SPOKANE, Wash --- Gardening tips for this smoky weather in the Pacific Northwest.
Smoke could slow down plant growth.
“The smoke is going to slow down the plants a little bit because obviously, we see the difference in the sunlight and they feel, the plants feel the difference in sunlight as well,” said Urban Horticulture Coordinator of WSU Master Gardeners, Tim Kohlhauff.
The air will not ruin your vegetables, so you can still eat those tomatoes you are growing.
“The smoke and even if there’s a little bit of ash build up on the plant that won’t do any damage, just wash it off like you normally would,” said Kohlhauff.
The smoke and ash will break down in the soil and become fertilizer.
“These are forest fires and because this is all natural material that’s floating around us, as it settles on the soil, the micro-organisms are going to actually work that into the ground and it could be fertilizer for next year, so there might be something good that’s come out of all this,” said Kohlhauff.
When the smoke clears, you should wash the ash off of your plants.
“If there’s some people in areas where ash is actually building up on the plant, that will block the sunlight getting through and slow them down, so you might want to wash the ash off the leaves when we get through all of this,” said Kohlhauff.
One thing to know is plants actually handle the smoke better than people do.
“Worry about yourself first, take care of yourself and your garden will take care of itself,” said Kohlhauff.