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.

Yardsmart plant guides

Visit our YardSmart plant guides.


Garden bed design guides

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

Download our step-by-step pdf guides 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 Compost.org.

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


Yardsmart how-to videos

Pollinator Friendly Yards

Creating a New Garden Bed

Pest Free Gardens

Fertilizing Plants

Effective Watering

Plants for Calgary's Climate

How to Garden on a Budget

Planning a Garden Bed