By Sean Westerveld and Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA
Over the last few weeks we have had a number of questions about “mildew”. Mildew can refer to either downy or powdery mildew, and it seems that some growers have been confusing the two. While both cause fuzzy growth on plant leaves, that is where the similarities end. Downy and powdery mildew are actually very different diseases with different management strategies, and mistaking the two can be costly.
Downy and powdery mildew are common to a wide variety of fruit, vegetable and even some field crops. They tend to be relatively specific, attacking only one or a few closely related crops. So, for example, the downy mildew of basil will not affect cucurbits, and vice versa. Some crops are affected by both a powdery mildew and a downy mildew disease (e.g. hops and cucurbits).
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