how can I help my garden surviving the smoke?

Asked July 28, 2019, 12:14 PM EDT

how can I help my outdoor plants survive, if not thrive in air with smoke drift from wildland fires? Last year my plants had a very tough time.

Jackson County Oregon air quality management fire horticulture

1 Response

I found an interesting column by Master Gardener Rhonda Nowak in a 2015 edition of the Medford Mail Tribune that addresses the same issues with smoke that we have in 2019.
I will summarize the pros and cons of smoke filled skies.
Fine particles in the air can clog a plants' pores and possibly suffocate them. Plants may look wilted and washed out, and fruit production may slow or stop. On the other hand, the smoke acts as a cloud cover and diminishes the intense heat and sunlight we have been experiencing before the smoke settled on our valley.
Plants have adapted to smoky conditions over many millions of years. You can help by spraying the plants with water to wash off ash residue and fertilize.
Plants have remarkable resiliency, so once the smoke passes, the plants should get back to their normal processes.