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JohnT

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A general question to all of you out there...

I am having a big problem with my basil.

Without warning, last year's crop suddenly withered and died. I can not explain it other than seemingly overnight the leaves turned yellow and dropped off.

It looks like it has happened again this year. I have a couple of pictures of what the leaves look like. Note that part of each leaf is totally dead, while the other half of each leaf is still alive.

It is is very unusual. One day, the plant is green and extremely lush, then three days later most of the leaves are dead and I am left with only a stem.

This hurts. I use basil for just about anything. Salads, sauces, and even scrambled eggs!

See pic below. Just five days prior, this looked lush and green! In the days since this picture was taken, all I am left with now is a bunch of ugly stems.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

IMG_20170806_135238993[1].jpg
 

grapeman

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I believe it is Downy Mildew. Look at the underside of the leaves if you can find them. There will be many spore bodies on the underside. It is a fairly new disease to basil although it has affected many vegetables for many years. Do a search on it and you may find a treatment for it but I don't have a lot of experience with it.
 

JohnT

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OK, thanks grapeman..

Here are a couple of other photos. Not how the leaves are part alive and also part dead....

You can see the backside of the leaves in the first one.

The second photo should be entitled "Utter Heartache".

IMG_20170806_135250777.jpg

IMG_20170806_135747638.jpg
 

Stressbaby

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Basil also notorious for getting fusarium wilt, though you have less "wilt" there than I would expect with that disorder.

Edit: agree with Downy Mildew
 
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ceeaton

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Have you guys had an above average wet Summer?
Very cooler and very wetter than normal. I haven't seen a brown lawn yet. By now if you don't water, which many don't anymore, most lawns around here would be a beautiful straw color, except for the crabgrass.

I've had a tough time with my tomatoes, figured it was either a blight or one of the many wilts.

@JohnT , do you start with new soil every year and more importantly, soak those pots in a light bleach solution? If you don't that is where it may come from. I didn't clean up/bleach my big tomato pots in the driveway and I think that is where it might have come from for me. Always a few spores around, but the wet environment is very favorable for it's development, especially if water splashes up from the soil level onto the stalks and lower leaves.
 
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ceeaton

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Here's a couple of quickie images of my potted tomato plants. 2nd image shows one whole side w/o foliage, so those tomatoes will have sunburnt tops by the time they ripen. Ones in the back yard are much worse, but it's starting to rain and I don't want to melt (since I'm so sweet and likeable)(on second thought, don't want to tempt the Lord into striking me down with a bolt of lightning).

8-11-17_tomato-1.JPG

8-11-17_tomato-2.JPG
 

pgentile

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Just a few miles south in Philadelphia we have had the same weather. Luckily I haven't had any issues similar to yours. I've been growing basil 20+ years or so. Addicted to pestos all summer. Usually get enough basil each week to make a batch of pesto until it gets cold late fall. A while back I figured out I get a better yield if I overcrowd the plants in a larger pot. Keep harvesting the new growth each week. The only issue I ever had with this approach was a white fly infestation about 15 or so years ago.

basil.jpg
 

pgentile

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Also I recommend never let it go to flower. Pinch flowers or harvest so they don't form. Might be getting the mildew on leaves due to once the plant goes to flower it focuses energy and resources to produce seeds.
 

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