There are many different motivating factors for converting even a small portion of your landscape into a natural yard! 

Reduce Maintenance Time

Natural yards have lower long-term maintenance costs in terms of time commitments and costs, such as water, gasoline, fertilizer and pesticides. 

There will be regular maintenance with weeding and watering for the first two seasons of planting before your new plants are established. After established, these tasks will be significantly reduced. 

Be Water Smart

Natural yards decrease the pressure on our drainage system by slowing and reducing the rush of water, absorbing it into the soil, from our yards to the sewers during large rainfall and snowmelt events.

This is accomplished by:

  • Having more absorptive ground material than lawn, such as plantings with mulch topdressing. Many of our native perennials have an especially deep root system which helps take up more water.
  • Using a rain barrel to harvest roof run-off. Be aware of how full your barrel is. You do not want water to overflow beside the house. Raising a rain barrel off the ground allows you to take advantage of gravity for watering. 
  • Substituting a rain chain for your downspout is an option to add a functional water feature. Ensure that water is directed away from the house. 
  • Creating a rain garden
Make Your Yard Unique

Incorporating native plants is a great way to add ‘new’ and unique plants to your landscape and creates a regional identity.

Connect to Nature

There have been a multitude of studies on the health, physical and mental, benefits of immersing oneself in nature.

Benefit Wildlife

Native plants provide food and shelter for pollinators. This helps in the efforts to protect certain species from population decline.

Without pollinators, food production from the majority of our crops would not be possible.

Natural yards also provide habitat connections through the city, allowing wildlife to cross our urban environment to more wild spaces.

Interesting Facts: Non-native ornamental plants support 29 times less wildlife biodiversity than native plants. (Doug Tallamy)

Only 1% of insect species (over 4 million in the world) interact with humans in negative ways. The other 99% pollinate plants, return nutrients to the soil, aerate and enrich the soil & provide food either directly or indirectly for most other animals.

Help Ensure Survival of Plant Species

The southern portion of Alberta, including Edmonton, is classified as Prairie Ecozone. Human impact has resulted in a loss of prairie land.

When possible, ensuring the seed source of your native plants is local to the Edmonton area (general consensus is that local genetics apply to a radius of 325 km) will help preserve the local prairie ecosystem.

Reduce Fertilizer and Pesticide Use

This action is incredibly important for the health of our river!

Native plants do not need additional fertilizers to encourage growth. In fact, too rich of environments will often cause poor performance in native plants.