Gardening in itself is pretty cool when you think about it. You’re bringing life into existence with your bare hands! However, when you add solar power to the mix, it can feel even more impressive and beyond its time. Yet, solar energy has been around for quite a while, and it’s about time you begin using it in your garden. There’s nothing that screams organic more than having solar power in the garden.
There are a few ways you can implement solar power in the garden without breaking the bank or exhausting all of your resources.
Using Solar Power in the Garden
If you think about it, plants act like solar panels as they turn sunlight into energy and fuel. However, plants themselves don’t require too much power to be maintained. While you may be thinking you’ll need huge solar panels to support your background garden, you’ll likely only need small panels to power your watering system.
Obtaining Solar Panels
Those small solar panels you find at your local general store for under $100 can actually work to power your garden lights or watering system. You can find solar panels at pretty much any major retail store too! However, if you’re not down to purchase from these major corporations, you’ll be surprised to find local solar panel distributors in your area after a quick search on the internet.
It’s also notable to observe the basic types of solar panels:
- Monocrystalline. Also called single-crystalline silicon, these are made out of silicon ingots, and have a rounder solar cell compared to the standard squared solar panel cells. This type of solar panel last the longest and is the most energy efficient. However, this means you’ll be paying quite a lot for a single panel, as they are also the most expensive.
- Polycrystalline. This solar panel type costs much less to make than monocrystalline panels, as they are produced from raw silicone being melted and molded into the solar cell shape. Since they are made quicker and are of less quality, they tend to overheat quicker than higher costing solar panels.
There are better quality solar panels than others, so if you plan on paying a pretty penny for solar panels, be sure the ones you’re purchasing come from a reputable, high-quality source! There are also more types of solar panels out there, however, these are the two basic ones that get branched out into different forms.
Okay, you’ve got your solar panels, now what?
Installing Solar Power in the Garden
If you don’t have a greenhouse, you’re likely going to be mounting your solar panels on the ground rather than a high surface. This could be a bit tricky, as the solar panels would need to face a direction that will bring in the most light, which would obviously be toward the sun.
Typically, solar panels come with a mounting of some sort, whether that’s a basic ground mount or advanced pole mount. They’re usually metal and need to be pressed into the ground to ensure the panels aren’t going anywhere. Pole mounts are much more advanced than ground mounts, as they sit on a single pole and tilt toward the light source as it moves, the light source being the sun.
You’ll want to install your solar panels near the area you want to utilize them for, that being your garden, right? Ensure they’re not too far away from your garden as that’s what we’re going to be supporting power for.
What to Use Solar Panels for in the Garden?
Solar panels are truly a money saver and conventional method for powering basic things in the garden. You’ll find that most of your power needs in the garden can be fueled by a simple solar power installation.
Here are a few things you can power with solar power:
- Lighting. Use solar power to light up the path to your garden, or power those insect repellant lights you keep turned on during the night time. You’ll be glad to see your power bill decrease from leaving lights on overnight.
- Irrigation. Have an irrigation system built in your garden? Or maybe you want to build one. You can use solar panels in the garden to power that irrigation system. Or use it to power your watering system in general.
- Greenhouses. Solar panels are super useful to power your greenhouse or garden shed, especially if the greenhouse or shed is small in size. How cool would it be to have an entire structure, like a greenhouse, being powered by solar panels? Pretty sweet if you ask us!
Okay, we know we’ve been pretty brief and broad with this article, but these are just the basics of using solar panels in the garden. It’s a pretty awesome, innovative and sustainable concept when you wrap your brain around it. It’s even more surreal when you actually implement all of this in your garden. As many other things are in gardening, solar power is completely customizable and can be utilized to your liking.
There are no set rules for using solar power in the garden, so long as it’s used safely!