How to Create an Energy-Efficient Garden?
One of the best thing when it comes to creating a great garden lies in the fact that it’s one of the few projects that doesn’t destroy the environment. In fact, by doing so, you may create an oasis of nature that will stand amidst the jungle of concrete, steel, and glass. The problem, however, is that if your gardening practices aren’t… well, energy-efficient and eco-friendly enough. You may still achieve an adverse effect. So, with that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips to help you create a truly energy-friendly garden.
1. Installing Lighting System
When it comes to energy-efficiency in your garden, the lighting system is of the essence. Sure, in the traditional outdoor garden, a lighting system is merely there to make things more practical, as well as to ensure safety in the late hours. Either way, its purpose is to stay on an entire night, every night. For this very purpose, using incandescent bulbs would make your power bill spike quite hard. Another problem with this method lies in the fact that, with this kind of regimen, your outdoor bulbs would burn out quite quickly. Therefore, you might want to consider switching to LED.
Other than this, you need to understand that there are so many people who conduct urban farming. Here, these fixtures are used as an artificial light source, in order to make a substitute for sunlight which is absent in containers used for plant-growing. The problem is that this too, would make your power bill skyrocket and make your farming efforts quite harming for the environment. The best solution to this problem would be to start harvesting solar power by installing some photovoltaic panels on top of these containers. Needless to say, using solar power for the needs of your traditional gardening efforts is also a great idea.
2. Companion Planting
When it comes to saving energy, there’s more to discuss than just light. You see, the amount of effort that you have to invest in your gardening is often directly linked to the power consumption. It determines the amount of time that you spend using your tools (power tools are not the optimal choice for those who want to give it their best attempt). The use of pesticides is an even bigger concern. Fortunately, there are several methods that you could turn to in order to reduce the power- and effort-consumption of your gardening practices.
The most efficient one is the concept of companion planting. What companion planting does for your garden is to allow it to become a lot more self-sustainable (like a real biome would be). You see, there are several plants that are natural repellants for some other plants, which is why planting them next to each other might make your job a lot easier. For instance, you can plant tomatoes next to basil and your peppers next to onions or spinach. The opposite can be true, as well. For instance, your tomatoes shouldn’t be near cabbage, seeing as how it attracts earworm, which is one of tomatoes worst adversaries.
3. Efficient Pathing
Making your gardening more energy-efficient sometimes has a lot to do with the infrastructure of your garden. We’ve already talked about the use of tools in maintenance, however, in order to stay effective, these tools need to be properly stored, which means that you will need a shed. Even more importantly, you need a reliable garden path to connect all the different areas of your garden and make traveling around it much safer. The choice of material, nonetheless, may have a greater impact on the environment than you assume.
One of the biggest effects that your garden will have on the environment is its effect on the groundwater. First of all, if constructed from a material that’s considered as less than optimal, you risk preventing rainwater from seeping into the ground and ever becoming groundwater. This is why you want to go for something like stone or tile pavers. Fortunately, you can easily purchase both tiles and stone online in order to give your garden a much eco- and budget-friendlier pathing.
4. Mulching and Composting
Another task that you will definitely need to focus on, in your garden, is the concept of mulching and composting. First of all, mulching definitely requires you to use a tool or two and this selection of tools can make it power saving. For instance, you don’t have to opt for a power option of a lawnmower. An old-school cylinder lawn mower can be used to cut the leaves in your backyard without any need for electricity or gas. All it consumes is your own labor. Other than cylinder mower, you can also opt for rotary or hover lawn mower. The latter, on the other hand, is often electric powered and not suitable for every garden type.
There are many different materials that go into mulch, such as bark and branches, however, in order to process these so that they can become mulch, you need to use a wood chipper, which can, indeed, be a power-hungry tool. So, how do you save energy here? It’s quite simple, you do it all at once. This means taking some time to prepare all the necessary materials and organizing them so that the job runs smoother. The act of turning the equipment on is quite power-hungry. This means that the more you’re able to do in one go, the more power you’ll save.
5. Going Smart
The very last idea that could make your backyard garden more energy-efficient is the automation. For instance, in order to save water on your sprinkler system, all you have to do is opt for a wireless sprinkler system. This way, you’ll ensure that your garden receives the exact amount of water that you want and that no water, time, energy or potential is getting wasted. The best thing about going smart in this way lies in the fact that it also boosts the efficiency of your gardening.
In order to take this one step further, you might want to consider installing some data loggers around your backyard. This way, you can get every single relevant metric from the temperature and humidity all the way to the air pressure. Once you have all of this information, it will be possible to discover ideal parameters and ensure that your garden is receiving exactly that. Moreover, this will allow you to receive information in real-time, which will make it so much easier to adjust to any given situation.
The last thing you need to bear in mind is the fact that power isn’t everything. You also need to consider the environmental impact that your gardening has on the surroundings, as well as try to minimize the use of water and other resources. As we’ve seen in the composting and mulching section, gardening can also help you get rid of some of the debris and leftovers that your household produces.
The best thing about it all is the fact that these things usually work in unison. This means that practices that conserve energy usually help you out with the rest of these tasks, and so on. With the right motivation, this can be just one of many eco-friendly home projects to complete in 2019. In other words, by making your garden more energy-efficient, you’re taking a first step on the path towards a greener lifestyle.
Mia Ackerson is a Melbourne-based writer. Loves writing about home decorations and home improvements. She’s also interested in reading books, movies, music, baking, and gardening. You can follow her on twitter.
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