Gardening 101

How Your Plumbing Can Affect Your Garden

Water sprinkler

Your backyard and your home may seem like two separate domains, but they’re more intertwined than you think.

A common issue for homeowners is that tree roots can grow so deep that they can affect the pipes underneath your property, and even grow around your gutters. This needs to be quickly rectified as it can cause costly damage to your plumbing system. However, the opposite is also true and what people tend to overlook is how their plumbing can affect their plants, too. From leaky pipes to filtration systems—here are some ways your plumbing affects your ability to grow a vibrant garden.

Leaky pipes can drown your garden

While water is undoubtedly good for your plants, you don’t want to overdo it. According to botanical experts on Green Upside, overwatering can cause roots to rot and leaves to wilt. What’s even more dangerous is that it can encourage the growth of mold or algae on the surface of the soil near the plants. Therefore, if your pipes tend to leak on a regular basis, then your garden could potentially suffer the consequences. This is more likely to happen to those with terracotta or clay pipes, as water tends to seep through them. Have your plumber replace them with PVC or concrete pipes to prevent leaking.

Sewage water can kill your plants

Have you ever considered how many types of contaminants you flush down your drainage and go into your sewers every day? Dirty water encourages the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, and many other pollutants that are toxic to human health. Therefore, if your sewage starts spilling onto your property and contaminated water reaches your plants, they won’t survive for very long. As a precaution, it’s always best to have your plumbing checked every six months to make sure the system is always in working order.

A foul odor can attract pests

Unwanted pests are attracted to homes for many reasons, with foul odors being one of the most common reasons, and this can have a negative impact on your garden. The kitchen sink is listed by HomeServe as a likely cause of foul odors as waste can easily build up in the drainpipe. Smelly drains are bad enough by themselves, but the scent will also end up attracting pests and insects, too. The Spruce warns that bugs come indoors searching for water (on top of being attracted to the stench), making your clogged pipes an attractive place for them, too. And if your pipes are left unmonitored, these creatures will also make their way into your garden and damage your plants. Once there is an infestation of pests it is very hard to remove them.

Due to the current global health crisis, it might be difficult to call for pest controllers now. As such, it’s imperative that you take the time to make sure waste isn’t accumulating in your drains. So the next time you’re washing your dishes, throw your food waste into the bin, and don’t forget to keep the bin sealed to ensure all odors are kept at bay.

The wrong filtration system can hinder your plants’ growth

There are several kinds of water filtrations systems—from ion-exchange to sediment filtration. One of the most common systems that is used in American households is chlorination. This plumbing system involves treating unrefined water with small amounts of chlorine to eliminate bacteria and make it safe for bathing and drinking. However, it may not be so conducive to plant growth. Certain microbes, such as mycorrhizal fungi and actinomycetes, promote nutrient mineralization in the soil. So, sprinkling your garden with chlorine will only make them grow slower. Since there isn’t much you can do for your house’s in-built plumbing, consider having an entirely separate filtration method for irrigation.

Growing a garden is tough work, and the last thing you need is your plumbing undoing your hard work. However, as long as you adopt all the necessary precautions, your plants will grow just fine.

For more planting tips, check out our article on ‘Five Steps to a Sustainable Garden’. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to growing a beautiful and thriving yard.

Featured image – Water sprinkler / Anthony Lee-Unsplash