Tweet photo by Andreas Duess (Flickr CC) A: Being the owner of a garden is a pleasure, but also means many duties: watering, weeding, replanting, mowing. If your bills are significantly higher during the summer months, it means that you use water and energy uneconomically. Don’t forget about a few green rules and not only will you enjoy a beautiful garden, but also lower bills. Maintaining a lawn is the most water- and power-consuming cultivation in the garden. To water a square metre of grass you need several cubic metres of water per year. It also has to be mowed regularly, and using an electric lawn-mower can consume as much energy as an electric kettle. Try to reduce the size of your garden a little, especially from the southern side, where the loss of water is the most significant. You can make decorative alleys, a bench, put in big rocks or plant perennials. Use a mulching method that can prevent water from vaporizing up to 50%! Various materials can be used as mulch: bark for ornamental plants and flowers, straw for strawberries and vegetables and many more. Grow plants that are resistant to lack of water like sage and cacti. Water the plants lavishly, but less often and do it in the early morning or in the evening rather than in the middle of the day, when water evaporates very quickly. Place a barrel or any other big vessel in your garden, preferably under a rain-pipe so that you are able to catch free rainwater, which is soft and best for delicate and demanding plants. Set up compost – organic waste is a great material for fertilizing soil. You will produce less garbage which, apart from being more eco-friendly, means lower trash bills. Plant native species. They are more resistant to local pests, which will let you give up pesticides that may be harmful to people and animals. Native flowers are also a source of food for pollinators like bees and butterflies. If you have any questions about environmental issues or anything else relating to the site and topics we cover on Greenfudge, just Ask Joanna. SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox. Given email address is already subscribed, thank you! Please provide a valid email address. Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.