Spring is the time of planning and planting. Picking through seed catalogs, deciding whether to plant flowers or vegetables, and gearing up for the warm weather of summer to come are favorite pastimes of gardeners. For those of us who do not have yards that look like a horticulturalist’s heaven (and probably more like a desert wasteland), or simply have no idea of how to go about changing our landscapes, the solution may be…seed bombs!
A seed bomb (or seed ball) is a small, round glob of clay, soil, and seeds. Seed bombs are simple to make, ideal for seeding blighted areas, derelict and vacant lots, and areas of land that would take a large amount of time and effort to plant. The clay binds the seeds and soil together, protecting the seeds from birds and animals. When enough rain has fallen to soften the clay, the seeds will germinate – giving the plants a good start in the moist soil and clay binder. They require no attention other than throwing them in the area you want to see flourish with greenery.
Seed Bomb Recipe
- 4 parts dry powdered clay (pottery, kaolin, bentonite, or river clay is fine)
- 4 parts compost, humus, or potting soil
- 1 part seeds (wildflowers, or other types of flower seed)
- spray bottle of water
Mix the clay and soil together in a large bowl, and make sure to break up any large lumps. Add seeds and mix well. Spray the mixture with just enough water to moisten the clay and soil, but not make it wet. You only want enough water to form the mix into a ball that will hold its shape and not fall apart. Although seed bombs can be any size, between 3/4 to 1 inch is best (if the bombs are too big, seeds at the center will not be able to germinate easily). Set them out to dry for a few days, and bag them up once they are dry.
Once your seed bombs are dry and ready to use, prepare to bomb away. Abandoned lots in urban areas are a favorite for seed bombers, as they cover inner city blight with greenery and flowers, and can even be used for "guerrilla gardening" when made with veggie seeds. The best seed bombs have a mix of plants that work well together and compliment each other with color, but almost any combo of seeds will do.
If guerrilla gardening is not your thing, think about using seed bombs as wedding or party favors, or as a great kids' gardening project to get them involved in nature. The uses for seed bombs are only as limited as your imagination, and you'll be making the world a greener place.
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