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Help growing my Basil please!

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I have a nice herb garden going, but for the past two summers I have had a really hard time growing basil. Anyone have some advice? I currently have mint, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary all growing with no problems. The basil just seems to get eaten by something and never floureshes like the other plants. I live in San Diego, the temps haven't been that hot yet.
Any advice would be appreciated! I love basil!

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  1. Is it animals or bugs? What kind of bugs, do you know? (Slugs or something else?)

    1 Reply
    1. re: S_K

      I think it's bugs. I don't have a very good green thumb! I don't see them, but assume they are out at night.

    2. Either buy a good sized plant or put aluminum foil around the base like a little collar. It sounds like slugs. Mine always get chewed a little until the plant gets bigger.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sue in Mt P

        The small plants don't seem to be working. I will try the foil tonight. Thanks!

        1. re: master815k

          You can do this: http://www.ehow.com/how_5054295_make-...

          Also, my mother sprinkles crushed egg shells in her garden because the slugs don't like the feel of egg shell on their bodies and I think some of the small neighbourhood animals don't like it too (cats). It also adds some nutrients back into the soil.

          She has also occasionally sprayed diluted dishwashing soap on her plants but not sure how well that one works.

      2. full sun, really full sun, all day...Basil likes warm temps and warm soil (the varieties I get in the northeast, anyway). I've been planting my basil in containers the past coupla seasons, and get better looking plants earlier in the season than in raised beds. I use a little strip of newspaper to protect the young stems from critters, similar to the foil idea

        1. I live in Oceanside and always have really good luck with basil. It might be snails or slugs which are hard to find during the day. Something someone suggested on another post is a little beer bath (which fits right in with the San Diego lifestyle...lol). It works pretty good to catch those suckers! Put some vegetable oil and beer in a shallow bowl and leave it by your basil plant. In the morning, if there are floaters then that might be your culprit. Also, make sure you are picking at the plant. The more you use your basil, the better it seems to grow. Good luck!

          1. It could be birds. I have to cage my basil, or the birds simply chew it up.