protecting plants from deck cleaning

Hi all,
My very DH is preparing to seal our deck. We will need to clean the deck before applying the sealant. We plan to clean the deck with bleach. My plan is to
water the plants surrounding the deck cover the plants w/ a clear plastic tarp, clean the deck with bleach, seal the deck, remove the tarp and re-water the plants to dilute any bleach which may have seeped into the soil or found its way to the plants.
Has anyone cleaned a deck before with plants nearby? Will the steps listed above suffice to protect the plants? Should I use a different cleaner and will that be effective? The deck isn't particularly moldy or dirty, but we want it as clean as possible b/f sealing.
Thanks in advance! Heidi
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A few years ago, before I got plant savvy, I tied to kill ant nests in my lawn with blaech. Killed the grass better than the ants! Try renting a pressure washer. It will do less damage.
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Jayel
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Heidi wrote:

Plain water will clean it just as well as bleach. If the deck has never been sealed before, the effect of using bleach on it will lighten the color more than clean it. If you have some moldy spots, and you're planning on using bleach because of that, I'd suggest changing the conditions that lead to the mold growing instead.

Unless you can accomplish this in a very short period of time on a cool, cloudy day, you may cook the plants.

A power washer with plain water would be best. If you need to loosen ground in dirt, trisodium-phosphate (TSP) is the usual cleaner of choice, not bleach. (Make sure you read the directions first. Really.)
--
Warren H.

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Not very good idea to use bleach on a wooden deck. Some of the deck cleaners on the market now are very "plant friendly". Just wet down the foliage before cleaning the deck and then spray the foliage again once finished. We've never lost a plant yet, and the deck looks great. Here is a good online resource which you might find helpful...
http://masterhandyman.com/booksmenu.hbs?book Þck
BT

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