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Healthy Yards

Having a healthy yard and garden benefits you and your community. For tips and tricks on home composting, water conservation, pesticide reduction, and more, simply browse through the information below.

If you’re interested in learning more through hands-on workshops and presentations, browse the numerous course offerings by the University of Saskatchewan’s Master Gardeners or the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council's Compost Coaches

From May until September, you can also contact the University of Saskatchewan’s Gardenline at (306) 966-5865 or  gardenline@usask.ca, or reach a Compost Coach at (306) 931-3249 or  compost@saskwastereduction.ca.  

 
Healthy yards demonstration garden

The Healthy Yards Demonstration Garden is located at the Food Bank & Learning Centre's Garden Patch (900 block of 3rd Avenue North, just south of 33rd Street East and Warman Road).

From May until October, you can visit the garden for free on Monday to Friday (8:30am-3:30pm). You’ll see a productive vegetable garden, rain barrels, composting systems, native plants, and more! Come for a self-guided tour, bring your lunch, or set up a group tour. Knowledgeable staff will be on site to help answer your questions.

For more information or to arrange a tour, contact  adrian.w@saskatoonfoodbank.org

Gardening basics

Gardening can be a rewarding activity for people of all ages and abilities. Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned green thumb, read our  New Gardeners and  Small Space Gardening How-To Guides for tips that will help you create a beautiful, healthy, and productive garden.

Growing food

There is a variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are suitable to grow in prairie gardens. To learn more, read our  Growing Food: How-To Guide

Composting

If you are interested in composting at home, visit our Home Composting page to learn more about:

  •  how to compost
  • our free Home Visit service
  • our $20 compost bin rebates
  • Compost Coach volunteer training
  • and more!

Low-water gardening & rain barrels

There are plenty of ways to conserve water in your yard and garden. Visit our Be Water Wise page to learn more about:

Mulch

Mulch is a layer of material that can be placed around your flowers, shrubs, trees, and vegetables to conserve soil moisture, control weeds, and protect your plants against temperature extremes. It is one of the simplest ways to reduce your needs for weeding and watering, while also creating a healthy garden ecosystem.

Read our  Mulch & More: How-To Guide to find out how to get started!

Biodiversity

Create a beautiful garden that attract birds, bees, and butterflies by following these simple tips in our  Creating Biodiversity in Your Yard: How-To Guide.

Pesticide-free yard maintenance

There are plenty of ways to create healthy, beautiful outdoor spaces without using pesticides. Visit our Be Pesticide Free page and read our  Pesticide-Free Gardening: How-To Guide to learn how to manage your yard without the use of harmful chemicals. 

Lawn care

Want a beautiful lawn? Read our  Healthy Lawns: How-To Guide for easy, low-maintenance lawn-care tips!

Boulevard gardening

You may garden on the front and side boulevards adjacent to your home. Please read the City of Saskatoon’s Boulevard Gardening & Maintenance Guidelines and complete the Boulevard Garden Agreement before getting started. 

Urban beekeeping

You may keep honey bees in your yard as long as you manage your bees responsibly, as outlined in the City of Saskatoon’s  Animal Control Bylaw and the Saskatchewan Apiaries Act. It is also important for you to:

  • Register your hive(s) with the Ministry of Agriculture at (306) 953-2304 (required)
  • Ensure your honey bees have adequate space
  • Requeen every two years or when the queen dies or is failing
  • Reduce the strength of large colonies by making splits or nucleus colonies in May and June
  • Prevent aggressive behaviour
  • Provide a water source
  • Avoid the use of insecticides in your yard and garden

When good management practices are used, beekeeping can be a safe and educational activity that helps increase pollination and fruit production. If you are interested in beekeeping, please connect with the beekeeping community and talk to existing beekeepers to find out what it takes to keep bees in the city. To find out more, contact the Saskatchewan Beekeeper Association and the Saskatoon Bee Club.

What is a honey bee?

Honey bees are 15-20 mm in length and have hairy bodies that are often yellow, brown, and black. Their hairy bodies and special structures on their legs allow them to transport large amounts of pollen, making them very efficient pollinators. Honey bees are social insects that form large colonies. The entire colony survives the winter.

What is a honey bee swarm?

When a colony grows too large, it will divide. One half will leave the hive in a process known as swarming. Swarms of several thousand bees are common in Saskatoon and can be seen resting on trees or buildings in a large cluster. 

A swarm of honey bees is not dangerous. If you see a swarm, please contact Parks at 306-975-3300.