There are many ways to go about running your garden in a more energy-efficient manner. Whether you’re doing it to save a couple of bucks, or to be kinder to mother nature, this will always be a worthwhile endeavor. Here are six super energy-efficient ways to run your garden!
1. Solar lights usage
It’s only fair to start off a topic about energy efficiency with an energy source. If there was a list of ways to conserve energy, this would be the top! So, what are solar lights?
A solar light, A.K.A. solar lamp or solar lantern, is a lighting system composed of an LED lamp, solar panels, battery, charge controller, and there may also be an inverter. The light operates on electricity from batteries, charged through the use of the solar photovoltaic panel/s.
Solar lights are not without its cons, but the pros far outweigh them. Your home and garden are some of the places where you can make use of a clean and renewable source of energy. They are beneficial to your garden simply because they will greatly reduce your dependence on grid power. Therefore, they’re better than traditional garden lighting!
Both functionality-wise and aesthetics-wise, these solar lights are a wonder to have. These can make an illuminated path up to your garden, which makes for beautiful scenery. If you want to add more visual appeal to your precious space, solar string lights that come in different colours can be draped around trees and bushes.
There will always be a certain solar light that can be used for a variety of garden applications. Also, because solar power technology continues to improve, it’s only a matter of time before other applications for solar lights get uncovered.
2. Water butt installation
We are blessed to have a free resource; rain. Therefore collecting rainwater is always an option to utilise. Installing a water butt is the way to go. It is a straightforward DIY project that most of us, even those with no knowledge of carpentry, can pull off!
Other than water butts (a.k.a. a rainwater tank or rain barrel in other countries), you may also use “greywater.” These are basically recycled water from wherever, other than toilets, you used water for (such as the shower). Think of them as recycled water.
You can use this for watering your garden. However, keep in mind that you should only use ‘greywater’ for non-edible plants.
3. Soil improvement
It would be great to familiarize yourself with the different types of soil, including the different ways to make each ‘healthy’. After all, healthy soil almost always means a healthy garden.
But aside from that, you might be wondering about how soil affects energy efficiency in gardens. Rest assured that the role they play is important. Basically, this is the thought. Due to the fact that healthy soil will be able to retain moisture and nutrients better, this means that you won’t have to use as much water on your plants.
Composting will also help a lot in improving the soil in your garden. You may want to try vermicompost; which is the end product of a process called vermicomposting. This is a method of composting that makes use of specific types of worms. It’s relatively easy to get started and is a great way to reduce the waste produced by your home.
4. Drought-resistant plants cultivation
Another way to save is to simply plant drought-resistant plants. It’s simple; these are the type that doesn’t need much water to thrive, so if you have these in your garden, you won’t need to use as much energy to take care of them.
One great thing about these plants is that you wouldn’t have to worry about them so much when going on a long vacation. Also, they can save you money all year round, especially if you live in a drought-prone area. A garden planted with drought-resistant plants is a genuinely eco-friendly landscape.
Here are a few drought-resistant plants:
- Wild Lilac
- New Zealand Tea Tree
- Beard Tongue
- Trumpet Vine
- Fountain Grass (Easily identifiable by its dense clump of medium green to dark purple foliate and long plumes of coppery pink or purplish “flowers” (that look like feathers).
- Sticks on Fire
- Palo Verde
- Kangaroo Paw, Variations include:
Big Red Kangaroo Paw
Bush Dawn Kangaroo Paw
Bush Lantern Kangaroo Paw
Bush Pearl Kangaroo Paw
Bush Ranger Kangaroo Paw
Bush Sunset Kangaroo Paw
Coral Pink Kangaroo Paw
Harmony Kangaroo Paw
Manglesi Kangaroo Paw
Pink Joey Kangaroo Paw
Pink Kangaroo Paw
Red Cross Kangaroo Paw
Regal Claw Kangaroo Paw
- Geranium: The most common types are
- Geranium: The most common types are
- Fortnight Lily
- Artichoke. Yes, that same one you steam and serve with butter and lemon.
Drought-resistant plants typically do not need much attention. This allows you to focus your energy elsewhere; like doing small DIY tasks that can increase the value of your home. A task like improving your home’s insulation would do the trick. This is also considered as an energy-saving endeavour.
Another way to increase your home’s value is by having it surveyed, and passing! Tidying up a bit works well. Make sure those weeds, and any plant that has unfortunately met its demise are cleaned up. So whenever a surveyor comes along, he/she will be in for a pleasant surprise!
5. Consider using artificial grass
Speaking of greens that don’t need much watering, how about greens that don’t need watering at all?
Artificial grass is arguably the future of home gardening (debates still on-going). With its multitudes of benefits, one cannot but help consider it as a very viable option. Benefits include:
- Does not need watering.
- Saves you time because you are not watering.
- Lasts twenty years before needing to be inspected (Yes, twenty).
- Any wear-and-tear can be solved by just maintenance after twenty years.
- Replaceable, should you ever want to.
- Does not need these products/solutions:
- Petrol-based machines
- Save tens of thousands of litres of water per year.
- Saves you so much energy and from having to worry about its health.
- Artificial grass just always look so green and sleek!
6. Flower bed mulching
This is also actually related to improving your soil.
Plants in your garden need a chance to absorb water. If it evaporates beforehand, then a lot of water and your time and energy is wasted. Mulching can help your plants retain water; therefore reducing water loss from evaporation.
Also, this is a fairly cheap project. You can definitely take this on without breaking the bank. As this has become a common solution nowadays, there is a multitude of guides out there that can help you in this endeavor.
Mother-Nature is proud of you!
At the end of the day, you can be proud of yourself for even considering the thought of running an energy-efficient garden. This will always be a good move, not only to you but towards the environment as well. We shouldn’t be wasting resources just because there is an abundance of it. Taken a step further, that mindset will be the end of humanity!
About the author: Emma is a part-time property developer and blogger. She is passionate about gardening and home improvements; especially environmentally friendly changes that can make your home and the world a healthier place. Check out her blog, Fixtures and Flowers or follow her on Twitter.