Q.What is maiming my new basil plants?
I recently planted small basil plants for the season, and the leaves have been getting progressively more damaged over the past week. They are tattered and grey at the edges. The damage has been working its way up the plant, from older leaves to newer ones. The holes are not indicative of slugs or caterpillars. They are also located on my second floor patio, which may rule out a few pests. There is no sign of digging in the soil, insects, or fungus. It’s a cruel mystery. Thanks for any help!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Those symptoms are the main signs of a fungal infection. This happens from soil that remains too wet for too long, and is not allowed to dry out thoroughly.
From here, it is easier to start over with basil. Curing it may be a bit tedious and the recovery will likely take longer than it would to grow a seedling to the same size again.
In the future, you will want to let the soil dry out COMPLETELY down to about 3 or 4 inches before watering again. You can check with your finger, or a moisture meter.
This article will help you to grow basil: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/basil/how-to-grow-basil-plants.htm