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Linda Ly

— Gardener, blogger and outdoors enthusiast

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

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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-Bleach1 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-Bleach1 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-Bleach1 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/

Make your great outdoors even greater with
Clorox® Regular-Bleach1.

Remove Mold and Mildew

Wash patio moss and mildew stains with ¾ cup bleach to 1 gal. of water mix. Reapply to keep wet for 5 min. Brush off and rinse thoroughly, keeping runoff away from plants. For tree fungus use a 1-cup bleach to 1 quart of water mix. Spray up to 3 times a day until gone.

Sanitize Pools

Pools require 5 tsp. per 100 gallons of water to sanitize. To chlorinate, mix bleach with 2 gallons of water and scatter over an empty pool. Fill remainder of pool with water.

Longer Lasting Flowers

Fresh cut flowers: ¼ tsp. per quart of cold water. Vases: ½ cup bleach to 1 gal water. Let stand for 5 mins. Rinse.
See all Healthy Home tips

Remove Mold and Mildew

Wash patio moss and mildew stains with ¾ cup bleach to 1 gal. of water mix. Reapply to keep wet for 5 min. Brush off and rinse thoroughly, keeping runoff away from plants. For tree fungus use a 1-cup bleach to 1 quart of water mix. Spray up to 3 times a day until gone.

Sanitize Pools

Pools require 5 tsp. per 100 gallons of water to sanitize. To chlorinate, mix bleach with 2 gallons of water and scatter over an empty pool. Fill remainder of pool with water.

Longer Lasting Flowers

Fresh cut flowers: ¼ tsp. per quart of cold water. Vases: ½ cup bleach to 1 gal water. Let stand for 5 mins. Rinse.
See all Healthy Home tips

Clorox® Regular-Bleach refers to EPA registration number 5813-100 registered as Clorox® Regular-Bleach1.