Page data
Type Project
Keywords hobbie, seed ball, tea bag, gardening, agriculture, clay, compost, seed, water, Urban agriculture, Seeds, Sowing, How tos, Gardening
SDGs Sustainable Development Goals SDG03 Good health and well-being
Authors Chris Watkins
Published 2009
License CC BY-SA 4.0
Ported from http://heavypetal.ca/archives/2007/03/how-to-make-seedballs/
[see first revision]
Page views 1,327
Location data
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Location Vancouver, Canada

Al "Bokashiman" from a guerilla gardening group led a seedball-making workshop. It is satisfying to get your hands muddy and spend a couple hours in a zen-like trance rolling seedballs - it's highly recommended!

Here's the recipe[edit | edit source]

  • 5 parts dry red clay[1]
  • 3 parts dry organic compost
  • 1 part seed[2]
  • 1 – 2 parts water

We used a 16oz. plastic cup as a measure, which made enough for approximately 300 seedballs. After mixing together all the dry ingredients, we added enough water to form a mix that held together without crumbling but wasn't so wet that it wouldn't roll into balls. Pinching off small bits of the lovely mud, we rolled penny-sized balls and set them in trays. They will sit on the windowsill for three or four days until completely dry.

Image - Seedballs: microcosms of the living world

Image - Here we are, rolling away

Image - One of these kids is doing their own thing

Ideas to try[edit | edit source]

Tea bag seed ball[edit | edit source]

A seed (e.g. sunflower seed) in between two tea bags, tied together with natural (compostable) twine. A great way to reuse old tea bags, especially for those who can't get clay easily. Does this work? The tea might hold water for a shorter time than clay, so is it more suitable to times and places with more soil moisture and/or rain and/or shade?[expansion needed]

Floating seed bomb[edit | edit source]

This is more of an art piece than practical seed delivery method.

A new take on the seed bomb is a biodegradable helium balloon painted with the classically kitschy garden gnome. The work of Dutch Studio TX, the seed-filled balloons deflate after a day, landing on the sod attached to the bottom of each balloon.

"Each balloon is made of PLA plastic and painted with 100% water-based chalk. The balloons take 4-6 months to decompose and leave a burst of color in their wake."

Reported in Inhabitat.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Dry red clay: Yes, this is the stuff that potters use. Commonly it comes pre-mixed, which you don't want. You want the dry powder so it can be easily mixed. I've tried using grey clay from a riverbank – it doesn't work so well. In Greater Vancouver there is something called Red Art Clay which is available at Greenbarn Potters Supply Ltd., 9548 – 192nd Street in Surrey (604-888-3411). Try asking at your local art supply store.
  2. Seeds: Workshop organizer Al provided crimson clover, white dutch clover and wild flower seeds, while the rest of the participants donated appropriate seeds – I put in California poppy, nasturtium and cilantro. Al also suggested using the edible, perennial and drought-tolerant plants listed at Plants for a Future.

External links[edit | edit source]