AHhhhhh...My basil

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Wed Jun 19 12:46:23 EDT 2002

It does sound like the symptoms of nitrogen deficiency. The straw could be
contributing to nitrogen deficiency if your nitrogen levels were at the
lower end of adequate, especially if the soil has been warm and moist. Those
conditions lead to a high rate of microbial activity. The straw is high in
carbon but low in nitrogen. The microorganisms need both so they would rob
your soil of nitrogen while they work to decompose the bottom layer of
straw. An easy wasy to check on that idea is to mix up some fish emulsion
(or another nitrogen rich) fertilizer and sidedress your plants. If they
green up the lower leaves within a week, it probably was nitrogen
deficiency. But then you'll have solved the problem too.

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center

>I am currently experience extreme yellowing and browning of the bottom
>leaves on my basil plants (genovese) and the top growth looks fine. But
>is cutting my yield. I fertilized, i can't imagine it's nitrogen deficency.
>I have it mulched with straw....
>Any ideas?

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