Gardening for Life!


Water: We understand that:

50% of the water sprayed by sprinklers evaporates into the air.  It is better to use drip watering and hand watering to save this precious resource and save water costs.

To check how moist the garden is, pull back the soil and mulch and push a trowel in to a depth of 5-6 cm.  Lean the trowel to one side so you can see the soil 2-3 cm (1-2 inches) down.  If the soil is dry, water until it has soaked in to a depth of 2-3 cm

How much you water depends on the time of year.  In the spring, water seeds lightly and  every second day.  When summer arrives and lants have taken hold, water deeply twice a week  to encourage root development.  (If you water a little very often during the summer, the plants will  be weak, only develop shallow roots and will grow poor produce.

If it has been raining for more than 2 hours there's no need to water the garden. If the rain is part of a thunderstorm the garden will need watering.  Rainfall during a storm is irregular and usually not enough to be absorbed slowly by a garden. 

Test the soil by digging gently beneath the surface 2-3 cm (1-2 inches) at the garden to determine if the day's rain actually watered the garden enough.

Residents are encouraged to use the rain water on  trees, lawn, shrubs and flowers in the garden.

Managing water use in the yard and garden is important, The City promotes rain barrels as one option to reduce demand on our potable water supply and treatment plants during the summer months.

Residents are not permitted at this time to harvest rainwater on public land for growing food crops in community gardens.  This is because of health and safety concerns.

The City is currently reviewing this issue to see how it can provide better information to Calgarians when it comes to harvesting rain water.

We understand that the quality of water that is harvested in a rain barrel is related to:

1.   the nature of the material the rain water runs over to be collected such as roof surface shingles).

2.   the many types of shingles and downspouts.  Some can contain preservatives, fire retardants, asphalt, and lead.

3.   how the water is stored and eventually used such as the type of container and how it is cleaned and maintained plus how long the water sits in the container.

Due to the variety of factors in water storage, citizens should:

1.   use caution at all times.

2.   know that it is not possible for The City of Calgary to guarantee the quality of water in a rain barrel or its suitability for use on edible crops.

3.   water leafy plants such as salad greens with water that is drinkable and of good quality.

For information about first flush rainwater harvesting systems  for watering edible crops visit the Centre for Rainwater Harvesting