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Be YardSmart

Enjoy a beautiful, productive yard that's easy to maintain and suited to Calgary's unique climate. A YardSmart yard can transform your lawn, plants and garden into an inviting landscape that will be an inspiration to your neighbours.

In the face of the pressures brought on by a changing climate and a growing city, a water efficient YardSmart yard helps keep our rivers – and our community – healthy and resilient.

Safe yard work and gardening

When gardening outside, here are a few basic rules for physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Visit garden centres by yourself, and keep your trips to an absolute minimum.
  • Shop at less busy times or better yet, call or order online for delivery or curbside pick-up.
  • Stay connected through technology. Many local gardening experts and businesses have online training events, garden tours, and more.
  • Learn more tips on how to garden safely this summer

Need help designing your garden?

Not sure which plants to use or the right spot to plant them?

Download our step-by-step pdf guides or click on the image below to learn how to create beautiful and low maintenance garden beds which work in all areas of your yard:

Once established, these gardens take little time, effort, and water to maintain.

Steps to success

Following basic YardSmart principles will set you up for gardening success in Calgary.

1. Design your yard

2. Have good soil and lots of it

  • Add a base of at least eight inches of good quality soil for a healthy garden or lawn.
  • Visit Top Soil Calculator to determine how much soil you need for a project.
  • Improve your soil by adding compost. For directions on how to apply compost in your yard, visit

3. Choose plants that thrive in Calgary

4. Add mulch for beauty above and below

  • Add bark, wood chips or stones to reduce evaporation from your soil, slow weed growth and decrease erosion.
  • To find out how much mulch you need to buy for a flower bed, visit Plan Your YardSmart.
  • Get free mulch during the spring season at the East Calgary Landfill.

5. Water wisely