Basil Decimation

– Posted in: Garden Tweets, Pests, Plagues, and Varmints
15 comments

Decimated basilMy daughter just went out to her garden and found all her basil seedlings snipped off and left. Not eaten and not even wilted yet.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

~Albert Camus in Albert Camus quotations

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flowers July 6, 2009, 10:16 am

not sure about the rabbits bit squirrels like it

Jim K July 5, 2009, 11:21 am

We have watched starlings do that to our tomatoes and sunflowers. Somewhere I read that young seedlings have some mild anti-fungal properties and so certain birds will line their nests with the cuttings. Starlings are a non-native species and will throw other birds out of their nest to claim it as their own, so I’ve always figured the wanton destruction was just part of their nature. We use an owl decoy from the time the starts have their second set of leaves until the stem is thicker than a pencil, supplemented by doing our summer reading on the back deck while armed with a super-soaker.

Sue June 28, 2009, 9:36 pm

I like how your blog is set up!

I’m sorry for her basil loss. I have something eating my mints that I grow in pots. I don’t think rabbits would do that, because they go for the leaves, not stems that I am aware of. I’m thinking squirrels or cutworms. It’s just weird that it’s so many. I think you said it was all of them. What a deal!
.-= Sue´s last blog ..Lemon Balm Tea =-.

Rurality June 28, 2009, 10:22 am

Well, obviously the rabbits were gathering it to make some spaghetti, but got interrupted! 😉

Jenn June 25, 2009, 3:48 pm

Cutworm? Bird damage?

I had a bird uprooting all my potted succulents last year. Gah! Wretched beast.

Out here we have lots of baby rabbits and fledgeling birds around. Takes the little ones some time to figure things out, and in the meantime, we reap their frustration that the world isn’t handing them an easy feeding…

Caroline June 25, 2009, 12:41 pm

We have been having problems with squirrels and chipmunks stripping my Chammomile plants, and of all things… the Dill! So far they have left the basil and such alone… But can climb the thin steel pole we have our bird feeder on. *grrr* this means war….

Good thing Basil is easy to buy replacement sedlings and replant. Lots of time for it to grow!

marci June 25, 2009, 12:20 pm

Armadillos LOVE basil

Kate Babbitt June 24, 2009, 7:49 pm

Something has been snipping off my stuff too. Things you wouldn’t expect, like my pink yarrow. And a tomato plant. Why? Why? I ask. They can’t eat them! Is the criminal bored? Frustrated? Vindictive?

Losing all the basil is a tragedy. She has time to replant, though.

Helen at Toronto Gardens June 24, 2009, 4:17 pm

How very curious. Let us know if you catch the little “nipper.”
.-= Helen at Toronto Gardens´s last blog ..Urban Hikes with Toronto Bruce Trail Club =-.

Jane June 24, 2009, 3:30 pm

Rabbits (or white-tailed hares, to be specific) eat my veg. I noticed the other night that the lettuces closest to the edge of the raised beds were all nibbled. Not cut off and wasted though. That’s more like cutworms, which we also have in abundance this year because it is so dry.

Rundy June 24, 2009, 3:02 pm

I say rabbit.

Salix June 24, 2009, 12:42 pm

Deer, rabbits, birds,mice, snails and slugs, bacteria and fungi all snack and sample lots of my plants – but my basil and other herbs have been spared so far. I’d love to come to terms with the sharing…………..

Karen June 24, 2009, 12:30 pm

I blame squirrels! They are so destructive and wasteful. Also stupid. Hm, I’m sorry about the basil loss, that is quite a mystery!
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Alien Seed Pods =-.

Hannah Hawley June 24, 2009, 9:44 am

That is so sad! Why on earth would someone do that 🙁

Kathy Purdy June 24, 2009, 10:39 am

We don’t think it was a human being. We’re just trying to decide which animal couldn’t realize it didn’t like basil after the first bite.