Thứ Năm, 31 tháng 8, 2023

Will Wildfire Smoke Harm Your Outdoor Plants?

As wildfires and their resulting smoke become more prevalent in various parts of the United States and Canada, garden enthusiasts might be wondering about the effects of wildfire smoke on their outdoor plants. We've gathered advice from horticulture experts on how to keep your garden safe from wildfire smoke, both before it arrives and after it dissipates:

Before Wildfire Smoke Arrives:

1. Re-Hydrate Plants Post-Smoke:

  • Wildfire smoke can scatter light, reducing the amount that reaches plants and slowing their photosynthetic process.
  • Ensure your plants are well-hydrated before the smoke arrives; it helps them cope with the stress from the extra heat and smoke.
  • Container plants might need more water, especially in hot and dry weather.

2. Give Your Garden a Rinse:

  • If your plants collect dust or ash from heavy smoke, use a hose to rinse them off.
  • This will reduce stress and provide your plants with extra moisture.

3. Keep an Extra Eye on Precious Plants:

  • Use floating row covers or frost cloth to protect sensitive plants like fruits, vegetables, and annual flowers.
  • However, be cautious not to keep these covers on for too long, as they can compound the reduced sunlight exposure.

After Wildfire Smoke Clears:

1. Re-Hydrate Plants:

  • If your plants look dry after the smoke has cleared, give them a little more water to help them bounce back.

2. Give Your Garden a Rinse:

  • Continue to rinse off plants that collected dust or ash during the smoke.

3. Keep an Extra Eye on Precious Plants:

  • If you used row covers, remove them once the smoke has dissipated to avoid prolonged light reduction.

Additional Tips:

  • Artificial Light: Adding artificial light can counteract the lack of sunlight caused by the smoke, especially for more delicate plants. Consider using supplemental LEDs in greenhouses or for indoor plants that need the extra light.

  • Pollinators: Pollinators like bees won't face long-term harm due to smoke. Although they may temporarily disappear during heavy smoke, they'll return once the air clears.

Remember that while wildfire smoke might stress your plants temporarily, they will typically bounce back once conditions improve. Ensuring your plants are well-hydrated and providing them with appropriate care can help them recover and thrive after exposure to smoke.

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