Smoke effects on soil and crops

Asked September 23, 2020, 12:10 AM EDT

Wondering about soils and leafy edibles and hemp. I see our orchard and pollination garden are not healthy. What should we do to test our soil and food here in Grants Pass. I do not feel comfortable about the hazardous air quality we have had. Thank you. Jeffrey

Josephine County Oregon

1 Response

Smoke has no negative impact on soil. Fire and heat of course do and will sterilize the upper few feet of soil. If smoke was persistent for more than a couple weeks it can cause off flavors through chemical changes to fruits, grapes, berries, and leafy vegetables. If the plants are suffering in your veggie garden I wouldn't eat them. Fruits like apples and pears can be washed clean. Grapes can also be washed clean. Grapes for wine will develop off flavors if fermented but not be unhealthy. Soil tests will not show anything if the soil did not have fire on it. I don't work or live in your area so I don't know of any food testing labs in your county. You may want to call or go in to the OSU Extension office in Grants Pass to ask them about any testing labs in your area or the Medford area.