You are here

Healthy Yards

Healthy Yards

Growing a Healthy Yard? Check out our new partner website!

For a more streamlined Healthy Yards program experience offering support and resources needed to safely and sustainably garden, reduce water and pesticide use, compost, and more, visit:
Alternatively, if you prefer using this page, continue browsing all the program material below.
Let's continue growing a greener, sustainable Saskatoon!  

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 through the numerous course offerings by the:

Have a yard or garden question? From May until September, contact the University of Saskatchewan’s Gardenline at  306-966-5865 or, or reach a Compost Coach at  306-931-3249 or  

Visit our 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). Here you'll find a productive vegetable garden, rain barrels, rain garden, composting systems, native plants, and more! Come for a self-guided tour, bring your lunch, or set up a group or classroom tour. Knowledgeable staff will be on site to help answer your questions. 

For more information, garden hours, or to arrange a tour, please visit the Garden Patch website

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 Growing Food and  Small Space Gardening How-To Guides for tips that will help you create a beautiful, healthy, and productive garden.

Growing food

There are 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


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

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


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. 

Vacant lot gardening

Owners of vacant lots are encouraged to apply for the Vacant Lot Garden Incentive. The program has been designed to promote urban agriculture as well as address the aesthetic and safety issues of vacant lots.

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) online with the Ministry of Agriculture (required). If you have difficulty or questions, call the Ministry at 306-980-6198;
  • Limit the number of hives to 4 per residential yard;
  • 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; and
  • Avoid the use of pesticides (especially 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.