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Garden expert shares how 'sacrificial' plant protects garden from tiny pests: 'Must sacrifice the one to save them all'

"I'm so glad other people do this too."

"I'm so glad other people do this too."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Tiny pests like flea beetles can be the bane of any gardener's existence, munching up all the crops they have worked so hard to nurture and grow. 

However, there is an effective method to deal with these destructive little insects: trap crops.

The scoop

Content creator Saedi Mae (@canningandthings) explained to her TikTok followers how she uses eggplants as trap crops to protect her treasured pepper plants.

"I sprinkle the eggplants throughout my peppers to protect my peppers, not to grow eggplant," she explains

By simply feeding the flea beetles something that they like even more than the peppers, Saedi Mae was able to cleverly work with nature instead of against it to achieve the desired outcome.

@canningandthings RIP those eggplant plants 😬 #companionplanting #trapcrops #gardening #gardensoftiktok ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show

Trap crops are not a new concept — they are used by plenty of gardeners — and if this is the first you're hearing of them, they are definitely worth looking into, especially if you're struggling with pests in your garden.

How it's helping

Gardening is a great way to improve your mental and physical health, and it's good for the planet, too. Studies have shown that people who garden are, on average, healthier than those who don't. 

In addition, gardening has been shown to have a positive effect on people's stress levels, mental well-being, self-esteem, optimism, and openness.

What everyone's saying

Saedi Mae's followers were grateful for the advice.

"Nice," one commenter wrote. "I was worried about growing my eggplant but I guess if it doesn't give then at least it'll be a sacrifice for the rest of my veggies."

"Haha yes! I'm so glad other people do this too," wrote another. "I have a trap garden outside my garden."

"The sacrificial plant," one person dubbed the eggplant. 

Another added, "Must sacrifice the one to save them all."

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