Basil dying

Planted 3 bunches of basil 22 days ago. In the last 48 hours I have lost one bunch and another has started to die. What appears to happen is that the roots die and I see about an inch of the plant stem at the base turn brown and woody. It happens very quickly. What could be the cause of this?
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Have you noticed any slugs or snails in the vicinity?
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wrote:

None, these are in pots.
Could it be overwatering? I may have gone a bit heavy on the water lately. Could it be damping off? Looking at an affected plant the roots look more or less ok. There is just this dry, woody brown band at the stalk base about 1/2 inch long and it's cutting off water to the plant.
Tell me its not fusarium!
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wrote:

------------------------------------------------------ ** I have found snails in the bottom of potted roses.**
Freckles -------------------------------------------------------
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Paul M. Cook wrote:

Do you mean cuttings or seedlings?
In the last 48 hours I have

Where did you plant them, in what conditions, what have done other than water?
David
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They are in a warm and sunny spot. They easily get full sun 8 hours a day. They were planted in Sta-Green planting mix. These were seedlings about 3 inches tall. I chose the healthiest ones I could find. About all I did except for water was a touch of Scott's MG last week.
Paul
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Doesn't Sta-Green already have added fertilizer? I think your seedlings may have gotten burned. They really need to be well established before using any chemical fertilizers.
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Yes it has a timed release fertilizer. I'll let the soil dry out then flush with plain water.
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If you think that is what it is, re-pot and gently rinse the roots.
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Let me try that again. Gently hold the stems of the basil between your thumb and index finger with the roots draped across your palm, and hose the potting soil off of them, then re-pot the basil.
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Absolutely not!
When you handle seedlings do it by the leaf not the stem.
As for your disease problem more likely damping off organisms.
Let me try that again. Gently hold the stems of the basil between your

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Been doing this for a long time, to no ill effect. Particularly helpful when I buy starts at a nursery, that have more than one plant per cell. It might be more accurate to say that the thumb holds the stem of the plant (just above the roots), and presses against the side of the hand and the index finger, (Which is to say that the thumb and index finger are more or less parallel.) and the roots are draped across and supported by the palm of the hand. I use a pistol grip nozzle which I adjust to a wide spray, and using only a bit of the circumference of the spray to wash the dirt from the roots.
Untangling the roots is a bit of a hassle, which is why I was so interested by "Creative Propagation" [Illustrated] (Paperback) by Peter Thompson (Author), Owen Josie (Illustrator) <(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid73249143&sr=1-1> and his procedure for "pricking out" seedlings (p.57), which does handle seedling by their leaves (this is when the plants still have their dicotyledons), but with older plants that have more fibrous stems, I feel more comfortable holding them by the stems than by their leaves.
If Paul's basil was less than 3 - 4" (not counting the roots), I may agree with you, but if they are taller than 6", I'd hold them (not dangle) by their stems.
In Paul's case, I'd re-pot into potting soil that doesn't have any chemferts in it, or any fertilizer at all for that matter. If they are doing OK in a couple of weeks, I'd give them a half ration of fish emusion.
Can you describe a similar procedure that you do?
Good Gardening.
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I tend to use a bowl of water with a plug of seedlings and tease them apart by using the leaves, if you damage a leaf the plant can make a new one but if you damage the stem at pricking out size you will kill or stunt them.
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If they're in the ground (not pots), I'd suspect Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. basilicum.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-125.html
A devastating basil wilt disease caused by a soilborne pathogenic fungus, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. basilicum, was first discovered in the U.S. in 1991 and identified in N.C. in 1992. Plants infected with this disease usually grow normally until they are six to twelve inches tall, then they become stunted and suddenly wilt.
Initial symptoms usually include brown streaks on the stems, discoloration of the internal stem tissue, and sudden leaf drop.
Interestingly, only sweet basil is affected. Some of the specialty basils, such as lemon basil and purple basil, show some resistance to the disease. The disease is introduced into fields, hydroponic systems, and greenhouse culture primarily through contaminated seed. Growers should only buy basil seed that has been tested for the fusarium wilt fungus. Currently, these tests involve growing out a large number of seed and looking for disease symptoms. This does not guarantee that the seed will be free of infection, but it greatly reduces the risk. If it is not possible to obtain tested seed, the seed should be soaked in cold water for four hours followed by a heat treatment of 20 minutes in 133-136 degree F water. Seed germination rates will probably be reduced by the hot water treatment, so a germination test should be conducted on a small lot of the treated seed to determine how much seeding rates need to be adjusted. Also, the hot water treatment causes a sticky layer to develop on the outer surface of seed making it difficult to handle.
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Hmmm, cold nights perhaps? It's been around low 50s at night. Days have been 78-82.
Paul
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Paul M. Cook wrote:

I can't imagine lower fifties would kill them, so I don't think that's it. They do like slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.5), but the bagged stuff you're using shouldn't be far off that, also bagged stuff is usually sterilized, which would preclude Verticillium wilt. I wish I had a clue for you, but all the bases seem to have been covered. Oh, and between what's in the soil mix, and you adding some MG, lay off the fertilizer for at least a month now.
Tony
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If they died in the germination trays from white mold, that's called damping off. The soil should be sterilized first (200F for 30 min. This may be overkill but best err on the side of sterility.) Germination trays should be new or thoroughly sprayed-out and soaked in a chlorine (bleach) rinse (1/4 cup bleach to 5 gal. water) for 20 min. Rinse with clean water and they are ready to go.
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