Green thumb needed. Why is this happening to my basil?
Anna Cabo
June 15, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I don't have a green thumb at all, but I really want to grow an herb garden. I am a chef and I love cooking with basil, for this reason I wanted to first start my garden by keeping a basil plant alive. This is my second plant but the leaves keep getting holes as if some bug is eating them, which I'm sure it's what's happening. I've found some black things on them that resembles coffee ground. What is it and how can I get rid of them? Please help and thank you
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tcufrog
Take the leaves to a locally owned garden center. They will know the local pests and how best to get rid of them.
2 Likes   June 15, 2013 at 7:09AM
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Anna Cabo
Thank you both for the advice!
1 Like   June 15, 2013 at 7:30AM
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Anna Cabo
Genevieve thanks I checked n no worm, just something tha reassembles coffee ground
0 Likes   June 16, 2013 at 12:09PM
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janaline
Check at Night! You will find...either Slugs, Rolly Polly's or Worm like critters! Good luck! It's happening to me NOW! It's such a Pain! These are my pic from 4days ago as they eat my flowers;( ~Jan
1 Like   June 16, 2013 at 12:22PM
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decoenthusiaste
Have you planted companion plants in your herb garden? Do you have some frogs to help you out? Slugs will drown themselves in a shallow pan of beer! Lady bugs and lacewings can help your pest problem.
2 Likes   June 16, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Anna Cabo
Janaline. Sorry about your plants, ill check at nite. Thanks
1 Like   June 18, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Anna Cabo
Decoenthusiate .. I will try the bear idea and see what happens. I don't have any companion plant. Which one can I plant?
1 Like   June 18, 2013 at 6:26PM
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printesa
It might be slugs or caterpillars (the black stuff can be the caterpillars' droppings). You could try to make what is called Cornell mixture
To 1 gallon of water, mix the following ingredients:
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon horticultural oil
1 or 2 drops dishwashing liquid (something mild)
Make this mixture and spray in the evening when the sun is going away,,you don't want to burn the plant.
2 Likes   June 18, 2013 at 6:59PM
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nwduck
Don't know if this will work for you, but due to old wives or gardeners tales here I plant marigolds in our vegetable/herb garden. Never had a bug problem. Most likely just lucky, but ???
2 Likes   June 18, 2013 at 7:05PM
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PRO
Christina Cavin
Agreed...plant Marigolds...bugs hate those things...so do most small animals that like to nibble on veggies. I also use an organic soap spray but you have to use it alot. If nothing works...get a couple of Praying Mantis'...best pest control ever, even though they are a little on the creepy side!
1 Like   June 18, 2013 at 7:10PM
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printesa
marigolds are good if you have slugs..always plant some next to tomatoes for example
1 Like   June 18, 2013 at 7:15PM
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angryredhead
I have a hard time growing genovese basil as well because the bugs love it and it tends to bolt around here, which is why I grow variegated basil ('Pesto Perpetuo'). The variegated basil is spicier and less sweet, but it doesn't bolt and is RARELY affected by bugs. Depending on how you want to use the basil, the variegated might be the way to go. Also, the variegated makes for a really nice dried herb because it has a lot more flavor than most basils after the drying process.

Outside of that, I'd start regularly spraying (hard mist) the plants (including the undersides of leaves) with water, putting out slug traps, and occasionally spraying with insecticidal soap. If you're up to it, plant some throw-away plants such as echinacea and milkweed that require very little care throughout much of the US (not sure where you are) and attract a lot of bugs that would rather not deal with herbs being protected by a vigilant gardener.
0 Likes   June 18, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Anna Cabo
Printea. Thank you so much, I will try it... Btw caterpillar droppings?eeeewwww I touched those things lol
0 Likes   June 19, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Anna Cabo
Everyone thanks for all the info, I have my homework cut out for me !! Definitely planting some plants around them ad making the spray printesa suggested
0 Likes   June 19, 2013 at 9:17AM
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