A Gardener’s Guide to Saving on Utility Bills
One of the few pastimes enjoyed the world over that has not been dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic is gardening. But did you know that in addition to the pleasures and benefits of gardening—serenity, beauty, and inexpensive produce if you grow veggies—gardening presents opportunities to save money on your utilities?
Given the economic hardship for which many of us are still trying to find workarounds, the following will no doubt be welcome information for the gardeners out there. And with energy prices on the rise, now is the ideal time to consider cultivating money-saving habits in the garden.
Trees and Fences
We’re starting here because these are among the more costly in financial outlay, but which can save money in the long term. If you’re planning to plant new trees or install new fencing, in terms of savings on utilities, placement is key. Having a large tree or trees in the garden acts as a natural windbreaker. Since houses are not airtight, this results in fewer drafts in the home, less demand for heaters and air conditioners, and less money spent to run them. Much like trees, taller privacy fences can also help to block wind around your property. Believe it or not, according to Boiler Plan (one of the UK’s biggest heating contractors), well-placed trees and fences can save up to 25% a year on heating and cooling costs!
Choose Solar or LED Garden Lights
While most people do their gardening during daylight hours, many entertain in their yards and gardens in the evening. Garden lighting can also help to set the mood and add atmosphere to outdoor gatherings. Whether you’re considering a string of lights or bright spotlights, LED is a great idea. LED lights are estimated to use 80% less energy than incandescent, LEDs are ideal for keeping bills down. Or, you could opt for solar lights; these are increasing in popularity and they don’t use any electricity.
Group Plants According to Their Need for Water
Now we get to the green stuff. Grouping certain plants together can help save on water. When you’re designing your garden, group plants that need the same amount of water and those which grow more quickly together. This way, you can have plants that bloom at different stages throughout the summer so that you can keep the watering to higher demand areas, rather than watering plants that may not need so much water throughout.
Additionally, reusing rinse water for watering plants is more sustainable and economic use of water. If you happen to keep aquaria, use the water you remove for water changes to water your plants; aquarium water has exactly the type of nutrients plants need.
Go for Drought-Tolerant Plants
This is an incredibly attractive idea in the U.S., which has desert areas and many beautiful plant varieties that have evolved to tolerate drought. Drought-tolerant plants require much less water than other varieties. Additionally, perennials and shrubs require less water; the former grow back each year, and the latter stays around year-round!
Whether it’s well-positioned trees, drought-tolerant plants, or other strategies, your garden can help reduce those utility bills. Hopefully, these gardening tips will help you cut down your energy bills throughout the year, and even lead to your coming up with some original ones on your own!