Why do some people smell like powdery mildew

Prevent and control powdery mildew on wine

Powdery mildew can cause considerable damage to wine - if it is not recognized and combated in good time. Traditional grape varieties in particular are susceptible to disease. When replanting in the garden, it is therefore advisable to choose resistant and robust grape varieties from the outset, such as ‘Nero’, Regent ’or‘ Fanny ’. Robust new breeds are also known as "PiWi varieties" (fungus-resistant varieties). These include, for example, "Concord" (red grapes), "Delaware" (light red grapes), "Isabella" (blue grapes) or "Elvira" (white grapes).

Fighting powdery mildew in wine: the most important things at a glance

• Choose resistant and robust grape varieties.
• Provide an airy location and cut foliage in good time.
• Destroy infected parts of plants and carry out spray treatments. Effective biological sprays are preparations based on sulfur.
• Home remedies such as milk or baking powder also help against powdery mildew.

Identify powdery mildew and downy mildew

Downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola), which occurs particularly frequently on grapevines, loves moisture and is favored by cold and wet weather. You can recognize the fungal disease by the yellowish, translucent oil stains that appear on the upper side of the leaves from around June. Over time, white mold develops on the underside of the leaves. In the event of severe infestation, the leaves are thrown off prematurely and the infested grapes usually dry out completely. The mushroom overwinters in the fall foliage and the leathery berries.

Powdery mildew (Uncinula necator) is a fair weather fungus and spreads especially in dry and warm weather. A flour-like coating often forms on both the upper and lower sides of the leaves as early as May, which turns brown over time. If the infestation is severe, the grapes are also affected: the fruits turn floury-gray all around and burst open so that the seeds can be seen. The mushroom overwinters in the buds.

How can you prevent powdery mildew on wine?

Regular pruning measures on the grapevines are a crucial point in preventing powdery mildew. Both powdery mildew and downy mildew are favored by a dense growth. An airy location and timely foliage cut reduce the risk of infestation. Regularly remove stinging shoots and excessively lush foliage in the grape zone. This is particularly important with regard to downy mildew: With an airy plant structure, the leaves, shoots and berries can dry out more quickly, even in wet summers.

How can you combat powdery mildew in wine?

In the case of plants showing the first signs of downy mildew, you should immediately pick off the leaves with the yellowish spots and destroy them before the white fungus coating can form. Since the fungus overwinters on the shed leaves, you should also sweep up and destroy fall foliage before winter. In the case of a weak powdery mildew infestation, it is also advisable to cut away the infested leaves immediately.

As soon as the first symptoms of powdery mildew become visible, you should also apply spray treatments. If your grapevines are repeatedly severely infested, you can also apply preventive spraying. In the case of powdery mildew, this is recommended immediately after budding, and in the case of downy mildew, shortly after flowering.

Those who do not want to use the classic fungicides or fungicides approved in the home garden can also fall back on environmentally friendly agents. Sulfur preparations, for example, which are also used in organic farming, have proven to be effective. They are best applied using a pressure sprayer. Spray the infected parts of the plant or parts of the plant to be protected until they are completely moistened.

Do you have powdery mildew in your garden? We will show you which simple home remedy you can use to get the problem under control.
Credit: MSG / Camera + Editing: Marc Wilhelm / Sound: Annika Gnädig

To combat powdery mildew, home remedies such as milk or baking powder have also proven effective. For example, it is helpful to mix raw or whole milk and water in a ratio of 1: 6 and spray it on the critical parts of the plant once or twice a week. On the one hand, the ingredients in the milk create an unfavorable environment for the fungus and, on the other hand, they have a positive effect on the defenses of the grapevines. Another helpful mixture is a packet of baking powder, about 20 milliliters of rapeseed oil and two liters of water.