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Managing water - what you can do

Our goal: healthy lawn

You can help keep Calgary's parks and natural areas green, lush and healthy!

Getting involved with parks and irrigation

There are numerous volunteer opportunities in various parks, trails and open spaces in Calgary.

The program inspires projects such as park beautification, litter control, trail development and maintenance, weeding, vandalism watch and special projects.

Currently, approximately 750 parks across the city are watered by volunteers primarily during the daytime hours. The irrigation systems vary from park to park.

Lawn care tips for Calgary homeowners

Wise water use helps Calgary conserve water resources and avoid emergency water conditions. Proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing will help keep lawns looking healthy.

Here are some water-conscious tips for homeowners in Calgary:

How much you should water? Lawns only need 1 inch or 2.5 cm of water per week from irrigation or rainfall during the summer months to remain green and grow actively. Water lawns only when they needed. Over-watering lawns means the grass will have shallow roots and be susceptible to diseases. It will need more fertilizer and more maintenance

The best time to water your lawn: Late evenings and early mornings are the best times to water. When lawns are watered throughout the day, water is lost to evaporation.

To mow or not to mow? Taller grass has deeper roots and is less likely to wilt. It also provides shade for the soil surface and reduces lethal temperatures near the base of grass plants.

Choosing the best sprinkler: Use efficient irrigation devices according to water zones and in areas which need more water.

  • Sprinklers and pop-up spray heads which cover larger areas area best for lawns
  • Soaker hoses can be used in narrow areas such as borders and areas of ground cover
  • Low volume drip is suitable for areas where annuals are planted
  • Bubblers can be used to water individual trees and shrubs

Set up overhead sprinklers so that water falls only on your lawn or garden and not on sidewalks, roads, or buildings. Adjust the application rate of the system to allow water to penetrate the soil without running off.

Fertilizing your lawn: Fertilizing is an important lawn care practice, as it helps prevent weeds, invasive plants and diseases. It also influences grass color and your lawn's ability to recover from stress. The ideal composition for lawn fertilizer is a 4-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Depending on the type of grass in your yard, one to three fertilizer applications should be made during the growing season, usually from early May to mid-June, and again in the late summer.

More lawn care tips are available from the YardSmart program.