Q: I have heard that a weak bleach solution is a good pest control to apply to soil during the winter. I grow red currant tomatoes which reseed each year. Will applying bleach have an adverse affect on the reappearance of my tomatoes?
A: Bleach does not control soil pests. In the first place, bleach is very reactive. It breaks down every bit of organic matter it touches, causing your soil to be hard. In the same vein, it would take a lot of bleach to kill anything past the upper couple of inches of the soil. Further, bleach changes into salt as it attacks organic matter. I’m sure you know how damaging salt is to plant roots. That said, applying a weak bleach solution probably won’t harm your tomatoes… and it won’t affect soil pests either.
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