It was high time I went out in my garden to harvest my basil. Or so I thought. Here's what it looked like a few weeks earlier:
Healthy and doing great. I had already harvested a bit for caprese salad, but now it was time for a large harvest. Or so I thought. The leaves looked a little pale. Upon closer inspection, here's what they looked like:
There were plenty of good leaves, without spots or yellowing, and there were many "good" leaves with what looked like dirt on them. I thought I'd simply wash them off and use them. Then I researched a little on the internet, and discovered to my dismay that my basil plants were infected with basil downy mildew.
Ack. Here is a helpful link about this disease. I decided to hack the plants down, spray them with neem oil (an organic alternative), and see what happened.
You can't imagine--but maybe you can--how sad this was to do in the middle of summer, when I should have had basil for at least two more months. No caprese, no pesto, no home-seasoned spaghetti sauce. This was a sad day in my garden.
I decided a few weeks later to dig them up and trash them. According to the link about, basil downy mildew spores can survive in the soil for several years, so I'll need to be very careful where I plant future basil. I may do it in the front yard garden next year.
When I went to Home Depot to purchase more garden Velcro tape (for my tomato plants which had fallen over yet again), I found one little pot of basil left for $4, so I purchased that and had Danny plant them in my newly dug up garlic bed. Hopefully they'll survive; so far (early August) they seem to be doing okay. I can't harvest anything yet, since I don't want to weaken them, but I'll be happy with any amount of basil this year.
A garden is a small slice of life. There are so many rewards, but there can be setbacks and sudden downturns. I need to make sure my trust is in the Lord, with both the amazing harvests and the barren times too. It's not easy, though.
Back to life,
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