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
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
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
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,
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