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Five things to know about dry weather and your plants

CityNews | posted Thursday, Jul 21st, 2016

1) If they’re too dry, they can cause spontaneous combustion: Vaughan Fire Chief Larry Bentley says the elements inside your plant soil can create a very dangerous situation if too dry. “It’s peat moss. It’s dried bark and wood products and there’s a little bit of fertilizer,” he says. “All those items when they dry out are susceptible to ignition. And fertilizer can be an oxidizer so it can enhance the ignition process.”

2) Don’t butt out into a plant: In Vaughan, fire officials say they have responded to numerous incidents in which cigarettes were improperly butted out. Chief Bentley says if you are going to smoke outside, find an ashtray. “What happens is an hour, two hours later as it sits and smoulders it’ll reignite,” he says.

3) Toronto water consumption: Toronto Water tells CityNews the city’s reservoirs are at a full level. Typically in the summertime consumption increases between 15 and 20 per cent, but the city’s plants have more capacity than what is typically used. With that said, they urge consumers to use water wisely. “The City of Toronto has enough water to meet current demand however we like to remind residents and businesses that it is always wise to be water efficient,” they say in a statement to CityNews.

4) Use clay instead of plastic: Chief Bentley says clay flowering pots are less likely than plastic to melt in the event of fire, thus containing the flames more effectively than plastic.

5) Summer of drought: CityNews meteorologist Adam Stiles says the GTA has been experiencing drought conditions since April. “We’ve been running below average precipitation since April and the hot dry summer just continues to compound that,” Stiles explained. “According to the Canadian Drought Monitor we are in a severe drought for all of Toronto and parts of the GTA. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has us in a Level 1 low water level condition and is asking people and businesses to implement water conservation measures whenever possible.”

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