What should I do about all this ash in my yard?

What should I do about all this ash in my yard?

2020 has been a crazy year for a variety of reasons. Recently, the vast wildfires in our area have been another of 2020’s curve balls thrown our way. During these wildfires, ash has accumulated all over Lane County, and you may find yourself wondering, what should I do about all of this ash covering my yard? We’ve been researching this as well, and after coming across tips from Oregon State University, we have found some answers to our questions:

Can I use a blower to clean up ash?

Blowers and vacuums will only create a cloud of ash that is unhealthy to breathe. As tempting as it may sound, avoid this type of cleanup. Believe us, we know how hard that is – we use blowers all the time! But recently, we’ve had to go get the trusty old broom to sweep off entry ways and patios.

Can I use a hose to clean up ash in my yard?

This one’s a little tricky. The answer is ‘yes and no’. Using a hose will rinse off the ash in a manner that doesn’t create a large cloud of yuck. However, ash should not go into our storm drains. Instead, it is better to direct the ash into plants that act as natural filters for this type of debris (such as grassy or ornamental areas). If you do not have this type of landscape in your yard, it is best to sweep up the ash, bag it, and toss it in the trash.

Will wildfire ash negatively effect my garden?

Your garden is still safe! When harvesting, just make sure to wash the veggies (or fruits) outside prior to bringing them inside. Once inside, rinse them again for good measure. Once the ash has been removed, your produce is safe to consume.

How can I stay safe while cleaning ash in my yard?

It is important to keep yourself safe when dealing with ash from wildfires. Make sure to wear an appropriate N95 mask to help pollutants stay out of your lungs. Take care to make sure ash does not come into contact with your skin, as best as possible. Wash any areas of skin that have come into contact with ash. Do not do anything that will disturb the ash in a manner that it creates a cloud – this just puts it up in the air for all of us to inhale.

As always, we are here to help you maintain your outdoor space. If you need help, please contact us today and set up an appointment. For more information on ash in my yard, I have found Oregon State University to be an invaluable resource. Click here to read more.