How to be 'YardSmart' this Summer

August is ‘Water Quality Month’, and with water quality comes water conservation. If you haven’t yet heard about the City of Calgary’s YardSmart program, it’s aimed at helping educate Calgarians how to build beautiful yards that work with our specific climate. In addition, these clever landscaping tips help you save money and water, which we can all benefit from.

Enjoy a beautiful, productive yard that’s easy to maintain and suited to Calgary’s unique climate. A YardSmart yard can transform your plants and garden into an inviting landscape that will be an inspiration to your neighbours. Plus, less watering, less weeding and less fertilizing means you have more time to enjoy your yard and more savings on your water bill. [City of Calgary]

Here’s the six aspects of a YardSmart yard:

  • Proper planning and landscaping: a well-planned garden and yard will help you build an outdoor space that caters to the climate and the maintenance. For example, group plants that require the same amount of attention together, this makes watering easier and allows you to conserve water when you do hydrate. Secondly, reduce the amount of grass in your yard; designing with rocks or getting creative with other options will make your yard look beautiful but easier to maintain and again, less water!
  • Choose water-wise plants: there are certain plants that are considered ‘water-wise’, and grow well in Calgary’s climate. These kinds of plants are drought tolerant and can act as filters for rainwater runoff as well. Once these plants are established, eventually just rainfall is sufficient for most seasons.
  • Have a rain barrel: rain barrels are receptacles that collect rainwater that you can later use for watering plants and grass. This allows you to drastically cut down on the amount of water you use, saving you money too!
  • Pick the right trees: choosing trees is not as simple as “what looks good”, you want to consider what kinds of trees can survive the various weather we can get at any time of year. If we get another random snowstorm in summer, your trees could be severely damaged by the weight of snow. Consider drastic winds, snow and rain when you choose trees.
  • Have the right tools: just having the right tools for the job can help you conserve water in your yard as well. The City of Calgary has a great guide to YardSmart landscaping tools.
  • Water wisely: your irrigation system can be your best friend in the fight to conserve water. The City of Calgary and Irrigation Association have some tips for watering wisely.

Have other tips we missed? Get in touch on social media!