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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is my basil turning into swiss cheese?

Last year, my potted basil died a long slow death due to "mystery fly things." Since then, I learned that those flies were most likely fungus gnats. I tried all kinds of organic repellents like cayenne and soapy water, but these flies seemed impervious to everything and kept coming back. I finally gave up on the sickly basil.

This year, my basil has been doing much better with healthy, bushy leaves.


Last week, I harvested about 4 oz of basil and made tasty pesto that promptly got turned into neat little frozen cubes for future consumption.



I thought everything was going really well, and looked forward to the basil plants growing back bushier. But today, I discovered some leaves that were turning "holey" like swiss cheese. I didn't see any bugs around my basil plants, so I'm at a loss as to what is doing this to my basil. Is it some kind of bugs? Or could birds be doing this damage?

9 comments:

Seana said...

That basil looks great! ;)
And that pesto looks soooo good! Good idea with the ice cube thing haha :)
I'm not sure about the whole-y leaves though =/ Looks like some kind of bug to me...

thyme2garden said...

I love making pesto with homegrown basil, almost as much as I love eating it!

Annie's Granny said...

It looks like slugs. At night time, sink a little bowl of beer in the garden near the basil and see if you get some slugs to drown.

Keep pinching your basil so it gets fuller and doesn't bolt to seed. Unless you want it to flower that is, the bees love it.

thyme2garden said...

Granny, the basil is in a 16"-ish pot, sitting at the end of the concrete patio. If it's slugs, are they trapped and living in my pot? I'm afraid there's no room in the pot for the beer method.

Annie's Granny said...

They could be, I guess. I think they can find their way into everything! We've had a really wet spring, with slug damage everywhere. If you could be sure it was slugs, you could sprinkle on some Sluggo.

thyme2garden said...

Seana and Granny, I figured out what was eating holes in my basil leaves by spotting them with my own eyes this weekend. Japanese beetles! Yikes.

Annie's Granny said...

Well, at least you know! Now you can get yourself a cup of soapy water and hand pick those critters ;-)

mangocheeks said...

Wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing.

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