City of Calgary – Watering 101

Michelle Mak Community, Fun Facts, Newcomer Information

Did you know the City of Calgary has Homeowner Water Guides for new, developing, landscaping in 6 different languages? These guides will provide different watering tips for your landscape. Here are some tips for watering your landscape:

  • Plants prefer rain water over water from the hose. You can set up a rain barrel to collect rain water to use on your yard.
  • Always water low and slow and never apply water faster than your soil can absorb.
  • Water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to reduce evaporation.
  • Overwatering can lead to plant death. Soils in Calgary are clay-based, and retain more moisture so it is best to check your soil moisture before watering.
  • Sun, shade and wind affect how much water evaporates from the soil. Adding mulch to cover soil around plants, shrubs and trees helps retain soil moisture.

Watering and types of soil

  • Checking soil moisture with a soil moisture probe both before and after watering can help you figure out how much to water.
  • Add compost to improve soil texture and health!
  • Increase the amount of top soil where ever possible. Having a minimum of eight inches of top soil will improve water absorption and drainage of your soil.

Watering and plant needs

  • Some plants need regular watering, others less. How you water new plants affects the root development, which affects how much water they will consume in the future.
    • Always read the plant tag to know what each plant needs (eg. full sun, part shade, shade, etc).
  • Avoid planting in hot, dry weather as this easily stresses plants and can place highly demands on watering needs.
  • Select plants appropriate for your growing zone – native and drought-tolerant plant species will require less water.

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Word of the day:

Mulch (noun)

  1. material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.
    • Example: She used mulch in her garden.