More Than Sunshine: Creating a Solar Powered Garden

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Solar power can be for more than electricity inside your home. Despite seeming all-natural, your garden does require a bit of electricity for various purposes. Drawing from the grid to supply your various garden needs sounds a bit wasteful since your garden has access to the sun. With some simple changes, your residential solar energy setup will work better with a garden in mind. Here are some things you can use solar energy in your home.

Lighting

It might surprise you at how much lighting your garden needs. But if you want to enjoy it at night, you really should install solar lights. The great thing about these lights is that they can be completely independent. The photovoltaic cells that power them are built-in. Since these lights are usually LEDs, they can get a lot of mileage from all the solar energy they collect. They are also very affordable. Buy quite a few of them to provide pathway lights or even spotlighting. You can even have them automatically turn on when it gets dark.

Irrigation

The other more energy-intensive item in your garden is the irrigation. This can come in the form of sprinklers or pumps. The idea behind it is simple. You might have a pump that requires some power to operate. Instead of gas or other sources for running it, you can use the electricity from solar panels to run the pumps. The great thing about it is that solar power can come at the right time. Irrigation is most useful when the sun is up, and your plants are thirsty. With solar-powered pumps, sprinkles, and more, your garden doesn’t need extra fuel to keep the grass green.

Greenhouses

Gardens are at the mercy of the elements. During the winter, this can mean dead plants when the cold sets in. But you can protect your precious greenery by using setting up a greenhouse that looks to solar to power things. Greenhouses need things like indoor heating and more. A few solar panels can then help keep it nice and comfortable for your plants. For example, cold water can be bad for plants, so using a solar heater can a big help. The hot water can also help by circulating it through radiant heat systems so that various plants will stay warm. Besides the water, you can also heat the air so that your plants can survive the colder climate of the winter season.

The great thing about greenhouses is that the entire thing can generate power. With solar glazing, a new technique, photovoltaic cells can be put into tall the glass in your greenhouse. When you consider the amount of square footage involved, your greenhouse may start generating power to make your greenhouse the powerhouse for your actual home.

Sheds

Besides a greenhouse, garden sheds are nice structures where you can do some work on your projects. Most sheds are a great place to store power tools and the like. With solar power, you can use these tools without needing any access to power outlets.

Installing solar panels on your shed roof can be a better choice than on your actual roof. With better access to sunlight, you can be sure of more power for your garden.

Dehydrators

If your garden produces vegetables or fruits for your consumption, then you might want some help preserving them. The most effective way is to dehydrate them. Raisins and prunes are tasty treats that you can make by placing some of your crops into a solar dehydrator. Sun-dried tomatoes are also a nice example of what you can make with these items. You can build one of these easily since they have no moving parts. You can even convert these into solar ovens if you want a nice way to cook things on hotter days.

Lawn Mowers and Others

mowing lawn

In the past, lawnmowers and heavy equipment usually depended on gasoline for fuel. But an electric motor can be just as effective. There are several electrical gardening vehicles that you only have to plug in to charge. If you have solar panels in your backyard, you can recharge these vehicles easily. The advantage of these items is that they are quieter and more efficient. You don’t have to worry about storing any fuel anywhere. Just plug them in when you need them working.

Solar power is a great option for gardeners who want their work to be completely energy-independent. Install these improvements, and you can take pride in the fact that your garden is completely green, physically and ethically.

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