How does lightning affect your plants?

Lightning can be just as beneficial to plants as rain, due to a chemical reaction during thunderstorms

Youngstown, Ohio weather forecast thunderstorm lightning

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – At any instant, there are more than 2,000 thunderstorms taking place throughout the world, according to NASA. These storms combined produce about 100 lightning flashes per second.

The unsettled weather is sticking around this week with several chances for thunderstorms, which could mean your lawns will look extra green by this weekend. Rain is good for your lawn and plants, but those lightning bolts can be almost as beneficial as the rain, as long as they don’t directly hit plants.

Nitrogen is essential for plant growth, and there is a lot of it in the atmosphere, but it’s in a form that’s not available to the grass. During a thunderstorm, however, there is a chemical reaction that occurs from lightning that helps to make that nitrogen readily available to the plants, which act as a natural fertilizer to give your lawns an extra boost.

But is it enough to skip the fertilizer?

Chief Meteorologist Paul Wetzl said plants still need fertilizer, depending on the plant demand that is needed.

“The lightning is not going to be the cure to get the perfect crop,” he said. “It may boost it a little bit.”

The nitrogen provided by lightning makes up less than 10 percent of the nitrogen available to all plants. Bacteria does most of the other work.

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