Curled basil leaves

iliketoastJanuary 3, 2008

I have some basil growing in a dutch bucket (also called a drip system I think), and the leaves are curling down. .

I've heard that this is evidence of over-concentrated nutrients. Even though the other vegetables in the bucket (1 broccoli, 1 lettuce) are not exhibiting the same leaf curling, I cut the fertilizer down by 50%. 1 week later, the curling is slightly worse!

Does anyone know what could be causing this? Or is this just the way basil is supposed to look?

Possibly useful information:

-I pinched off the tip of the plant so it would bush out. I believe I noticed the curling starting before I pinched, but am not positive.

-The plant was originally under a 400W HPS light, but was growing tall and skinny. So when it was about 3 wks old, I switched to a 400W MH bulb. Everything under the light approved of the switch. Still a bit leggy though.

-The plant is 7 weeks old. For the first 6 weeks, the nutrient solution was dribbling over the rocks 24 hrs a day, since I didn't have a spare timer (doh!). It now runs 1hr on, 1hr off, and off for the 8 hrs the light is off. This rate is only a guess based upon what I read somewhere about watering tomatoes in a dutch bucket. I'm open to better guesses though!

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One more side note that may be important. The relative humidity is usually around 40%, despite my repeated spraying of water on the plants and just spraying it into the air as well. Is lack of humidity a possible cause of leaves curling? If so, any idea on how to raise the humidity cheaply? Just putting a bucket of water in the room didn't help :(.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:03AM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

I would've sworn that this is overconcentrated nutrient as well, but since you've diluted it down and it doesn't work . . . . can't figure it out.
Sure the roots are OK? Just guessing.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 10:25AM
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I don't know how to check the roots. I just looked at the roots coming out of the bottom of the top bucket (thanks for the idea. That was COOOOOOL!) and they appear to be fine. But I've no way of knowing if they are roots of lettuce, broccoli or the problem basil.

I guess it's possible that I was MASSIVELY overfeeding it... As a test, if I were to replace the nutrient solution with plain water for a week, would that kill the plants? If not, I'll try it tomorrow.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:28PM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Maybe you should've asked father Xmas for a µS-meter.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 1:07AM
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