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strax August 7, 2010 08:35 PM

Diluted Bleach as Spray?
I just heard that diluted bleach works as a treatmeant for foliage disease in tomatoes. Is this true? If so what is the % of bleach? what diseases is it effective in treating?

if you have tried this, pls share your results.



shlacm August 7, 2010 09:02 PM

You can go to this thread to read more, and hopefully b54red will "drop in" too. But, I use it and it seems to work great for leaf mold. And personally, I'd much rather have dilute Clorox on my tomatoes than even the organic stuff.

As to %, between 6 and 7%.

b54red August 8, 2010 01:55 AM

I have been using a dilute solution of Clorox for over 5 years and have found it the most effective treatment for foliage diseases. I have tried most of the commercial fungicides over the years and found that for diseases that are already established none have been very good. The Clorox spray will not help with systemic diseases but I have found it very effective on tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash,onions and roses for most foliar diseases.
I mix 8 ounces of regular strength into one full gallon of water which gives approximately a 6% solution. Make sure to spray late in the day to reduce the chance of leaf burn. Make sure to use a fine spray and get the undersides of the leaves and the stems. I have used a stronger solution of between 7 and 8 percent during those rare times when it rains nearly every day for weeks but this increases the risk of some leaf burn; but I am usually desperate to slow the diseases down during those times.
If you spray this on plants with extensive disease you may be alarmed at the number of leaves that will wither and die within a couple of days; but your healthy growth should show no damage and will actually improve and if the plant doesn't have some kind of systemic disease it will continue to grow and produce. I use daconil as a preventative but eventually the Clorox becomes necessary and I occaisionaly use the daconil a few days after the Clorox spray if there isn't too much rain.

kd3 August 8, 2010 08:08 AM

Thanks so much for this thread! I will try the solution this evening on the tomatoes and a patch of summer squash :-)) kd

strax August 11, 2010 05:09 PM

thank you for the info

b54red August 12, 2010 02:59 AM

I hope it works for you. Let me know of your results.
Remember, if you have fusarium or any other systemic disease it will not work on them.

heirloomdaddy August 24, 2010 11:49 PM

I just did my first application of 6% bleach. I'm anxious to see the results.

So far, Serenade, my starting point, did very little to curb powdery mildew. I moved up to Daconil, a major improvement, but as mentioned does very little to kill the fungus which is already present. It has, however, allowed the plants unaffected new growth.

I am certain that my lawn sprinkler watering of my garden has been 99% to blame, and will be installing a drip system before the season is up. I am certain that with my new chemical arsenal, mulch, and drip irrigation, next season should be much much better.

heirloomdaddy August 24, 2010 11:50 PM


B54red- thanks!!

Stepheninky August 25, 2010 01:34 AM

I also used bleach yesterday due to having seen post by B54red, what I have done is I pretty much heartlessly and relentlessly pruned the effected lower stems. Then applied the bleach treatment, then this morning I applied Neem to what is left and so far they are looking ok with no yellowing or anything so with luck they will pull through. I did that to 3 of the 5 effected plants to see how it goes and if it helps then will repeat on the last 2. I did spray the last two as above just did not heartlessly and relentlessly prune them LOL

amideutch August 25, 2010 02:48 AM

Would be interested in hearing from other folks that have used Reds regimen and results. Ami

b54red August 25, 2010 03:55 AM

Ami, if you have a plant that is afflicted with a foliage disease that you are having difficulty controlling why not just mix up a small batch and spray one or two plants as a test. Put 2 oz in a quart of water with a drop of soap and use a fine misting spray being sure to get the undersides of the leaves as well as the tops.

I started out by testing it on the worst diseased plants that were near death and some managed to survive when I got the mix right. Then I started using it on more and more plants of all kinds when foliage diseases started getting bad. It is not a perfect solution but it is the most effective one I have found once the diseases take hold of a plant.

I haven't sprayed in over 3 weeks and just went out and saw early blight has taken hold in the rainy weather we've been having with heat index over 100 every day for a month. My bell peppers need spraying too because they are getting that stuff where spots form on the fruit. I haven't been spraying them this year and now I'm regretting it. I had to throw away dozens of peppers today.

amideutch August 25, 2010 12:43 PM

red, I believe you. The more info and results we get from other folks using bleach the better. Especially the type of plant and variety so we can get a data base together. Ami

b54red August 26, 2010 01:16 AM

Ami, below is a list of plants I have used it on with varying success.

Tomatoes: most foliage diseases; but doesn't help with fusarium or bacterial wilt.

Peppers: helps with foliage and fruit diseases but not systemic diseases

Cucumbers, Melons and Squash: it helps with the various mildews but the affected leaves will usually die and it usually takes at least two treatments.

Onions and Garlic: I've had some success with various onion diseases but not root diseases.

Roses: helps a lot with those leaf spots

These are the things I have used it on in the last few years. It just seems to help with many kinds of fungus, bacteria, or mold but does little if anything for systemic diseases like fusarium or TSWV. Two of the best things about it is the cost and no waiting time til harvest. I don't use it indiscriminately but rather when the diseases are starting to cause problems. It might be better if I used it sooner and more often.

korney19 August 26, 2010 06:35 PM

Love to see before & after pics!

heirloomdaddy August 26, 2010 07:12 PM

2 days after my first bleach spray-

I should have taken before and after pics. What I am seeing is expedited death of infected foliage, and healthier new growth. I am going to be alternating bleach and daconil, which by itself was helpful but not a solution.

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