Something is eating my Basil

cavs4usJune 24, 2005


I'm new to herbs. This is my fist year growing them and I love it. We live in SW Michigan and I have some Basil that is doing great, but something is eating on the leaves. It has small holes in some of the leaves. What should I do to get rid of the problem?

Also, should I use a fertlizer for my herbs or not. So far I have not. If so, what do you recommend.



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habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

Cucumber beetles eat holes in basil leaves, according to a wholesale herb grower whose talk I attended yesterday. There are no good organic remedies. They've left enough for me.

The highest quality herbs are grown in lean soils -- no fertilizer, not a lot of water. Too much of either, and they'll die. A little too much, and the herb flavors will not be as strong.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 2:24PM
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christiemoreen(z8 Seattle)

The only herbs I fertilize are basil and parsley, and I use a half-strength fish emulsion solution. Be careful not to under-water your basil though--it turns bitter and very strong-flavored when drought stressed, and never again produces tender sweet leaves!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 1:47PM
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I have had Japanese Beetles on mine recently. Not many, but they can do some serious damage quickly.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:43AM
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Lisa_loves_dirt(z5b OH)

HI Jeanie - I'm goig to guess Japanese Beetles also. They just emerged here in Ohio last week and I lost two basil plants before I knew what was going on. Luckily I still have lots more. They are most active mid-day. They have a metallic green appearance.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 12:25PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

Earwig nymphs were having a hayday on mine....


    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 3:26PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Holes in leaves would more likely be:
- Slugs
- Snails
- Grasshoppers
In 5 years of growing basil commercially I have never experienced flea beetles in my basil.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 7:38PM
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