Yard Smart


Calgary is a big city on two small rivers that are impacted by a growing population and a changing climate. During the summer, your water use can jump by 30 to 40 percent because of outdoor watering activities. This increased demand places a strain on our rivers and treatment plants.

A beautiful yard that thrives in Calgary’s climate and conserving water go hand-in-hand. Save water, money and time by adopting a few simple YardSmart tips:

  • Having a good depth of quality soil ensures your plants can access more water. A layer of at least six to eight inches of good quality soil is recommended.
  • Adding compost to your soil is the best way to improve it.
  • Choose plants that thrive in Calgary’s climate. For Calgary, choose plants labelled Hardiness Zone 2 or 3.
  • Add pollinator-friendly plants to your garden. Flowering plants and agricultural crops rely on pollinators, such as bees. Invite these powerhouses into your yard by planting a variety of white, yellow, blue and purple native flowers that bloom in all seasons. Avoid pesticides because they can’t discriminate between pests and beneficial insects.
  • Capture free rain water in a rain barrel and use it on your trees, shrubs and flower beds.
  • Reduce mowing and watering by keeping your lawn at least 2 or 3 inches high. Taller grass shades the soil meaning it requires less water and stays healthier.

Visit calgary.ca/YardSmart for more tips and tools and to download our YardSmart plant guide.