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What am I doing wrong with basil?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I saw Dave Owens speak last weekend and he said basil grows wonderfully in our area, pretty much year-round. Mine has been dying on me whenever I've tried it. I've tried it in containers and now have some in my raised bed. The plants always get wilty and black within a few days to a week of transplanting. I trimmed off all the bad spots and it still looks awful...more is bad each day. I do seem to have this problem with getting my soil wet beneath the surface (in my other thread we've determined it's the high peat content of my mix--30%-- in a very dry area) but I've had this basil problem before I started using peat at all.

What am I missing? And no, I didn't ask Dave. I could have, but I'm incredibly shy in situations like that! I asked my dh to ask and he was too shy too! We're silly!
post #2 of 12
I don't know but I'm interested as I can never keep basil alive outdoors. Not even for the short outdoor growing season here. Indoors isn't too bad since I was advised to always water the saucer and not the plant pot.
post #3 of 12
Are these transplants you started at home or bought or are they from seed?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I purchased them...they are two different brands though. They are so droopy, the stems right before the leaves are just looped down and hanging.
post #5 of 12
Huh. Have you done a soil test? Is it in a sunny location? I've never had the trouble your talking about with basil. It gets pretty hot here too in the summer. Lots of 115 days.
post #6 of 12
Forgot to ask. How are you watering them?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, they're in my raised beds--the ones that have the pre-made Mel's mix and I am having a terrible time keeping it wet even though it's been cool/damp/rainy here. I'm just watering like I water everything LOL shower setting on the hose, being careful not to get the leaves wet.
post #8 of 12
Well, I live in a completely different part of the country, but the only time I had Basil thrive was when I put some plants into a sunny patch I dug right inti the ground by a fence. I did mix some compost and manure into the dirt.
Otherwise, mine too dies within a couple weeks.
post #9 of 12
Sounds like your doing everything right. Hmmm....
post #10 of 12
Saw where you live. The ground might still be a little cool and the night temps might not be warm enough. Maybe if you cover them at night until its up to 60 at night? What are your night temps right now?
post #11 of 12
Genvieve Basil loves the heat. We are zone 8 and I rarely plant our basil before May. Direct sun, heat, & lots of water is what works here.
post #12 of 12
Basil in my yard needs warm soil and a bit of cover from the sun such as shade cloth or something. Rich soil and even watering.

Once you get your peat saturated it will be easier to water but as you have seen it can actually repel water when it has dried out! Mulching with straw or whatever will help that.
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