Causal Agent: Erysiphe graminis
Kentucky Bluegrass, fine-leaf Fescue, Bentgrass, Ryegrass, and Bermudagrass.
The disease first appears on the leaves as individual tufts of fine, white mycelium.
The tufts enlarge and coalesce, causing the leaves to have a greyish-white or powdery appearance.
Severely infected turf turnsyellow, then tan and brown in colour.
Stressed turf that is severely infected can die. Severely infected turf, especially in shaded areas, can become thinned.
Conditions favouring Disease
Powdery mildew is favoured by humid, cloudy weather with temperatures between 15°C and 22°C.
It occurs in areas under stress, with low light, and with high humidity.
Powdery mildew is also common in areas with poor air circulation, but does not require a film of water to infect turf.
Integrated Turf Management
• Water as needed to avoid drought stress.
• Avoid levels of nitrogen and irrigation that produce lush leaf growth.
• Raise the mower height.
• Prune tree limbs to improve air circulation and the amount of sunlight.
• Convert to a polystand of shade-adapted turfgrass.
Banner, has a label recommendation for Powdery Mildew in South Africa.
Syngenta Turf Disease Guide for South Africa - download it here.