In this study, the effects of cool fire ash in soil with varying amounts of water were observed in terms of the germination and early growth of garden radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus) seedlings. Measurements regarding plant growth, field capacity, and seedling leaf quantum yield were taken and compared between four (4) trios of pots separately containing radish seedlings planted in ashy and frequently-watered soil (Aw), ashy and infrequently-watered soil (Ad), normal unmodified garden soil that was watered frequently (Nw) and normal soil that was watered infrequently (Nd). While the experiment failed to reveal a correlation between seedling quantum yield and the presence of ash in the soil, the study concluded that the presence of ash in soil increases soil field capacity and promotes the germination and early growth of plants. This data is relevant in light of the fact that climate change is creating new growing environments and factors (in terms of drought and wildfire dynamics) for agricultural crops, of which California produces 14.9% for the entire United States (CDFA, 2018)—however, additional experiments at a larger scale are needed to fully apply and verify the findings of this preliminary study.
Dalforno, Ryan; Ritchey, Braden; and Ogle, Jay, "The Effects of Soil Suffused with Cool-Fire Ash on the Germination and Early Growth of Radish Seedlings" (2018). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 170.