Help with container herbs...

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Help with container herbs...

Postby Barb Freda » Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:02 am

I figure here is as good a place to ask as any-- many of you grow your own herbs.

so I have a black thumb. I figure I OUGHT to be able to grow basil in a container, but this is the second time the following has happened...I plan a couple of nice basil plants into my patio container...two and a half weeks in, the stems of the basil are brownish/blackish at the base, where they meet the soil...

Am I over watering? Thoughts?

Thanks.

Barb
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Re: Help with container herbs...

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:28 am

Overwatering is my first thought. Are you using garden soil or packaged potting soil in your container?
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Re: Help with container herbs...

Postby Barb Freda » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:22 am

I'm using packaged potting compound.

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Re: Help with container herbs...

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:38 am

The reason I asked is your basil might be suffering from "damping-off," considering the problem is right at the soil line. In addition to turning black, is the stem also withering at soil line?

Damping-off is a soil-borne fungus, to which overwatering contributes. Make sure your soil is sterile, make sure your container has drainage, and don't overwater.

Let us know how it turns out.
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Re: Help with container herbs...

Postby Barb Freda » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:00 pm

Yes, it's def. withering at the soil line...I potted this into some of the same soil that had the same problem back in the spring--then it dried out to dust...I probably removed about half the soil to add these new plants with their pot soil to the container...

grr. It looked great for a full week, too...gorgeous.

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Re: Help with container herbs...

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:39 pm

I'd be prone to start over with 100% new potting soil. You admit that the old soil had the same problem, so it could be harboring the fungus. Easy on the watering though.
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Re: Help with container herbs...

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:55 pm

One quick fix that worked in the past for us (by luck?) is to re-pot adding more soil above the fungus line. This worked for us before, so might do the trick here. Also consider the old favourite of standing the pot in a little water, allowing the plant to take what it needs and encourage root growth.

Ours was grown from seed this year and thankfully haven't encountered the problem. Both purple and sweet (Genovese) basil doing fine, which is a surprise for the purple basil as it's very delicate. Hoping to match the Basil with home-grown tomatoes for a home-made bruschetta (might even bake some bread for this as well!)

regards

Ian
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