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somegeek
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Location: Vancouver, WA - zone 8a/b

What's eating my basil?

Some critters are enjoying my basil...

[img]https://somegeek.home.comcast.net/somegeek_basil_1.jpg[/img]

[img]https://somegeek.home.comcast.net/somegeek_basil_2.jpg[/img]

If I use a bar soap solution on these plants, will the flavor be compromised? What's the preferred solution to get rid of bugs off plant leaves which you will consume?

Appreciate any input. :)

somegeek

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Kisal
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In my experience, damage to the center of the leaf, as opposed to the leaf edges, usually indicates slugs or snails. That's probably because they're so common around my area.

Before I considered any other treatment, I would go out with a flashlight periodically during the night and examine the plants, to see if I could find the critters. I'd just hand pick and destroy any that I found.

The Helpful Gardener
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I suspect that's a good call...diagnoses AND treatment...

I use a few things to keep off bugs. I use spinosad to keep off catepillars that turn into moths and butterflies, I use soap for most soft bodied stuff and pyrethrin for a direct kill (just hit the potatoes for flea beetles with it this morning, hundreds of casualties). I use neem oil as protection for a number of things but it does impart a strong scent, so if you are harvesting soon you might want to try something else. Compost teas, fish hydrolysate and milk work as my fungicides, with baking soda for tougher issues, but fungus is rarely an issue if you are tidy in the organic garden.

HG
Scott Reil

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!potatoes!
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yup, looks like slugs.

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somegeek
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Location: Vancouver, WA - zone 8a/b

Thanks for the replies. Will look to put some beer traps out. Also put together a quart of water with...

2tbsp pure castile soap
2tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic

Found this recipe suggested by someone. Dig on a natural repellent. Should help keep some bugs from munching, eh?

somegeek

The Helpful Gardener
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There are a few plant essential oils that do well as preventitive, and garlic is one. Mint is good too... there is a pesticide called EcoExempt that uses both and works on a number of insects...

I tested tea tree oil the other day and it kills plants; very high in VOC's I think... still as a safer plant killer it may have benefit... trials continue...

HG
Scott Reil

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rainbowgardener
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organic insect repellant

my "recipe" for organic insect repellant is onion, garlic, red pepper, black pepper and any thing aromatic and strong smelling you have around (eg. mint and other herbs), tomato leaves, tansy and mums are good if you have them. Blend it up in water, with some salad oil to help it stick to the leaves and just a couple drops of non-detergent soap. Let it sit for awhile, then strain and spray.

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