Protecting Basil from Tropical Torrential Rainfalls
Answered by: Fred Bleuk


Can you please tell me if heavy rains will damage basil because it looks so tender and breaks up very easily? If so what could I do to protect the herbs from rain in a tropical climate (rainfall exceeds 50 mm per hour at times)?

Many herbs at the seedling stage are susceptible to damage by heavy rain. It is important to protect seedlings in some manner. It may be necessary to erect a shelter made of wood and clear plastic sheeting to keep the rain from pounding the seedlings. Some herbs remain susceptible at more developed stages, even at maturity. Basil is certainly one of more susceptible herbs at all stages.

A shelter should not be so closed in that air cannot circulate freely otherwise you will have problems with fungal diseases. Also, you must think about how the plants will get water. You may be able to construct the shelter in such a way that the heaviest rain is deflected, but some rains still gets to the root zone of the plants. Another option is to use a netting material that allows light and some rain through but deflects some of the heaviest rain.

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