Refresh the Outdoors

Guest post: Linda Ly

Bleach: a defender of plants, wildlife and backyard spaces.

My garden of ‘eatin

As an avid gardener, my favorite meals come from my backyard. I have raised beds where I rotate vegetables such as kale, beets and radishes, and my herbs are scattered throughout the garden in small beds and pots. In the rest of my yard, you’ll find fruit trees, flowers, a cactus garden, composting area and tiki coop.

Beware the fungi

One thing that I have to be mindful of in the garden is fungal disease. They can be harmful, and even deadly to many plants and wildlife. In food crops and plant species, fungal disease outbreaks can threaten our food supplies. Fungi have also driven more animal species extinct than other pathogens over the past 20 years.1

Stopping the spread in California

Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, bleach is a simple, but powerful tool that is often used to help stop the spread of fungal diseases. Take for instance the California Department of Forestry, which uses Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 to help manage and prevent the spread of a fungal pathogen that has threatened and killed the namesake California oak trees in Oakland.

The California Rice Commission turns to bleach to help control a fungus called Fusarium fujiuroki that has prevented rice crops from germinating. Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 is also used by Amphibian Ark conservationists who rely on it to help contain a deadly fungus that is destroying frog and amphibian populations.

Uses for bleach in your backyard

In your own backyard Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 is great for maintenance, and will not harm your grass or plants when used as directed2. It’s great for areas where mold and mildew can build up, such as outdoor flower pots and swimming pools. You would be surprised to learn just how easy removing mold and mildew can be with a bottle of bleach, a garden hose and a gardening brush.

You can also use a small amount of Clorox® Regular-Bleach1 mixed with water to keep vases clean and keep flowers and other plants alive longer.

Remember the simple (and surprising) things

As you reacquaint yourself with the backyard space and garden you love, remember the simple and surprising use of bleach to help keep your outdoor greens protected from fungal disease, your pools and outdoor pots mold- and mildew-free, and your flowers and plants alive for longer.

1. http://e360.yale.edu/feature/a_rise_in_fungal_diseases_is_taking_growing_toll_on_wildlife/2457/
2. https://www.clorox.com/products/clorox-concentrated-regular-bleach/