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Sacrificial Plants

 
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Just wondering what you guys think are the best sacrificial plant species, those plants that attract pests (not disease), so that they can then be (hopefully) somewhat isolated to an appropriate area? I'm thinking along the lines of a hedge of perennial type species to attract and house the beneficial insects, lizards, frogs, etc (so probably a central wetland, pond, bog, type of area, and run chickens through the area before re-sowing it. May also be a method of actually applying a "fallow" method for crop rotation. Anyway, so what species of plants do you think would fit? Cheers.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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I'd start with wildflowers, start with a whole bunch of species add new species each new year. Then start adding medicinal herbs and possibly useful shrubs.

Your goal should also be to create a diverse environment so pests are always in check by other species or microclimate factors.

Also let the pests kill the weaker plants out of the group. If you save seed from the survivors that fit your needs you can build strong genetics over time as your system evolves.
 
James Slaughter
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Actually kind of trying to create the opposite situation here, creating sappy weak plants that will attract pests from miles away to be devoured by a hopefully steadily growing population of beneficials.
 
pollinator
Posts: 371
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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I think it kind of works both ways. Plants that attract "pest" insects in turn provide a food source and habitat for predators, who move in. Some "predators" actually eat pollen and nectar and will only feed other insects to their young. So a bit of both is beneficial.

I only know of a few 'trap crops', like wild roses and sunflowers. Vetiver is also apparently good for stemborers, which are attracted to the Vetiver but can't hang on well enough to eat it, so they end up starving trying.
 
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