How to make a seed ball

Image - Seedballs: microcosms of the living world.

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 recipeEdit

  • 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 - Here we are, rolling away.

Image - One of these kids is doing their own thing.

Ideas to tryEdit

Tea bag seed ballEdit

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?[Suggested project]

Floating seed bombEdit

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.

NotesEdit

  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 linksEdit


Attribution: This page includes content from Heavy Petal, a blog by Andrea Bellamy, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.