting will get annihilated by workboots. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • we cut a circle around the manhole (so it didn't look like a disguised manhole) then covered it with shingle (so that it can be accessed easily) and now use it for our fire pit (which used to singe the lawn). Apologies for over use of brackets!
  • A planter of some sort is the easiest option, as suggested, but I also hide our various drain covers by planting around them with thngs which sprawl and will put up with cutting back and disturbance.  For a sunny spot try a Catmint such as Nepeta 'Souvenir d'Andre Chaudron', which is extremely hard to kill unless you have heavy soil, or for a shadier area Brunnera 'Alexander's Great' or Ajuga 'Caitlin's Giant'. 
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