Four Ways To Protect Your Plumbing From Your Garden

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be rewarding, but a home garden can also be hard on your residential plumbing system. The following are a few things you can do to help protect your pipes from your gardening hobby.

1. Leave the Dirt Outside

Putting dirt down your indoor drains is a certain recipe for clogs and stress on your pipes. An overflowing sink or a broken pipe will cost you much more in time and money than growing your own vegetables can save you. Instead, rinse off the harvest out in the yard, where the dirt can rejoin the garden and not cause damage to your pipes. A plumber can even install an aboveground spigot near your garden so it's even easier to perform this chore as you harvest.

2. Don't Overwork Your Garbage Disposal

Processing a lot of homegrown produce indoors means you will have a pile of peelings and trimmings to dispose of. Putting these down the garbage disposal can lead to problems, though. Potato peelings along with the woodier parts of plants are especially hard on disposals, as these items can jam up the system. Instead of disposing of the peels down the drain and risking clogged pipes and broken disposals, build a compost pile and turn your trimmings into rich soil for next year's garden.

3. Install an Outdoor Sink

Potting, planting, and harvesting all are easier if you have running water in a washbasin nearby, which is one of the reasons why many gardeners bring these tasks indoors and risk their home's plumbing. A better idea is to build a potting bench, complete with a sink and running water. A residential plumber can plumb the sink for you and equip it with a gray water drainage system that routes the wastewater back into your garden.

4. Watch Where You Plant

Finally, be careful where you place the garden. Most annual vegetables pose no risk to your underground water supply and sewer lines simply because their roots are shallow and relatively weak compared to their woody relatives. If you will be planting fruit trees or berry bushes as part of your garden, though, make sure you don't place them near any water or drain lines. Doing so runs you the risk of roots blocking or breaking the lines.

Contact a residential plumbing contractor if you are having issues with your system or if you need help installing new sinks or other fixtures for your gardening needs.