The mint plant in the garden that’s been let to grow wild, plus two that were re-potted, had yellow marks all over it. I figured it might be over watering, and pulled off the worst leaves while I researched it. Turns out it is a horrible fungus called mint rust, that spreads to other herbs, contaminates soil,etc. Some sites suggest that there is no treatment, total scorched earth policy, toss the plants and soil, etc. Others say there are fungicides that might help. I do think that MOST of my soil is likely contaminated by a lot of different fungi, so I need to figure something out. I can’t just dig up the whole yard.
In the meantime, I’ve checked out other plants. The basil has yellow spots on it too, and yes it can jump to basil. The marks look a little bit different on it, though, so I plucked a few leaves and did some research. My dad used to be a landscaper/gardener and he looked at the leaves and think’s it might be aphids. I used a non organic insecticide on it, because I want to be sure it’s aphids and not a fungal infection. If it’s bugs, the plant will recover. If it’s fungus I will throw it out and go over the garden frequently to prevent the spread as much as possible.
In a few days, when it is less overcast, and the area isn’t so wet, I am going to use a neem and other natural products spray on the whole garden. It’s an organic/natural spray that is supposed to treat aphids, fungi and other issues. The sprinklers over watered today as usual so I shut them down until I can redirect the flow into buckets and make a ground level drip that doesn’t get on the leaves. I also need to let the area dry out two or three days before I spray them down with Neem, because that adds water too. Then I will let it rest a few more days, and just manually check over everything to make sure all the plants are as happy as can be.
In the meantime, I will keep researching sites to get more opinions about what to do if my entire yard is suffering from a lot of fungal infections.