The air in the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen. Plants require nitrogen to grow, but they can’t process the inert nitrogen gas in the sky. It takes an enormous blast of energy to break apart those nitrogen molecules and convert them to a compound that plants can use.
This is where lightning comes into play. A lightning bolt is 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the sun, and contains up to a billion volts of electricity. A single lightning bolt can stretch for miles as it tears apart the sky with its power.
The unbridled energy of lightning shatters the nitrogen molecules in the air. Some of the free nitrogen atoms combine with oxygen to form compounds called nitrates that mix with the rain.
These nitrates are a powerful natural fertilizer. Raindrops carry the nitrates to the ground in a soluble form that plants can absorb. The rain gives its water to the thirsty land, but it is the lightning that adds fertilizer. We can water our gardens ten times and not do as much good as one lightning-charged rainstorm.