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How to Use Trap Plants to Protect Your Garden

How to use trap plants to protect your crops. An easy, organic way to protect your flowers and other plants from being eaten!

This time in spring I often hear “my plants came up and the rabbits ate them all”, read this blog post to learn how to use trap plants to protect your garden.

What are Trap Plants

A trap plant, is a plant you add to your garden specifically for the purpose of luring animals and insects away from crops you want to protect.

A trap plant can just be extra of the same plants you add (so planting ten tomato plants instead of five) knowing that insects or animals will eat half and you can still harvest half.

Or you can plant another type of plant they will like better than your original plant to draw them away from your crops. Like adding lettuce for rabbits so they won’t eat your flowers.

Why Do Trap Plants Work?

Animals and insects look for an easy meal. Adding plants they want to eat where they can easily get to them, will distract them from eating your flowers or crops! After all we have probably planted our garden or built our house where they used to forage for wild food, they are just returning to look for their usual dinner!

They will fill up on the trap plant, and leave your precious plants alone.

Example of Using a Trap Plant: Lettuce to Protect Flowers

Here is an example of a trap plant in action from Connie’s yard!

This is a row of lettuce planted as a trap plant around a patch of flowers that the rabbits usually always eat as soon as they come up each year.

This first pic is the lettuce right after planting. Notice all the heads of lettuce are whole and full.

This next pic shows the next day! Look what happened!

The next day the lettuce was eaten, and the baby flowers were left alone! It worked immediately!

Check this post again in a few weeks for an update on this flower bed and trap lettuce experiment.

Trap Plant Examples

Adding the host plant for a specific pest you find in your garden works great to deter those pests from the crops you want to protect.

Take note in your journal of pests you find in your garden, and look up what plants they like to eat the most. Add these to your garden, strategically placed around the plants you want to protect, so insects or animals will find these plants first.

A Few Examples of Trap Plants and Pests They Attract:

  • Dill near Tomatoes to attract tomato horn worms.
  • Collards or Kale around cabbage to lure away cabbage worms and white flies.
  • Radishes to attract flea beetles.
  • Blue Hubbard Squash around cucumbers to attract cucumber beetles.
  • Nasturtium to attract aphids.
  • Marigold to attract thrips.
  • Okra to attract stink bugs.

Try a Trap Plant!

Let me know how your trap plant works in the comments below!

I’ll update this post with pictures of our lettuce trap plant experiment over the next few weeks!

Ideas for future blog posts? Contact jess from earth!

Do you like Sourdough Bread? Check out my easy sourdough starter recipe HERE!

Thank you for visiting my blog! 🙂 -jess

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