Stop Powdery Mildew from Destroying Your Lawn

Learn all about Powdery Mildew Treatment & Prevention

Imagine a lawn that is covered in a powdery mildew fungus. Appalled? You should be. Powdery mildew on your lawn is not a pretty sight. There are some plants that are more prone to powdery mildew infection than others, such as begonias, lilacs, roses and African violets. The amount of damage powdery mildew causes on your lawn depends on the plant(s) infected and the time of year. Some plants can survive this particular disease, whereas others require powdery mildew treatment in order to stay alive. For instance, most vegetables can withstand powdery mildew, but the flavor of some fruits is often affected.

Symptoms of Powdery Mildew

Easy to detect, powdery mildew emerges as dry, powder-like white spots on leaves and stems, many of which can be rubbed off with your fingers. Do not make the same mistake that many homeowners make by assuming the spots are merely dust. Although it first appears as individual spots, powdery mildew eventually blends together into a single body of fungus as it continues to grow. Powdery mildew typically shows up later in the growing season and particularly thrives in high humidity or rainy weather conditions. Powdery mildew can stunt the growth of plants and grasses and, if left untreated, result in death of the foliage it infects.

Powdery Mildew Treatment

Although there are many fungicides available today, not all of them effectively treat powdery mildew; therefore, it's important to read the directions carefully before applying. Fungicide should be applied immediately after you notice the first white spots. If you're unsure of whether or not the fungicide will kill powdery mildew without killing your plants, contact your local lawn and garden store. To prevent powdery mildew from damaging your plants, you can spray them with a baking soda formula once a week (both undersides and surfaces of leaves). When the leaf comes in contact with baking soda, its surface pH becomes incompatible with powdery mildew spores and thus, prevents it from forming altogether. What's more, spraying plants with baking soda is natural and organic.

Baking Soda Spray

1 qt. water 1 tsp. baking soda drops of liquid soap (a few will do)

Powdery Mildew Prevention

1.      If possible, plant shade-tolerant grasses and plant varieties that can resist powdery mildew growth. 2.      The morning is an ideal time to water your plants or grass for various reasons, including the prevention of powdery mildew. This allows them ample time to dry off throughout the day. 3.      Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers. Instead, use slow-release or organic fertilizers. 4.      Try to plant in areas that receive a great deal of sun (unless they do not thrive in areas of full sunlight). 5.      Give plants plenty of room to grow-overcrowding will encourage mildew.
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