aletheia7
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Some problems with my basil

Hello!

I am a real newbie in gardening! I just planted my first basil plants a couple of weeks ago and they seem to be growing just fine, and they smell delicious!
I have them in a pot in my balcony. They get plenty of sun, and the weather here is quite dry (now in spring it rains like once or twice every couple of weeks), and it's getting pretty hot (we had 25ºC, 77ºF yesterday).

The thing is, I've noticed some leaves have white-ish spots on them... I really have no idea what they are, and I've been taking out the affected leaves (I did this out of intuition, I really don't know whether it's a good idea or not...).
Here's a picture of what they look like:

Image
(click for bigger image :mrgreen: )

And also, I've noticed some winged small dark bugs flying around my plants. I have no clue what they are or whether they're harmful for my basil... I managed to take a picture of one:

Image


Does anyone know if these two things are related? Should I be worried? I don't want to use pesticides because I intend to use the basil for cooking... Any alternatives??

Thanks a lot!! :D :D


aletheia7

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hendi_alex
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Some gardeners just look at things way too closely. Your basil is quite lovely, even the one with the microscopic damage. I don't mind sharing a bit with the bugs, and don't worry too much unless the problem is causing the plant to decline, or the damage is to the extent that it reduces the harvest that we are counting on. I wouldn't worry about it at this point. Just keep an eye on the plant, and take action early if any significant damage starts to take place.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

aletheia7
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Re: Some problems with my basil

I guess I'm overreacting :>

Thank you! :mrgreen:

brinboise
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Re: Some problems with my basil

That's pretty funny....if my basil didn't have some spots like that I would be worried :()
Take a deep breath, chill out, enjoy your great looking basil. btw, I don't know anything about the winged creature in the picture, maybe just a migrant fly looking for a place to rest a bit.

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applestar
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Re: Some problems with my basil

It looks like a predatory fly to me. It's probably after whatever is making those spots (looks like a sucking pest damage). IMHO, you are right not to spray your herbs indiscriminately.

Just take care of the plants to alleviate any stress, don't over feed them to prevent weakling growth, remove any leaves that you don't want to eat.

I have/had an infestation of what I call Tomato aphids (they are usually red) on my tomato seedlings started inside. They are getting overgrown and stressed, making them susceptible to pest infestation. Now that the have been outside, I'm finding aphid mummies on them, so I know my Garden Patrol is already taking care of the problem. :() I'm relying on them to keep the seedlings protected until I can get them in the ground and back to healthy growth. 8)
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Cola82
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Aphid mummies are the best. In my quest to squish all the aphids, I always feel good when I a few that have already been taken care of.

I also feed some of them to my spider buddies, but I guess you don't want those inside.

aletheia7
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Thanks to all of you for your replies!

My basil is growing nicely, but recently I've found this on some leaves:

Image

Looks like some bug is eating them from the inside, you can actually see the little bugs on the leaves...

Now, should I be worried about this? :oops:

Thanks again!

JoParrott
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Re: Some problems with my basil

The last photo is leaf miners- the fly you saw was the leaf miner fly, and it laid eggs which hatched to larvae-they are living within the leaf layers and burrowing- nothing can be done to save those leaves. Pick them off- the control has to be to keep the fly away-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Yup, the squiggles in the leaves are the tunnels leaf miner larvae make, eating their way around the inner leaf layers. Just pick and dispose of any affected leaves. If you don't get rid of them, the larvae will eventually come out, drop to the ground, become adult flies. So it helps to keep the ground mulched, which helps disrupt that process. There is a wildflower called velvetleaf which works great as a trap crop for them. The velvtleaf as its name suggest, has big soft leaves the miners prefer over anything else.
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applestar
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Ah, that's too bad. But as mentioned, pick off the leaves (if the plant is thriving with lots of leaves), cut off the doodles with scissors or crush the larvae at the end of the doodles to kill them. The more diligent you are at this stage when they first appear to prevent the next generation, the better off you'll be.

I'm also using hole punch to punch out the larvae from the leaves on larger plants. 8)
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hendi_alex
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Guess I'll count myself as lucky. Don't remember having many pests to bother our basil. Flea beetles do a little damage, but seem to prefer other items like our egg plant. The slugs will take a nibble, but they as well seem to prefer other more tender, less pungent leaves, like Swiss Chard, lettuce, and beans.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Yeah, my basil never gets bothered by anything, but the pests have a whole garden of other stuff to choose from. A couple basil plants on a balcony may be the only handy choice for the leaf miners.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

aletheia7
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Re: Some problems with my basil

Thanks to all of you!

I did as you suggested and removed the leaves with the miners, let's hope I didn't miss any of them!

But, just in case, is there any product that I could use if I happen to see the flies again? (keep in mind that I do intend to use them for cooking...)

Thanks again!! :D :D

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