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Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

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Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby Dumbo » Mar 03, 2012 2:43 pm

So growing up (if I did) I recall my parents and grandparents using flowers around veggie gardens to deter harmful bugs from the garden. The only one I seem to recall that they planted are marigolds.

I didn't find much of anything on this website. Maybe I used the wrong search term?

But here are some examples of plants used for trap-cropping and beneficial plants.

http://www.oisat.org/control_methods/cu ... pping.html
and
http://www.growveg.com/growblogpost.aspx?id=146

How true are these things? Does it actually work? If so, has anyone here done this and care to share what you plant and why?

Or is it not worth the time and effort, and I shouldn't bother wasting my time to read up on these things?

Opinions welcome.
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby CdnChelsea » Mar 04, 2012 7:59 am


Many, many moons ago, I had a small organic vegetable market garden and used the 'companion planting' method of controlling harmful insects in the garden. It took a lot of research and planning to figure it all out but it was worth it. The 1 acre garden was almost pest free.

Here is a good website about companion planting:


http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/c ... nting.html



"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life" ~ Rachel Carson
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby Dumbo » Mar 04, 2012 8:20 am

TY for the link. Will definitely check it out.

From the looks of it, i'll need a gallon of coffee to figure out a proper layout.
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby OGrubber » Mar 05, 2012 9:53 am

Just to clarify; trap cropping and companion planting [though they may overlap at times] are two distinctly different techniques with different objectives.

With trap cropping, one lures [pest] to, and then sacrifices [or are prepared to sacrifice] a complete crop to minimize pest pressure on another [more prized] crop.

With companion planting, the goal is to interplant plants that compliment, enhance or optimize growth/fruiting in each other and/or confuse pest to [again] minimize pest pressure on any given "crop".

Both of these techniques work, but they aren't fool-proof.

About the beneficials; An area that is planted to perennials and left untouched or "wildish" is the preferred habitat for beneficials, but adding flowers, especially high pollen varieties to a garden will temporarily draw pollinators and other beneficials to the gardens. Highly scented flowers [such as marigolds and many herbs] will overpower or mask the scent of "crops" [from pest] while still drawing in pollinators and other beneficials.

Editing in to say; For pest control, trap cropping is aimed at a specific pest whereas companion planting is a more general and all encompasing approach.
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby Dumbo » Mar 05, 2012 6:29 pm

For the newb dummy like me, it does get confusing when reading those three things (beneficial, trap and companion planting). As you said, they overlap with each other.

Your wild flower thing raises a question with me.

I'd love to just grow some wild flowers (you know those wild flower seeds they sell to attract bee's or hummingbird etc..), but in my area I think they tell people to keep everything cut short since tics have come up in the area the past 5 years (you know that Lyme disease thing that affects people and animals).

So that got me wondering, if I did devote a corner of my yard to wild flowers would I also be making a place for tics? Seems they only live in tall grasses type thing. Though I have seen "short wild flower" seeds being sold.

It just raises a question with me. Wonder if anyone knows anything about this.
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby davefrombc » Mar 05, 2012 9:59 pm

Grow your wildflowers as tall and lush as you like in a corner of your yard. The chances of your little patch of wildflowers drawing the dreaded ticks is near zero.
Even in the forest and fields that may be near you, the chance of you or a pet being bitten and infected by a Lyme carrying tick is very low. You are going to run into alarmists no matter what the perceived danger is . If you listen to them you would be eating a very limited diet and hiding in your bed because of all the dangerous bugs, animals, people and pollutants out there.
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby OGrubber » Mar 06, 2012 10:32 am

I was expecting a question or two Marc, but that one took me by surprise. laf

Dave's right. A little patch of wildflowers isn't going to make any difference to the tick population one way or another. And, they don't all carry lime disease. My understanding is that the ratio is very low. If it's a big worry, then as a precaution, wearing light coloured clothing [long sleeves and long pants] while working in the garden makes them fairly easy to spot out.
I live in an area with fairly high populations, and it's a simple thing to check oneself over before stepping into the house after a stint in the gardens. They also seem to be seasonal here [my area] - mid spring to early summer, and then they are gone.
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby Dumbo » Mar 06, 2012 12:42 pm

LOL

It was just something that popped in my head since people have been pulling tics off their kids here (or so I read). I've only ever seen it once in my life and only last year. Two in our kids friends leg.

So yeah, you don't forget the bug that buries it's head in flesh and breathes out its' butt. Made my wife scream when she realized what it was when it's little legs wiggled. heh :p I certainly never saw one before that. Hence the question.

I'm sure i'll have more dumb questions that will take you by surprise. But yeah. You're right. It was spring when it occurred, which means those type wild flowers are lower to the ground (I read you're supposed to cut them down to ground level in spring).

:p
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby Bradeen » Jul 15, 2013 10:33 pm

No doubt some kinds of insects are good for our plants but most of them are dangerous and harmful for the plants there for we should keep some steps to save our self and plants from these insects. Well members of this discussion share good information about these insects.
!!!We should honest with our self !!!
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Re: Trap Cropping and flowers for Benificial insects

Postby Jersm » Jul 15, 2013 10:56 pm

I have a large assortment of weeds in my garden haha... I jsut start weeding when they start to shade at all.... but yeah i notice bug bites on most weeds gives the bugs more choices.

when i planted in may it was freshly tilled ground its just impossible to control perfect weeding on freshly exposed dirt. but the plants are mostly getting big enough now its not a issue.
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