Gardening has become an increasingly popular pastime in recent years. Here are some considerations to take in to be more energy efficient while gardening. These are the main points of focus where one can implement new energy efficiency garden practices.
One of the most important aspects in gardening aside from the plants themselves is the water used to promote their growth. Some water conservation tips to adopt can include choosing to water the plants during cooler parts of the day so that it minimizes how much water is lost due to evaporation. When planting, it is best to group plants based on their watering needs to reduce the amount of water wasted.
Collecting rainwater is another crucial action that can be taken. filling up water barrels can be most utilized if connected to the drain spout. Various tutorial videos on Youtube go more in depth on simple setup methods that can take less than a day to complete.
Some houses and larger properties come equipped with water irrigation systems such as sprinklers that provide water to the plants at certain times. While these usually provide enough water to the plants, they are not the most water-efficient method. Drip irrigation has been marked as the best method to water plants for several reasons by the EPA.
“Many plant beds do not require the spray heads traditionally used to water turf areas, and drip irrigation directs water to plant roots at a low flow rate, avoiding water lost to wind or runoff. This technology uses 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional in-ground or pop-up sprinkler systems”Environmental Protection Agency – Water Efficient Management Guide Landscaping and Irrigation (2017). https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2017-12/documents/ws-commercialbuildings-waterscore-irrigation-landscape-guide.pdf
Tree Shielding on Building
The use of trees and their positioning around your home and garden can potentially reduce how much stress is placed on home cooling. Aside from the visual appeal, planting trees in the area around your home can provide shade for your home during summer by shielding it from the sun. This can help in reducing air conditioning bills that would be typical in combating the hot summer days. Homeowners with solar panels might need to plan more carefully on where they place trees to prevent the shadows from blocking sunlight to the panels. The west side of a house receives the strongest sunlight and is usually the best option for solar panel placement so it is important to keep this in mind when planting trees. Programs, such as Tree Montgomery, can offer to plant a shade tree for free! Demand for this program is high with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection offering these services to single family homes and multi-family communities for those that qualify.
It goes without saying that electric alternatives for mowers, blowers, and trimmers are the best for being environmentally conscious. Initial costs of garden power tools are higher than the gas-powered equivalent. Over time, savings can be seen from the lack of gas fuel use and oil maintenance that comes with small gasoline engines. In some instances, there might be incentives to switch from current gas-powered equipment to electric! Montgomery County currently has a $50-100 rebate for residents who switch and give up their gas leaf blower for specific EGO brand electric leaf blowers.
Consider these energy efficient methodologies to better reduce your water and electric bills when gardening! If you’re seeking to go even further, scheduling an energy audit can further help how your home can be more energy efficient. Working with Energy Efficiency Experts can help further reduce your home utility bills and improve home comfort once work has been done.