Seed bombs are balls of clay with small seeds embedded in them. They are an efficient method for planting small seeds that are typically planted using a "broadcasting" method like wildflowers, herbs and cover crops. Though the origin of seed bombs is mysterious, most people agree that a Japanese farmer named Masanobu Fukuoka developed the clay balls to make it easier to distribute seeds for cover crops like alfalfa on his farm. Using seed balls for small seeds saves you from having to bend or squat to plant tiny seeds that are difficult to see. The clay protects the seeds from birds and rodents and also prevents the seeds from washing away during a hard rain. The compost gives the seedlings a bit of nutrition as they sprout and inoculates the seeds with beneficial microbes. Recently seed bombs have been adopted by guerrilla gardeners as a way to plant native wildflowers over vacant lots and roadsides. Making and throwing seed bombs is a great projects for kids and the young at heart!
You Will Need:
Foil pie pan or medium mixing bowl to mix ingredients
Coffee cup filled with water
Native Clay from Central, South or East Austin yards
Sand or sandy topsoil
Gift box or plastic bag
Labels for gift box with planting instructions
This recipe will make two egg-sized seed bombs.
Scoop 5 spoonfuls of clay into your pan.
Scoop 1 spoonful of sand into your pie pan.
Scoop one spoonful of compost into the pie pan.
Scoop 1 spoonful of seeds into your pan.
Use the spoon and your fingers to mix the ingredients well.
Sprinkle one spoonful of water slowly over the dry ingredients.
Use your fingers to mix the ingredients together to distribute the water evenly throughout the mixture.
Put half of the mix into the palm of your hand and squeeze gently. If the mix clumps together, then use your hands to roll it into a ball. If it is not clumping you need to put all of the mix back in the pie pan and add another spoonful of water. Be careful not to add too much water. If the mix is too wet it will not clump and too much water will also cause the seeds to sprout prematurely.
Roll the other half of the mix into a ball.
Repeat the steps above to make as many balls as you like.
Set your balls in an egg carton and allow to dry for at least 24 hours. In humid conditions it may take 48 hours for them to dry.
Put your seed balls in the gift box with information tags. Store them in a cool, dry place until ready to use.
To use the seed bombs:
Select a sunny spot and gently toss the seed balls into that area. You do not need to water them or bury them. The seeds will stay dormant until weather conditions are right for them to sprout.
Here's a video of how to do it: