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Need help, something is eating my Basil

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Need help, something is eating my Basil

Post  GloriaG on 5/3/2010, 4:45 pm

Since this is my first year gardening, I'm not familiar with all the "critters" that are also going to want the proceeds from my garden.

My basil has small holes in the leaves and very tiny black "dots" in the curled under parts. I'm not sure if there's some webbing also, it's really hard to see. I've attached a photo. Can anyone tell me what I can use to get rid of this? I really prefer something organic if possible.

Thanks
Gloria


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Try chopsticks and a flashlight

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/3/2010, 4:54 pm

In my basil that always means slugs (the little black spots are poop)

Go out at night with a flashlight, chopsticks and a can of salt or soapy water (some like beer but beer is for attracting them to the malt scent). At night they stretch out across the top of the plant where they are easy to see.

In the Pacific North West section, in the What’s new for May (or whatever it is called over there......this is dumb, I named it and cannot remember what it is called) there is a link to a blog called "Muck About" and an experiment with coffee grounds for repelling slugs that is useful for pet owners and anyone else who wants to stay organic.

All the best......and if it isn't sluggo, I hope you find the pesto eating villain soon.

Deborah ….who has gotten very good with chopsticks because of slugs
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Re: Need help, something is eating my Basil

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/3/2010, 5:00 pm

Just to add a note to Deb's message, when I think of slugs, I think of the inch to 2 inch long nasty critters found in wet places. The slugs I find on my lettuce in humid weather are tiny - about 1/2 long if that. I'm absolutely no good with chopsticks -- I'd starve if I had to feed myself with them -- so I don latex gloves and go after them. Or if there's not very many, just sprinkle the salt right on the plant where they are snacking. Doesn't seem to hurt my lettuce.

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Re: Need help, something is eating my Basil

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/3/2010, 5:00 pm

Just to add a note to Deb's message, when I think of slugs, I think of the inch to 2 inch long nasty critters found in wet places. The slugs I find on my lettuce in humid weather are tiny - about 1/2 long if that. I'm absolutely no good with chopsticks -- I'd starve if I had to feed myself with them -- so I don latex gloves and go after them. Or if there's not very many, just sprinkle the salt right on the plant where they are snacking. Doesn't seem to hurt my lettuce.

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Chopsticks

Post  GloriaG on 5/3/2010, 5:05 pm

Thanks Deborah,

I'll try that tonight.

GloriaG

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Re: Need help, something is eating my Basil

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/3/2010, 7:52 pm

I went out the other day and saw the same thing, same little black poops, I said where are you hiding mr wormy. I sprayed with an insecticidal soap I make with Dr. Bronner's castille soap. (I use this soap for everything) When I sat down to just look at the garden I could finally see the tiny caterpillar. I was able to remove him and then rinsed off my leaves. I try not to use a lot of soap in the 32 oz spray bottle, less than a tablespoon I think. I used this method last year and it worked for my basils.
Ha-v-v
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Dr. Bronner's Soap

Post  GloriaG on 5/3/2010, 8:14 pm

Hi Ha-v-v,

Thanks for the information on the soap. Where do you get it?
How often do you spray and is it good on all types of veggies and herbs?
Since it rained tonight, I'll wait till tomorrow to see if I can find the little guy.
Thanks again, Gloria

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slugs or snails

Post  Saartje on 5/4/2010, 8:40 am

I've noticed that slugs and snails love basil, so I keep mine in a pot, which I put in a large tray which is always filled to the brim with water, to keep them away. In the garden, you can try putting saw dust around your plants (works when the weather is dry), or wet coffee ground, or a ring of copper tubing, or sharp sand. Or you can try to catch them using beer in a cup which you dig into the soil until the brim is level with the soil. I've heard, but never tried, that you can also lure them by putting a spooned out half grapefruit in your patch overnight, apparently they love grapefruit and all crawl in there, so they're easy to catch in the morning.

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Re: Need help, something is eating my Basil

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/4/2010, 9:11 am

I found a link to make insecticidal soap and it offers a recipe for regular dish washing liquid as well, so dollar stuff would do it. Link here - http://www.essortment.com/home/homemadeinsecti_sylg.htm .I chose to use Dr. Bronner's for many reasons. I have sons that regular soap just has too many things that make their hands break out. I put it in a foaming soap dispenser for them. 1/2 an inch on the bottom of the dispenser, fill the rest of the way with water and I have foaming soap. The soap lasts longer in the foam form. For the insecticidal soap I use a tablespoon to a 32 oz spray bottle. I just get weirded out about a higher concentration, so I spray it on my hand before spraying the plants to feel how slick it is. I keep a jar of soap in my shed in the garden and a spray bottle filled at all times. I buy Dr. Bronner's here in Mississippi a GNC in the mall. I used to buy it at the local health food stores when I was living in a larger populated area. They come in different scents I love the lavender myself Smile Then again the citrus scent is really refreshing Smile I like oranges so its one I buy all the time as well.

And those little stinkers hide some where shady during the day and eat at night.
I have a book I bought last year by Jerry Baker with natural remedies. Jerry;s remedies are things you make from things you have in your home already. I learned about insecticidal soap on the net though.

Have fun !!
Ha-v-v
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Insecticidal soap link

Post  GloriaG on 5/4/2010, 12:28 pm

Thanks Ha-v-v,

I appreciate the link and will get some of the soap to use. It rained here last night so I didn't get to go out and search for the little guys, but if it stays clear today, I'll do that tonight.

I'll also put some coffee grounds around the plant as Saartje suggests. Thanks for that info. Next year, I WILL keep the basil in a pot.

Thanks again,
Gloria

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