what's eating my basil? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-07-2007, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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i'm not the most garden savvy, but i love playing in the dirt. does anyone know what would eat up my basil leaves, leaving only the large vein in the middle? i have other plants very near it (tomatoes, peppers, chives, sage, sorrel, etc.) and none of them are getting devoured like the basil. what's going on in my garden and what can i do to fix it?!? tia!!!
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#2 of 4 Old 06-07-2007, 11:47 AM
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It could be any number of things...but sounds like caterpillars. Maybe slugs...

You can make an insecticidal soap out of household soap and water (a few drops of soap in a spray bottle of water) and it won't have ill effects on plant/earth. If you suspect slugs, fill a pie pan with beer at dusk and see what you find floating in morning. Slugs love beer, but it kills them dead...place it near the base of your plants and they'll get distracted & drown.

I would only recommend the soap be sprayed directyl on bugs if you see them, it won't work otherwise...the soap kinda plugs up their breathing passages and kills them that way.

Good luck!
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#3 of 4 Old 06-07-2007, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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is there anything natural that i can put on the plant to deter whatever is eating the basil (like the soap water)? i haven't seen any bugs, so i don't have a chance to spray them directly.
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#4 of 4 Old 06-07-2007, 03:50 PM
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well, i'm currently trying coffee grounds all around the base of the plant to deter slugs and snails. i've got something completely destroying my basil, too. i've also been pouring old coffee around the edges of the beds right after dark. apparently slugs and snails hate caffeine. i've also been spritzing my zinnias with it and they're doing better. the basil takes so long to heal, it's hard to say whether or not it's working for them.

i've got this great organic pesticide (it's basically a mix of sesame and other oils) that works really well on everything else, but fries the basil no matter how much i dilute it. i really hope the coffee works! otherwise, i'll have to start over with new plants in a planter so i can baby them more.

Rachel. Devoted wife and joyful mama to Beatrice June(2/25/08) and Leona Agnes (8/10/10).
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