Although you may be wondering why this post is advising you to do something you’re usually discouraged from doing – growing plants around your tank – there are actually several benefits to greening the area around it.
A word of caution
You have to be careful with your planting, however, as there are various space and access considerations to take into account before you start sowing anything.
You shouldn’t let any plants grow too close to the tank or its base, or let them climb over it. If plants are too close to the tank they can make access difficult or even impossible, and fallen leaves or other debris might present a fire risk.
The idea is to camouflage the tank with tall-growing plants or trellises, maybe even some fast-growing trees. A good rule of thumb is to place your plants at least two feet away from the tank so that you and any technicians, as well as delivery drivers, can get to it. Your tank will have people, including you, visiting it regularly throughout the year, so you all need to be able to reach it, with ladders and hose if necessary.
Which plants are best?
The simplest way of camouflaging your home heating oil tank with plants is to use trellises with creeping plants or even roses. Not only do these plants grow rapidly, but they’re particularly attractive if you’re looking to cover up that big old tank. If you opt for roses, make sure you don’t choose an especially thorny variety – while deterring thieves is a definite advantage to growing plants around your tank, you still need to be able to get to it! Some types of creeper rose can be invasive as well, so you could end up with a hostile (although fragrant) takeover in your garden.
An alternative to creeper roses and other climbing plants is ornamental shrubs or grasses. If you choose grasses, you need to choose a type that grows high enough to effectively cover your tank. Pampas is a good choice as it grows fast and high and also has some nice sharp leaves that will discourage anyone from mooching around in the dark!
If, on the other hand, you decide on shrubbery, then make sure you choose a fast-growing evergreen, as then you’ll get all-year-round cover. Oil thefts increase in winter, so bare trees won’t help one bit!
Make sure you maintain your greenery
If you go to all the effort of planting around your oil tank, then you should make sure it carries on looking good and that you keep it under control. Creepers and evergreens don’t need a huge amount of maintenance, but roses may well do. You also need to remember that you need to regularly trim back overgrowth so that you can get to your tank to monitor, inspect and fill it.
Just think, not only are you covering up an unsightly tank at the bottom of your garden, but you’re also helping the environment by providing a mini habitat for birds and insects – everyone benefits here!