So what is a Trap crop ideally : a crop planted to attract insect pests from another crop, especially one in which the pests fail to survive or reproduce.
while I could write it all out, the truth is this post says everything I would, so for full details on why I use trap cropping, I recommend checking this link and reading the different ways to use this in your gardens
but I went out and took photos of a mini trap crop set up I have going on in my big old hay bale gardens.. you see that healthy looking melon plant in the middle, its got its first five true leaves and its got two side runners just starting to push out, and for being in zone 5 first week of june, that melon plant is rocking it..
As you can see the melon plants leaves look really good but you can see that the turnip leaves, not so much.. hmm so this area was seeded out with a few things as a trap crop, raddish, turnip, clover and alfalfa got some self-sown pigweed as each will work at different stages in the game, I will cut of or pull as needed
now, if I had planted only the melon plant, it would not be near as pretty as it is on the close up..
This plant was eaten up, I watched the bird come and eat all the bugs, perfect.. I set the trap crops early, I harvested baby greens for room for the melon, and the areas around the plant will continue to protect, trap crop and bring bees as the season goes on
hope that between my example and the link that it helps explain the idea and goals but please feel free to ask more questions if I did not answer all yours. I love when my readers ask questions!