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basil--what is destroying it?

 
Risa Sibbitt
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Hi there,
SO i noticed my basil has a dark grey lining on it in spots, on multiple plants in different pots, destroying the basil. Does anyone know if it's a fungus, insect, or frost that caused this? I didn't see any insects, (although I know the holes are from insects), and the weather has changed recently. I just wonder which direction I should tackle this. Thanks.
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wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Hi Risa ! This could be a fungus like colletrichum . Caused by excessive watering sometimes . Best defense against this dreaded scourge-besides less water- is to pluck the afflicted leaves at the first sign of infection . Then you grind the leaves in a food mill with olive oil , garlic , pinon nuts , and parmesan .Place into a bowl of freshly cooked , still warm liguini and dispose of by sharing with freinds . Welcome to permies !
 
Risa Sibbitt
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Hey Wayne,

That makes perfect sense because we have had heavy rains lately. Aside from the delicious pasta I made tonight, do I need to pluck all the leaves that are slightly tainted... will it spread, or will drying it out save the untouched leaves? thanks!
Risa
 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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I am positive that if the conditions change the problem will too . This type of fungus can can loss of foilage but I believe will stop with more dryness. Do you water ? If you have to don't water from above. Just at the base and slowly . It should help. { If feel like that radio garden guy on NPR Saturday Mornings }
 
C. Kirkley
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Most fungus problems associated with wet and/or humid weather can be partially dealt with with an epson salts (magnesium sulfate) spray. Like Wayne said, the best solution would be that your weather change a bit and that you not water the foliage.

I'm not sure if you're into the espon salts spray thing. It's a more natural alternative to other store bought chemicals. If that's ok with you, just dissolve 2tbsp epson salts in 1 gal of warm water. Get the tops and the bottoms of the leaves and don't apply more than once a week. When the weather breaks, you can stop using it.

Like Wayne also said, those leaves are still edible and tasty and his non-spray solution is valid.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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