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How to make a seed bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Want to try some gardening activities designed to pull your kids away from the screen and out into the sunshine? The Hungry Gardener, Fabian Capomolla, has just the idea.

Most of the parents I talk to are looking for ways to encourage their kids away from screens, TV shows and computer games and into the outdoors. I might be biased, but I think garden projects make ideal alternatives because they involve dirt, activity and ultimately rewards that are tangible and often tasty.

Introducing kids to gardening at an early age also sets them up with skills and insights that will be valuable throughout their lives.

There are many ways to get little ones involved, from helping to plant seedlings in the veggie patch to picking herbs for the dinner table.

Seed bombs have been popular with my kids and might tempt your own screen-addicts away from shoot ’em up games and into the garden.

Seed bombs takes a mud kitchen experience to a whole new level. Picture: Erinna Giblin

Make your own seed bombs

A seed bomb is basically a ball of soil containing seeds that you can throw into garden beds to create an explosion of colourful flowers and plants.

Seed bombs were originally developed as a way of revegetating a landscape by dropping them from a plane. Since then they have been adapted by the guerrilla garden movement as a way of awakening urban landscapes with surprising additions of colour and foliage.

What makes seed bombs particularly useful as an activity with kids is that they are (a) really easy to make and (b) a fun way to green up your space.

Here is a simple guide to making seed bombs at home.

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What you will need:

  • Clay – available from craft stores
  • Compost
  • A large plastic bowl or bucket that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • A mixture of seeds suited to your garden – I find easy-to-grow or native varieties work best
  • Water
  • A rack or space for air drying the seed bombs

Choose easy-to-grow seed varieties such as natives and chickpeas. Picture: Erinna Giblin

Steps:

  1. Start by adding 5 parts of clay to 1 part of compost in a large bowl.
  2. Mix this together well using your hands.
  3. Add a small amount of water to combine. Aim to achieve a dough-like consistency, that is, not an overly wet soil mix but something that holds together.
  4. Now add the seeds and combine well.
  5. Take a small handful of the mixture and shape it into golf ball sized bombs. Repeat this process with the rest of the mixture.

The fun part. Picture: Erinna Giblin

Ask your kids to keep an eye on the garden beds and water from time to time. Soon they will notice new growth popping up, courtesy of their seed bomb creations!

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Seed bombs are the main weapon guerrilla gardeners can use to spread flowers in bare spots, creating pockets of beauty and habitats for pollinators. Gardening without permission is another way of describing these activities: not strictly legal but filed away by the authorities under the category of “What’s not to like.” Alex Mitchell in her book The Rurbanite shows us how to make seed bombs, using guerrilla tactics to spread cheer.

Read on for step-by-step instructions to make seed bombs:

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph by Marie Viljoen.

A “rurbanite” is someone who has “a passion for the countryside but no intention of leaving the city,” says Alex Mitchell, adding: “A growing band of rurbanites is getting in touch with the green side of the city.” Enter guerrilla gardening.

“Seed bombs are best, and the most fun, when thrown into neglected roundabouts, central reservations, flower beds, and planters,” says Mitchell.

Many guerrilla gardeners arm themselves with trowels and work nocturnally. But with seed bombs it is possible to make a difference without that considerable commitment; lob a bomb from a bicycle, a car window, or when passing on foot.

Seed bombing is best done in spring and autumn, says Alex Mitchell. Or, time your attack to coincide with heavy rainfall.

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph by Kendra Wilson.

Before seed bombing, assess a site for sunniness and choose your seeds accordingly. They do not need to be sun-loving annuals: foxgloves would suit a shadier site. Cosmos (as shown above), a classic annual, is a perfect candidate for guerrilla gardening.

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph courtesy of Kyle Books.

Different types of seed may be combined to make a seed bomb, says Alex Mitchell, but check that they can all be sown at the same time of year.

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph courtesy of Kyle Books.

Best flowers for seed bombs: for sunny areas, annual meadow flowers including poppies, cornflower, marigold; Californian poppies; cosmos; hollyhocks; nigella; verbena bonariensis; viper’s bugloss. For shady areas, use a woodland seed mix; foxgloves, tobacco plant, honesty.

Wildflower Seed Mix collections for various growing zones including Texas, California, Midwest, and Southeast are $5 apiece from Urban Farmer Seeds & Plants. In the UK Pictorial Meadows offers a wide choice of meadow seed for any situation.

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph courtesy of Kyle Books.

The instructions are simple enough, a bit like making chocolate truffles. Takes 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Flower seed
  • Potter’s clay powder, from any craft shop
  • Peat-free compost
  • Water
  • A bowl
  • A baking tray

Instructions:

Mix the seed, clay, and compost together in a bowl to a ratio of three handfuls of clay, five handfuls of compost, and one handful of seed. Then carefully add water slowly and gradually (you don’t want it too gloopy), mixing it all together until you get a consistency that you can form into truffle-sized balls. Lay them out to bake dry on a sunny windowsill for at least three hours.

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph courtesy of Kyle Books.

Targets for seed bombing should not be brownfield sites, derelict and depressing as they seem. They may be privately owned and will have their own micro eco-system, best left alone. Ditto parks and other people’s gardens. Instead, rescue neglected planters and flower beds as well as civic spaces to which the planting plan has long been lost.

How to Make a Seed Bomb Above: Photograph by Kendra Wilson.

Now is the time to fight the good fight, says Alex Mitchell: “Urbanites the world over are looking at public green spaces around their homes with a new sense of responsibility and pride.”

The Rurbanite published by Kyle Books is available for $28.05 from Amazon.

For more about the British guerrilla gardening movement, see: Throw It, Grow It, London’s Guerrilla Gardeners.

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This post How to Make Homemade Flower Seed Bombs contains affiliate links. To learn more visit my About Me page. How to Make a Seed Bomb
Can you even believe that gardening season is almost here? These homemade flower seed bombs aren’t just pretty to look at, but they can fill your yard with gorgeous blooms in no time. Great to make for gift giving as well, these homemade flower seed bombs would make pretty party favors or a fun grab and go gift. Once made, you just drop them in the soil, water, and grow! Here is how to make your own homemade flower seed bombs in just minutes.

Homemade Flower Seed Bombs

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Here is what you will need:
– tissue paper either colored or plain
– mixing bowl
– water
– flower seed mixture of choice (we chose a shade mmix, you can choose wildflowers, hummingbird mix, etc.)

How to Make a Seed Bomb
You might notice that I didn’t give any measurements, and that is because you really decide measurements as you go. It is sort of a trial and error process. Now let’s get started.

Directions:

1. Begin by tearing your tissue paper up into small 1 x 1 inch pieces. Measurements do not have to be exact, but this should just give you a general idea of what the size should be.
2. Place the torn tissue into your bowl. Add a teaspoon of water. Begin mushing and smooshing the paper into the water until all of the pieces are damp.

How to Make a Seed Bomb
3. If your mixture is too watery, add more paper pieces. If your paper is still too dry, add another splash of water.
4. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flower seeds into the bowl. Feel free to add more if you wish.

How to Make a Seed Bomb
5. Now, ball the mixture up in your hand and roll it into a ball. Continue to wring out any extra water as you do. Continue to shape the ball as shown.
6. Once you have a nice even shape, take a few pieces of clean tissue paper and dampen them. Wrap them around the outside of the ball to give it a smooth and clean finish.

How to Make a Seed Bomb
Now all you have to do is set the homemade flower seed bombs on a plate to dry. They may take up to 24 hours to dry out as needed. When you are ready to use your homemade flower seed bombs, simply bury them in nutrient rich soil, water, and grow!

How to Make a Seed Bomb

You can bag these up to give as Mother’s Day gifts, party favors, even wedding favors. They are so easy and inexpensive to make. So gather up your supplies and give these simple homemade flower seed bombs a try!

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Want to see some more fun gardening projects? See what else we have been working on:

How to Make a Seed Bomb
– Scrabble Tile Garden Markers Craft

How to Make a Seed Bomb
– Homemade Flower Pot Cleaner Recipe

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Image Source: ALAMY

Celebrate World Environment Day by doing your bit for your environment! Not just today, but every day!!

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Planting seeds is a great kick off the rainy season, and learning how to make seed bombs is a great way to get your gardening started. Super easy and fun to make, start a new tradition this World Environment Day and learn how to make seed bombs. A seed bomb is also a great DIY gift! What’s more, you can make them any day!

What is a Seed Bomb / Seed Ball?

A seed bomb is a marble sized ball made of clay, earth, and seeds which are used to replant areas where the natural vegetation has been destroyed. They are also called as seed balls. Some say it originated in Japan while others claim Greece, but native plant seed ball is now used around the world to reseed land that has been abused by humans or destroyed by a natural calamity.

How to Make a Seed BombImage Source: Megan-Wagner-via-colossal-youth

Benefits of Seed Bombs

Seed bombs protect the seed, retains moisture and provides nutrients that the seed needs to get started. The ball prevents birds or animals from eating up the seeds.

Seed Bombs make planting easy and makes it possible to cover large areas. All you will need to do is throw them! For example, you can drive around in a car a bunch of seed bombs and disperse the seed bombs all around while cruising in your vehicle.

Using native plant seed balls is a great way to reseed the landscape and also teaches kids the significance of native plants and the environment.

What you need

  • 2 parts potting soil
  • 5 parts pottery clay mix from your local art store
  • 1-2 parts water
  • 1-2 parts seeds of your choice
  • Large tub or bucket to mix ingredients
  • A Cardboard box to dry and store seed balls

Steps to make the Seed Bombs

  1. Mix soil, clay and 1 part water thoroughly. Ensure that there are no lumps. Add more water, a little at a time, until the mixture is the consistency of moulding clay or play dough.
  2. Add seeds and keep kneading the dough until the seeds are well mixed in. Add more water if needed.
  3. Take small bits of the clay mixture and roll into a ball about one inch in diameter. The balls should hold together easily. If they’re crumbly, add more water. Children can also get creative and make them in different shapes!
  4. Dry the seed balls for 24-48 hours in a shady place before sowing or storing. It is recommended that you store them in a cardboard box. Do not use plastic bags.
  5. The final step is to sow them! You can place them carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time, which is a lot more fun. Don’t bury them and don’t water them. Once you have done this, sit back and leave the rest to Mother Nature!

Here is a video that shows you how to make seed bombs:

REMEMBER:

Seed bombs work best when made the day before rain is forecast and then cast 24 hours later – before the rain has started! Even if it doesn’t rain the seeds will be fine for a few days.

Save the Environment. Throw a Seed Bomb!

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Throw Seed bombs across land which needs greenery. You can throw them on the land on the side of highways or barren patches of lands in urban areas like apartment complexes etc or soil on road dividers, to create a green cover. Go on and make the world greener! Go ahead and let nature explode with your seed bombs!

(For starting in March – April)

Seed bombs are not only great fun for the children to make and scatter but are also an ideal way to bring some life to any hard to reach or barren areas. Perhaps the corner of the school playing field or the back of the playground? Or maybe the children would like to take their seed bombs home for their own gardens?

Great fun can be had putting the right name to the right flower!

A whole lesson can be structured around the different insects and birds attracted by the different flowers.

Our Seed Bomb Kits, featured below, include enough seed to make about 35 seed bombs per kit.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How seed bombs work

A seed bomb is a ball made of compost mixed with flour and water into which seeds have been embedded. Once the bomb has been thrown and the seeds have begun to germinate the bomb will slowly break apart. The soil will then provide a base for the seeds to start growing.

April to June is the time for seed bomb making!

Once you’ve chosen and ordered your seed mix below you just need to source some flour and compost. Oh and maybe some plastic aprons – things could get messy!

  • Butterflies & Bees Mix – create a garden party for pollinators. This unique mix of perennial flower seed varieties will help to maintain biodiversity.
  • Warm Mix – a stunning mixture of vibrant semi-tall flowers in welcoming colours.
  • Perennial Mix – flowers that give a stunning display year after year.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Butterflies and Bees Mix – 250060

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Warm Mix- 250061

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Perennial Mix – 250062

  • Shade Mix – to brighten even the darkest corners
  • Annual Mix – fabulous flowers in just 40 to 50 days
  • Fragrant Mix – tossing the bombs near a seating area or letting the children take them home as presents is perfect for bombs made from this aromatic mix.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Shade Mix – 250063

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Annual Mix – 250064

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Fragrant Mix – 250065

Seed Bomb Recipe

  1. 1 tub of your chosen variety of flower seeds
  2. General purpose compost
  3. Cheap flour
  4. Water
  5. Plastic aprons
  6. Landowner’s permission to throw the bombs!

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Using native plant seed balls is a great way to reseed the landscape while teaching kids the importance of native plants and the environment.

What is a Native Plant Seed Ball?

A seed ball is a marble sized ball made of clay, earth and seeds which is used to replant areas where the natural flora has been destroyed. Also, referred to as seed bombs for guerrilla gardening, who first developed how to make seed balls is a bit of a mystery. Some say it originated in Japan while others claim Greece, but the important thing is that the native plant seed ball has now been used around the world to reseed land that has been abused by man or by Mother Nature herself.

Before the development of the native plant seed ball, reseeding some natural areas was difficult. The traditional method of broadcasting seed comes with several major drawbacks. The seed is sown on top of the soil where it may be baked dry by the sun, blown away by the wind, washed away by heavy rains, or nibbled away by birds or other small wildlife. Very little is left to germinate and grow.

Making seed balls addresses all of these problems. These clay balls protect the seed from the heat of the sun. They’re heavy enough to be unaffected by the wind or heavy rains and the hard clay casing deters animal nibblers as well.

Before we talk about how to make seed balls, let’s see how they work.

Why Seed Balls Work

In dry areas, the shape of the ball actually gives enough shade to conserve moisture. The seeds begin to germinate and the ball breaks apart. The small pile of crumbles provides the start for the root system, but is still heavy enough to anchor the emerging seeds to the ground.

The small leaves of the new plants provide enough shade for the soil to conserve more moisture. The plants then mature and produce their own seeds and provide shelter once the second generation seeds fall to the ground. The seeding and regrowth continues until complete plant cover is achieved.

Making seed balls gives nature the extra boost it needs to make things right.

How to Make Seed Balls

Learning how to make seed balls is a great activity for kids. It’s fun, easy to do and can be easily adapted to the environmental needs of the community. The seed ball recipe can be altered simply by changing the seeds.

Want to plant wildflowers along a rural highway? How to make flower seed balls is no different than how to make a native plant seed ball. Change the seeds to bird seed and you’ve got the ingredients for a bird food garden in the suburbs. Turn a vacant city lot into a wonderland of grasses, cosmos and zinnias. Let your kid’s imaginations run wild.

Making seed balls is a terrific way to spend a rainy afternoon at the kitchen table or out in the garage. The seed ball recipe is easy to follow and, for older children, doesn’t require intense adult supervision. Why not gather the ingredients ahead of time so they’re ready for that rainy day!

Seed Ball Recipe

  • 2 parts potting soil
  • 5 parts pottery clay mix from your local art store
  • 1-2 parts water
  • 1-2 parts seeds of your choice
  • Large tub to mix ingredients
  • Large box to dry and store seed balls

Directions:

  1. Mix the soil, clay and 1 part water thoroughly. There should be no lumps. Slowly add more water until the mixture is the consistency of the toy store molding clay that comes in a can.
  2. Add seeds. Keep kneading the dough until the seeds are well mixed in. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Take small bits of the clay mixture and roll into ball about one inch in diameter. The balls should hold together easily. If they’re crumbly, add more water.
  4. Dry seed balls for 24-48 hours in a shady place before sowing or storing. They store best in a cardboard box. Do not use plastic bags.
  5. The last step in how to make flower seed balls is sowing them. Yes, you can place them carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time, which is a lot more fun. Don’t bury them and don’t water them.

You’ve done your job, now sit back and leave the rest to Mother Nature.

Whether you are guerilla gardening or gardening with children, these seed bombs made from recycled paper will inspire your imagination. Seed bombs and seed paper can be made into creative gifts, party favors, or an inspiring nature activity for students. While these instructions turn your recycled paper into a 3 D shape using a mold, you can also make seed paper following these steps, and laying out the paper mache on a screen, in the traditional way of making paper.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Save the bees or grow herbs

Focus on wildflowers, herbs, and annuals to feed the bees as part of a bee garden project. Use perennial flower seeds to bring beauty and fragrance to your corner of the world. Or use culinary herbs like basil, parsley, dill, and oregano to create an herbal seed bomb for gifting. This is a fun project to do with children or with adult friends in a group setting.

This recipe makes approximately 20 seed bombs about 1 to 1 ½ inch diameter. I used this heart-shaped mold from Ikea. You’ll need two molds like this to make this recipe.

If you’re making this in a group setting, plan on 1 mold for each person participating, and four cups of torn paper pieces for each person.

Materials for making seed bombs:

Paper to recycle, enough to make 6 cups of torn paper. Avoid glossy paper.

1 tbsp. Kelp powder (optional)

1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1 tsp. turmeric (optional)

1 tsp. flower or herb seeds such as:

Bee Flower Seeds

  • Alyssum
  • Aster
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • Basil
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Columbine

How to Make a Seed Bomb

  • Cone Flower
  • Coreopsis
  • Daisy
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Poppy
  • Snapdragons
  • Viola
  • Yarrow

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Culinary Herbs to include in seed bombs:

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Oregano
  • Parsley

Equipment:

  • Food processor or blender
  • Bowls or a bin to hold the torn paper and water
  • Potato Ricer or press to remove water
  • Silicone ice cube or chocolate mold
  • Sponge, unpaper towels, or paper towels for blotting excess water

Directions for making seed bombs:

Tear the paper into small pieces until you have enough to fill a measuring cup with 6 cups of paper. If you have a paper shredder, that will make quick work of it.

Add the kelp powder, cinnamon, and turmeric to the paper in the bowl.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Cover the shredded paper with water and let the mixture sit in water for 15 minutes. This allows the paper to bring in moisture and will help it to break down even further in the next step.

Drain off the excess water.

In small batches, process the wet paper with your food processor to make paper mache (about 5 minutes)

How to Make a Seed Bomb

If the food processor doesn’t mash all the paper, try adding back a small amount of water. You want the paper to be coarsely mashed. Process until you see fiber strands at the edges of your mache. This will hold the finished seed bomb together as it dries and contracts.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Remove from the food processor and using a potato ricer, or your hands, press the excess water out of the paper.

Wear gloves if you used turmeric in the recipe or you’ll have yellow fingers.

Remove as much water as possible, so that when the pieces are squeezed, no water drips out.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Fill silicone molds halfway with paper mache.

You’ll need to press the paper firmly into the mold to smooth out any gaps. Use the bowl of a spoon or the handle of a muddler to get a smooth, even pressure.

Sprinkle seeds of your choice sparingly over the top of the paper in the molds. If you pressed the excess water out of your paper the seeds will not germinate while the paper dries.

Fill silicone molds up to the top with the remaining paper.

Press the final layer firmly in place. Sponge any excess water off the top of the paper in the molds to speed drying.

Let the mold sit for 24 hours in a warm place to dry out

The next day remove the seed paper from the mold and allow to dry completely.

This may take a few days depending on the time of year and how much humidity you have. Don’t put the seed bomb in an oven, dehydrator, or microwave to speed drying as this will kill the seed and stop germination. Allow it all to dry naturally.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Once your seed bombs are fully dry and no longer cool to the touch, they are ready for gifting or spreading around.

Plant the entire seed bomb on bare ground by digging a shallow hole and covering the seed bomb with 1/8 th inch of soil. Keep moist at all times, while you are waiting for the seeds to germinate. The Kelp will feed the seeds and encourage root growth. The cinnamon and turmeric are antimicrobial and will inhibit fungal diseases and insect pests, while you are waiting for the seeds to germinate.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

For further exploration

More Papermaking with Kids from Tessa Zundel at Homestead Lady

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Your Turn:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have you made seed bombs? What did you use as a medium?

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Most bombs are bad. Very, very bad. There are some though, like seed bombs and Jägerbombs, that are infinitely wonderful and can lead to all kinds of revolutionary green and flowery outcomes. Right? Wrong. Seed bombs are the only truly transformative missiles about. They’re little packages of plant seeds mixed up with clay and lobbed into hard-to-reach places. They sit on the ground until dissolved by rain and then they spring into life – surprising the thrower and their neighbours, pleasing the bugs and bees, and brightening up bare patches of earth.

Seed bombs are a bit revolutionary, a bit guerilla, and a lot of fun. Here’s how you make ’em:

1 handful potting mix or compost
1 handful clay (We share a studio with ceramicists so we used some of their leftovers. If you live somewhere with particularly clayey soil you could just dig some up!)
2 tablespoons of seeds of your choice (see etiquette section below)
1/2 teaspoon of slow release fertilizer (optional)
Seaweed solution or water

In a large, fancy bowl (like ours, borrowed from The Fortynine Studio) mix the potting mix/compost with the clay, seeds and fertilizer until combined. Of course, fancy bowls aren’t essential but they do add a certain sense of weight and decorum to the process (a very important aspect of revolutionary acts).

Add the seaweed solution/water as required. We only used a slurp or two to make sure everything stuck together.

Roll dough into balls around the size of a golf ball.

Place balls in a sunny spot to completely dry out. It’s important to do this quickly after making them to stop the seeds from germinating in the moist mixture.

Once the bombs are completely dry, put a couple in your pockets and head to your backyard, or a bare street verge and do some bombing!

The bombs will sit patiently on the ground until there is enough rain to break the clay and organic matter down and encourage germination of the seeds.

SEED BOMB ETIQUETTE

Before you get too carried away, bombing the your ‘hood, heres a few things worth thinking about:

Weeds: Be sensible about what seeds you put in your bomb. Don’t go about spreading plants that can become invasive, and stick to smaller plants rather than trees if you’re bombing in urban areas without much space. Use tough plants that will survive with minimal maintenance but always make sure they’re not weedy before bombing. Check the weed status of the plants you’re wanting to use here before starting.

Seeds: You can use a range of different plants seeds in your bombs, plants with small seeds work best as they will bind to the clay better than large ones. Many native plants seeds will grow well, as will many edible plants.

Seed bomb seed ideas: Parsley, chives, calendula, dill, sunflowers, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, thyme, salvia, cosmos, native paper daisies, beans, and on and on….

Location: Be considerate when lobbing your bombs. Hard to reach spots in your backyard are a good spot to start. Stick a few in your pocket and take a wander around local streets for untended street verges and hard-to-reach/forgotten patches of earth that need some green. It’s probably best not to throw them in your neighbours backyards without asking first…

Don’t go bombing near bushland (unless you’ve got locally collected seed from endemic plant species in your bombs, but even then, I reckon it’s best to let the bush be bomb free).

Season: Consider the time of year you are planning on bombing and what plants will be best sown at that time. If you’re bombing in spring, make sure you pick seeds that will germinate best in spring. Make sure the seed combos you use in the bomb germinate at the same time.

Get bombing, get greening, get revolutionary!

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Author Georgina Reid is a writer and designer, and the founding editor of The Planthunter. In addition to editing The Planthunter, Georgina contributes to a range of design and culture publications and speaks regularly about her work. Georgina’s first book, The Planthunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos, and Plants was released in Australia by Thames and Hudson in 2018, and in the USA by Timber Press in 2019.

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How to Make a Seed Bomb

Geurilla Gardners – How To Make A Seed Bomb

Undoubtedly you have heard of guerrilla gardening and seed bombs. The most popular seed bomb recipe was invented by Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. If you would like to beautify an empty lot or neglected planters seed bombs are the perfect option. With a bit of clay, soil and seeds you can create seed bombs in an afternoon that will sprout plants and flowers in hard-to-reach areas. I call my method of making seed bombs, the lazy guerrilla gardener’s way of making seed bombs, because the ingredients do not require mixing, and you don’t need water. See the video and photos below on how to make seed bombs for all the details.

I’ve held hands-on workshops where I’ve taught urban gardeners how to make seed bombs at seed swaps and events in Chicago like a Prince concert (yes, that Prince) and at Macy’s Flower Show. Here’s a video demonstrating how I make guerrilla gardening seed bombs really quickly and easily. Please note that in the video I accidentally say morning glory when I meant marigolds. :0)

The traditional seed bomb recipe calls for mixing clay, soil or compost, water and seeds. In my lazy seed bomb recipe, I skip the mixing of ingredients by purchasing a block of potter’s clay at the craft store. This is just natural clay that doesn’t need a kiln or an oven to dry. It will dry out by itself once exposed to air. Take a pinch of your seed bomb clay in your hand and flatten it out like in the picture above.

How to Make a Seed Bomb
Next, place a pinch or more of seed bomb soil in the center of your flattened-out piece of clay. The type of soil you use should not be a big concern. This is a mixture of potting soil mix, seed starting mix and some organic material like coir that I had left over from the previous growing season. Feel free to use compost or any growing medium you have on hand. You don’t need anything special because the medium is just there to help keep the seed(s) moist when they are exposed to moisture.

In this example I am using peas for my seed bombs. Seeds that are hard, round, and small work best for this method of making seed bombs because there is little chance of them breaking when you are rolling up your seed bomb.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Once you have added soil and seeds to your piece of clay it is time to start rolling it into a ball. Start making a seed bomb by folding it as if you were making a pierogi, empanada, or wanton. Once you have the seed bomb soil and seeds safely enclosed in the clay start to work them into the shape of a ball with the palms of your hand.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Keep rolling the seed bomb ingredients and working them into a ball shape in the palm of your hand. If you find that some of the soil starts to break through the clay, just keep rolling the ball into your hand and incorporating the soil back in the ball. That’s all there is to rolling a seed bomb.

Here are two seed bombs that I made. On the right is a seed bomb that I left to dry in the open air on my porch for a couple of days, and on the left, a seed bomb I just rolled. After you guerrilla garden with your seed bombs in the spot where you want to grow some plants, the clay is washed away by water and moisture, exposing the soil inside and the seed to moisture which helps it germinate. As I mentioned above, the kind of soil here is not very important. You can use cheap potting soil, or expensive seed starting soil, or you can use your own homemade seed starting compost left over after you regrew your lawn and then used your battery powered lawn mower to keep it neat and tidy. Those cuttings will go towards the next batch, so you may as well put them in the bombs. The soil inside is only there to help keep the seed(s) inside moist and help with germination.

Best Seeds for Seed Bombs

If you use this method of making seed bombs, I would recommend sticking to smaller seeds. Seeds that are round. And seeds with a hard coating so you don’t worry about breaking the seeds. However, if you would like to use seeds that are flat or papery it is still possible. See the seed bomb making video I included above for a trick on how to use seeds like zinnias.

There are a lot of recipes and directions for making seed bombs on websites, blogs and garden books. All of them work just fine. This way of making seed bombs works for me because it doesn’t require any mixing or water. Eliminating those steps makes this an ideal project for garden workshops because it’s quick, easy, and I can easily carry all of the seed bomb recipe ingredients in backpack on the bus or trains around Chicago. I purchased the brick of clay at a Michaels arts and crafts store, and used a 40% off coupon. So the clay costs me less than $5.00.

Whether you call them seed bombs, or seed balls, they’re the same thing. A seed delivery mechanism employed by guerrilla gardeners to beautify our surrounds. Thanks to the ingenuity and creativity of Masanobu Fukuokathere are now a lot ways of making seed bombs. If you’re wondering how to makes seed bombs with kids, follow this seed bomb recipe as it requires a lot less cleanup afterwards. And don’t forget to watch the seed bomb video for tips on making seed bombs of small and fragile seeds. Feel free to add more soil to your seed bomb than I did, or to start with a flatter piece of clay. My friend has told me that after reading some lawn company reviews he decided to make use of these seed bombs to build his perfect garden.
Have you ever made or tossed a seed bomb?

Thailand seed bombs: aerial reforestation to foster new growth on damaged land by 2017

How to Make a Seed Bomb

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SERIES 26 | Episode 05

Josh shows off his recipe for little balls of goodness

“Growing plants from seed is a cheap and easy way to go, but they can be vulnerable whilst they are dormant – especially from things like raiding ants – so today I’m going to protect them by making seed bombs! In this case, with a mix of Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) seeds.”

You’ll need:

  • 4 parts clay
  • 1 part fine compost
  • a sprinkle of crushed fertiliser
  • seeds
  • water to moisten

“You want the mixture moist enough to stick together, but not so wet it becomes a gluggy mess – and you also don’t want the seeds to germinate straight away. You want that to happen later. Get it to a play doh-like consistency.”

“They can be quite large, but I’m these ball bombs fairly small so I’ve got lots to scatter around the garden. You can see I’m actually being quite gentle when forming them – I’m not compressing them too hard and that’s important so when they do remoisten, they’ll break apart and the seeds can germinate.”

“Once formed, pop them on a tray to dry in a cool, airy space and tomorrow, we’ll have some fun scattering them around the garden.”

“There you have them – little balls of fertile goodness. I’ve made these using bentonite clay (see Soil Challenges Fact Sheet) but most types of clay will do. The important thing is not to make them too compact – so they can easily fall apart and the seeds germinate when they get wet – and this is why we call them seed bombs!”

Transcript

JOSH BYRNE: Growing plants from seed is a cheap and easy way to go, but they can be vulnerable whilst they are dormant – especially from things like raiding ants, so today, I’m going to protect them by making seed bombs and it’s so easy to do. I’ll just use 4 parts bentonite clay, 1 part fine, sifted compost. just like that. and a sprinkle of fertiliser and then blend it all together really evenly. and now it’s time for the seeds.

This is a mix of Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) seed. There we go. Now time for a little bit of water.

Now the trick here is you want it to be moist enough to stick together and form sort of ‘plasticy’ balls, but you don’t want it too wet so it becomes a gluggy mess – and you also don’t want the seeds to germinate straight away. You want that to happen later. Ok, so I’m just getting it to almost like playdoh type consistency.

Ok. Now I’m going to make these balls fairly small, so I’ve got lots to scatter around the garden. Look at that! There we go. Pop them on a tray to dry.

You can see I’m actually being quite gentle with these – I’m not compressing them too hard and that’s important so when they do remoisten, they’ll break apart and the seeds can germinate.

Right, there’s two trays done. Now it might look like it, but they don’t go in the oven. Where they do need to go is a cool, dry, airy space and tomorrow, we’ll have some fun.

Well, there you have it – little balls of fertile goodness. Now I’ve made these using bentonite clay, but most types of clay will do. The important thing is not to make them too compact – so they can easily fall apart and the seeds germinate when they get wet – and this is why we call them seed bombs!

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By Mavis Butterfield on June 6, 2013 · 27 Comments

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Have you ever heard of seed bombs? Basically, they are balls made out of clay, compost, and seeds. They can be tossed anywhere you have a large area you’d like to cover with flowers, etc. Apparently, seed bombs were first used in the 70’s to “bomb” large vacant lots in New York City with flowers–they called it guerrilla gardening– awesome!

If you have a large area you would like to cover in flowers, but don’t want to take the time to scatter seeds, seed bombs might be the perfect solution. Plus, they are super duper easy and cheap to make.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

  • Clay <Crayola Air Dry Clay is a pretty cheap option>
  • Water
  • Seeds
  • Compost
  • Large Flat Surface

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Mix 5 parts clay with 1 part compost and 1 part seeds. Add a couple of drops of water . Roll and knead the mixture into a ball. After you have thoroughly mixed the dough, flatten it out and cut into pieces. Roll the smaller pieces into little balls. Now you have seed bombs. Toss them into your open area and do nothing but wait for them to grow. Easy Peasy.

This post was last updated on April 25, 2020

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Make your own homemade wildflower seed bombs with air dry clay and a little bit of dirt. Making seed bombs is a quick and simple craft, and a great way to garden with your kids!

Who else loves seeing the beautiful spring colors as the flowers bloom?! We have this big empty lot near us that’s covered in grass and dandelions, and the yellow flowers are kinda pretty, but I’d love to see some more color in that lot. So I decided to make a bunch of DIY wildflower seed bombs with air dry clay! Making seed bombs is such a quick and easy craft, and the dried seed bombs are perfect for guerrilla gardening and turning ugly empty lots or park strips into beds of gorgeous flowers! Homemade seed bombs also make great guest favors for weddings, showers, etc.; just package them up with some instructions and you’re good to go!

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Making seed bombs is a great craft for your kids to help with because it’s both fun and messy. Plus it’s a great way to get them involved in gardening, and then you can all go on a guerrilla gardening adventure and spread joy and wildflowers all over your neighborhood.

What you need for making seed bombs

  • wildflower seeds
  • air dry clay
  • garden soil (or just dirt from your yard!)
  • water
  • cookie sheet
  • mixing bowl
  • parchment paper

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to make wildflower seed bombs

This project can get a little messy, so go outside to mix everything, or at the very least make sure you’re near a sink so you can clean up when you’re done!

Add the seeds, clay, soil, and water together in a large mixing bowl, then start mixing it all together with your hands.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Keep mixing the dirt/clay mixture with your hands, making sure to break up any chunks of clay or dirt as you go. If it’s too wet, add a little more dirt; if it’s too dry, add a little more water. You want it to end up like cookie dough; not too sticky, but not dry either.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Once your mixture looks like cookie dough, grab small handfuls and roll them into 1″ balls. Set them aside to dry on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Unlike balls of actual cookie dough, these don’t expand or change shape at all as they dry, so you can put them close together if you need to.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

The seed bombs might take a day or two to dry, depending on the humidity in your area.

How to use homemade wildflower seed bombs

These homemade flower seed bombs have almost everything they need to start growing. All you need to do is toss the wildflower seed bomb into an empty lot, a park strip, or any other pile of dirt. Just make sure they get tossed into a spot where they will get rained on, and it’ll grow. Be sure to stop by again after about a month (and after it’s rained a few times) and you’ll see gorgeous wildflowers growing where you dropped the homemade seed bomb!

You can also package homemade seed bombs up as wedding favors or party favors. Make a cute little cloth bag for them, print out some simple instructions, and hand them out so everyone can spread joy and wildflowers around their neighborhoods.

The recipe below assumes each DIY seed bomb will have enough seeds to cover about 1-2 square feet. Feel free to drop a couple if you want to cover a large area.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

If you liked this project, check out these other simple outdoor crafts!

How to Make a Seed Bomb

What is a seed bomb?

Seed bombs come in many forms. In all cases, a seed bomb is a bunch of seeds stuck together, often with dirt, paper, or other materials. Seed bombs are sometimes used by “guerilla gardeners” who like to plant rogue flowers in vacant dirt around the neighborhood, or even out in the woods. Seed bombs also make great gifts or party favors, especially when you are looking for a homemade and personal touch to your gift.

What are the ingredients of a seed bomb?

Let’s talk what sort of plants you want to grow. If you are thinking flowers, do a little planning as far as time of year of planting and the type of flower. Consider the climate, zone, and sunlight needs of the seeds you are thinking of putting into your bomb.

Consider also the recipients of your bomb. If they are mostly city dwellers in apartments, giant sunflowers might not be the best bet.

If this is a gift for wedding guests or others who travel from far, consider putting in seeds that are innocuous (instead of invasive). Just because something is native in your area, doesn’t mean that it should be planted everywhere. Try also to avoid something that grows aggressively, such as Morning Glory.

The best bets for seed bombs are annual flowers that germinate easily, and don’t require special planning beyond time of year. Zinnias and Cosmos are beautiful and easy, and grow with a riotous color that brightens up any barren space.

If you are thinking herbs, consider herbs that are useful in the kitchen, such as basil, thyme, and sage. These are easy to grow plants, and don’t require any special considerations (like rosemary, which can be difficult to grow from seed).

Recommended Recipe for Seed Bombs

Some recipes you find on the net recommend putting a lot of seeds in each seed bomb. While this really packs the seed bomb full-up, the resulting plants will probably not perform well. In general, plants need enough space to thrive. If most of the seeds germinate, and you are not around the thin them, they will compete for nutrients and water. They won’t thrive, and will probably die. The recipes we like are the ones that include only a few seeds per bomb.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup compost (aged, sifted, and ready to be used)

1 cup of clay (potters clay can work, or even clay from your backyard if you happen to have some)

Bowl big enough for the compost and the clay

Approximately 50 seeds

Directions:

Add the clay to your bowl.

Add a little bit of water, and slowly mix it up, until you can stir the clay like batter or mashed potatoes. Small lumps if you have some won’t matter.

Add the compost to the clay mixture. We are looking to have an equal amount of clay to compost, so if you added extra clay, try to match it with the compost. Add small amounts of water as you mix, but not too much. You want a mixture you can play with and mold, not dirt soup.

Using a spoon, scoop up a bit of the mud mixture (like you are getting ready to drop cookie dough onto a cookie sheet). You can press the seeds into the spoonful with a finger, and then roll the spoonful into a ball or clump. (If you are making gifts, I’m sure you’ll try much harder to make a pretty ball. I’m not that picky myself).

Place the ball (clump) on a baking sheet or other flat surface that is easy to clean.

Repeat until you’ve used up all the mud mix or the seeds.

Place the bombs in a dry place (sun is okay) to dry out and harden up.

How to Make Seed Bombs with Paper

Making DIY seed bombs with paper is a really cool (and perhaps less messy) activity to do with children. The same rules for choosing seeds applies.

Here’s what you need:

Paper (newspaper, paper towels, math homework, construction paper, recycled paper, even cardboard, just about any kind of paper-like material that can be torn)

A large bowl, bucket, or bin that can hold water

A few other empty containers

Strainer/Colander with small holes

Blender or Food Processor (an old one or second hand one that you don’t use for food preparation is recommended)

Directions:

Tear up the paper you want to use. You can use a paper shredder for this if you like, or you can just use the exercise to get out the day’s tensions and stresses.

After you’ve shredded the paper, place it into the large bowl and cover the paper with water. You can soak the paper overnight, or you can soak it for just a few minutes. The goal is to just get the paper to absorb as much water as possible, since the paper is going into the blender next.

Put about a copy of the soggy paper into the blender. Don’t fill it up all the way (you’ll be sorry). Add water to the blender, at least until it covers the paper. You may need more water, you’ll have to check and see what your blender can handle.

Once you’ve blended up the paper, put the colander over one of your extra bowls. Then pour the mixture from the blender to the colander. Don’t worry about trying to get all the water out, you’ll want the water to be in there when it is time to make the seed bombs.

Once most of the water is out of the pulpy mixture, transfer the blended paper to another bowl. From there, you can do one of two things (involving the seeds:

  • Make balls like the clay/compost bombs above, placing the seeds on the inside and then wrapping the mixture around it.
  • Drop all the seeds you want to use into the mixture, and stir it all up until the seeds are spread out uniformly (you may have to knead the seeds in). If you choose this method, you can more easily form fun shapes with the pulpy mixture.
  • Add food coloring or use colored paper or construction paper to make your bombs more creative

Make your seed bomb! Some folks like to press the pulpy mixture (and seeds) into cookie cutters to make fun and unique shapes.

Other considerations

In every case, if you are giving away seed bombs as favors or gifts, try to include a card or note explaining the bomb and how to use it. Consider including the “ingredients” list in case travelers are called upon to explain just what exactly they are carrying.

In some cases, guests who are flying home may not want to carry the seeds home with them. Some states (or countries) can get a bit grumpy about carrying seeds in or out of their territory.

Before you bounce, check out another great article from one of our many Mom Advice Line contributors:

Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, all under the age of 10. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Emily is a mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer when the kids are sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her personal digital journal or her post about failing her way to blogging success .

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Guerilla Gardners – How To Make A Seed Bomb

Undoubtedly you have heard of guerrilla gardening and seed bombs. The most popular seed bomb recipe was invented by Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. If you would like to beautify an empty lot or neglected planters seed bombs are the perfect option. With a bit of clay, soil and seeds you can create seed bombs in an afternoon that will sprout plants and flowers in hard-to-reach areas. I call my method of making seed bombs, the lazy guerrilla gardener’s way of making seed bombs, because the ingredients do not require mixing, and you don’t need water. See the video and photos below on how to make seed bombs for all the details.

I’ve held hands-on workshops where I’ve taught urban gardeners how to make seed bombs at seed swaps and events in Chicago like a Prince concert (yes, that Prince) and at Macy’s Flower Show. Here’s a video demonstrating how I make guerrilla gardening seed bombs really quickly and easily. Please note that in the video I accidentally say morning glory when I meant marigolds. :0)

The traditional seed bomb recipe calls for mixing clay, soil or compost, water and seeds. In my lazy seed bomb recipe, I skip the mixing of ingredients by purchasing a block of potter’s clay at the craft store. This is just natural clay that doesn’t need a kiln or an oven to dry. It will dry out by itself once exposed to air. Take a pinch of your seed bomb clay in your hand and flatten it out like in the picture above.

How to Make a Seed Bomb
Next, place a pinch or more of seed bomb soil in the center of your flattened-out piece of clay. The type of soil you use should not be a big concern. This is a mixture of potting soil mix, seed starting mix and some organic material like coir that I had left over from the previous growing season. Feel free to use compost or any growing medium you have on hand. You don’t need anything special because the medium is just there to help keep the seed(s) moist when they are exposed to moisture.

In this example I am using peas for my seed bombs. Seeds that are hard, round, and small work best for this method of making seed bombs because there is little chance of them breaking when you are rolling up your seed bomb.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Once you have added soil and seeds to your piece of clay it is time to start rolling it into a ball. Start making a seed bomb by folding it as if you were making a pierogi, empanada, or wanton. Once you have the seed bomb soil and seeds safely enclosed in the clay start to work them into the shape of a ball with the palms of your hand.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Keep rolling the seed bomb ingredients and working them into a ball shape in the palm of your hand. If you find that some of the soil starts to break through the clay, just keep rolling the ball into your hand and incorporating the soil back in the ball. That’s all there is to rolling a seed bomb.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Here are two seed bombs that I made. On the right is a seed bomb that I left to dry in the open air on my porch for a couple of days, and on the left, a seed bomb I just rolled. After you guerrilla garden with your seed bombs in the spot where you want to grow some plants, the clay is washed away by water and moisture, exposing the soil inside and the seed to moisture which helps it germinate. As I mentioned above, the kind of soil here is not very important. You can use cheap potting soil, or expensive seed starting soil, or you can use your own homemade seed starting compost. The soil inside is only there to help keep the seed(s) inside moist and help with germination.

Best Seeds for Seed Bombs

If you use this method of making seed bombs, I would recommend sticking to smaller seeds. Seeds that are round. And seeds with a hard coating so you don’t worry about breaking the seeds. However, if you would like to use seeds that are flat or papery it is still possible. See the seed bomb making video I included above for a trick on how to use seeds like zinnias.

There are a lot of recipes and directions for making seed bombs on websites, blogs and garden books. All of them work just fine. This way of making seed bombs works for me because it doesn’t require any mixing or water. Eliminating those steps makes this an ideal project for garden workshops because it’s quick, easy, and I can easily carry all of the seed bomb recipe ingredients in backpack on the bus or trains around Chicago. I purchased the brick of clay at a Michaels arts and crafts store, and used a 40% off coupon. So the clay costs me less than $5.00.

Whether you call them seed bombs, or seed balls, they’re the same thing. A seed delivery mechanism employed by guerrilla gardeners to beautify our surrounds. Thanks to the ingenuity and creativity of Masanobu Fukuokathere are now a lot ways of making seed bombs. If you’re wondering how to makes seed bombs with kids, follow this seed bomb recipe as it requires a lot less cleanup afterwards. And don’t forget to watch the seed bomb video for tips on making seed bombs of small and fragile seeds. Feel free to add more soil to your seed bomb than I did, or to start with a flatter piece of clay.
Have you ever made or tossed a seed bomb?

Thailand seed bombs: aerial reforestation to foster new growth on damaged land by 2017

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Have you had an experience like this: You’re walking with your dog and you see an abandoned lot or overlooked corner of a park and you think, “Wouldn’t it be great if there were flowers here?” I had such an experience recently when my dog lingered at an unsightly patch of earth in the middle of a cul-de-sac. As my dog went about her business, my imagination went wild thinking of cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias growing among the scrub grass. It was at that moment that I turned into a guerrilla gardener. I went home and, for the first time in my life, made a bomb–a seed bomb, that is.

What’s a seed bomb?

A seed bomb is a mixture of rich soil, seeds, and clay that is shaped into a small ball. Once dry, these bombs can be easily distributed to areas that needs a little “flower power.” Some guerrilla gardeners toss them into abandoned fields or alleys, others use them to grow flowers in their own gardens.

Once in place, the seed bomb will be watered by Mother Nature. This water will help the clay in the seed bomb to dissolve. Eventually the seeds will take root and flowers will grow to brighten up a spot that was dull.

For the purposes of this post, I focus on flower seed bombs, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use vegetable seeds as well. Just consider where you’re “planting” your seed bomb and whether or not it is easily accessible at harvest time.

You, too, can make a seed bomb and become a guerrilla gardener. You probably already have the supplies on hand, and if not, they’re easy and inexpensive to get.

Supplies:

rich soil and compost mixture

seeds (In order to avoid invasive species, be sure to purchase seeds that are native to your area. Your local cooperative extension will be helpful in identifying native species. Also, consider the conditions the seeds will be growing in. Marigold or poppy seeds are good for areas that are sunny. Foxgloves are shade friendly flowers, and cosmos grow well in most conditions.)

Note: How much of each supply you need depends on how many seed bombs you intend to make.

3 Super Easy Steps:

1. Soak the seeds overnight. This will soften their outer shells and help them to germinate faster. In an ideal world, you will soak them in compost tea, but if you don’t have any, then water will work fine. If there are seeds floating, discard them.

2. Combine the soil-compost mixture with clay and seeds and shape into a golf ball sized ball.

Note: There are a seemingly infinite number of ways to make the soil-clay-seed mixture. See some variations listed below.

3. Dry seed bomb for 24 hours before you start your guerrilla gardening.

Variations on Step 2:

Combine one part seed with three parts compost-soil and five parts clay and combine until it is a cookie dough consistency. Add water if it is too dry.

As clay is a primary ingredient in kitty litter, some guerrilla seed bombers use kitty litter in place of clay.

Instead of mixing the seeds into the clay-soil mixture, mix the clay and soil together and form into a golf ball sized ball. Then poke your finger into the ball to make a hole. Place seeds in the hole and then gently cover the hole with a bit of clay.

Combine five parts sawdust, one part seed, and mix with a biodegradable food safe glue. You want the mixture to be not too wet but moist enough to form a ball.

Common sense goes a long way.

When it’s time to let your seed bomb fly do so with (at least) an ounce of common sense. For example, don’t seed bomb private property. Seed bombing a fallow field can be fun but be certain that it isn’t farm land.

No, seed bombing isn’t fool proof.

Perhaps one more ingredient should be added to the list of supplies: optimism. There are a number of reasons why a seed bomb may not be successful: lack of rain, poor seed quality, poor soil quality where it is expected to grow. Some guerrilla gardening skeptics even worry about over-seeding and the seeds strangling each other as they grow. (This particular concern isn’t keeping me up at night.) Thankfully, none of the supplies required to make a seed bomb is very expensive. So, if the seed bomb isn’t successful, at least you haven’t lost a lot of cash.

Did you know?

Seed bombs were first used in the 1930s by Japanese farmer-microbiologist-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka. He created tsuchi dango (earth dumplings) to distribute seed in his farm. Fukuoka is known for other advances in sustainable farming. IMHO, it is well worth checking out this web site to learn more about his One Straw Revolution.

Making seed bombs is a great way to get kids involved with gardening. With a little help, even a toddler can help to make a seed bomb. Imagine the fun a kid could have on a neighborhood walk throwing seed bombs!

Related on Organic Authority

How to Make a Seed Bomb

How to Make Homemade Seed Bombs

Guerilla Gardening at its Finest

In the award-winning children’s book Miss Rumphius, the titular character travels the local countryside tossing handfuls of lupine seeds in a quest to make the world a more beautiful place.

Today’s guerilla gardeners actively aspire to take this concept to the next level through a variety of tactics – including one particularly efficient method: seed bombs. What started in the Far East as an ancient agricultural technique has since grown into a popular movement through which neglected or abandoned urban plots are quickly transformed into blooming gardens. In short, seed bombs are a fast and easy way to add green to your environment.

A Seed Bomb Recipe

While the term “seed bomb” may sound technical, in actuality the process of making these accelerated gardening tools is simple.

An effective seed bomb consists of just three starting materials: clay, compost and seeds. The type of clay doesn’t matter as its primary purpose is to act as a bonding mechanism; red clay and clay powder are both adequate, but clay from your own backyard is ideal.

Whenever you can, stick as close as possible to your local ingredients. That means using homegrown compost and choosing seeds that are indigenous to your region.

And while there is no precise formula for seed bombs, some experts indicate that five parts clay, three parts compost and two part seeds is a beneficial composition.

To make seed bombs, simply mix these three ingredients together in a large bowl. The process can be messy, so wearing gloves and work clothes can help you avoid getting filthy.

Continue to blend until everything is thoroughly combined and the mixture is moist and malleable. If your mixture is too dry, add a small amount of water.

Form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls, then allow the seed bombs to dry by placing them in a warm sunny location for a full 24 hours.

Ready-to-go seed bombs should be rock hard and ready to be lobbed into a forsaken urban space for the ultimate explosion of flowers.

Seed Bombs Have Many Famous Fans

Seed bombs offer many benefits to the environment, and are sure to meet the approval of everyone from your next door neighbor to the world’s greatest luminaries.

Many leaders, such as Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Ambassador to the U.A.E., particularly prize initiatives — such as the work of seed bombs — that make the environment a better, more beautiful place.

If you’re interested in following in the footsteps of Miss Rumphius — with a 21st century interpretation — give this formula for seed bombs a go.

In addition to being easy to make and inexpensive, they’re bursting with huge potential in the form of unprecedented flower power.

Media Credits

  • Tis the season for seed bombing flickr photo by Paris on Ponce & Le Maison Rouge shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes writes on all subjects, ranging from lifestyle and travel to beauty and fashion. She believes the advice of Miss Rumphius’s grandfather — to do one thing in our life to leave the world more beautiful — is a worthwhile endeavor.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Do you hate those blank vacant lots on the side of road and city streets? Have you wanted to put a flower garden in one of those lots but have been afraid of being arrested? Do you not have the money to buy all those flower transplants? Is the lot just to hard to get into?

And think of how many times you have seen a bare plot with nothing in it or a neglected flower bed that you just wished you could plant on?

Well the seed bomb is just right for you. The seed bomb is cheap compared to buying transplants, is natural and organic, easy to make, pocket sized, and you can easily cover a large area with seed bombs in a very short time.

The seed bomb is also a great weapon in the guerrilla gardeners arsenal when the guerrilla gardener needs to quickly get the job done. Here’s how to make them…

Step 1: Materials…

How to Make a Seed Bomb

All materials are cheap or free, easy to find, and are natural and organic.

  • Clay from your area if available or if clay unavailable in your area you can use crayola air dry clay and is found in walmart for about $5.00 (used to protect the seeds from insects, birds, etc. that might eat them)
  • Water (For forming clay, do not water seed bomb when finished)
  • Seeds native to your area (Check with your local Nature Conservancy or your state’s department of natural resources for which seeds/plants are native to your area)( buy seed mixtures of native flowers and plants. Not only will they grow well, they will not crowd out other plants, disrupt bird and insect populations, or do other environmental damage)
  • Compost or worm castings
  • Yogurt container top or any large flat surface

For the dried red clay mix 5 parts clay with 1 part compost and 1 part flower seeds, put some careful drops of water into the mixture(make sure not to make it into a goopy sloppy mess!), Knead with hands into a ball, flatten it out and cut to desired size. Now just make into a small ball and let it dry in the sun. Now you have a red clay seed bomb.

Step 2: Cutting…

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Cut a very thin piece of the clay.

Tip: (The thinner you make it the easier you can press it down and shape it into a ball).

Step 3: Cutting (Continued)…

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Press down on a large flat surface (making it not paper thin but not as thick as a book).

Cut to about 2 and a half inches wide and 2 inches high.

Step 4: Adding the compost…

How to Make a Seed Bomb
Sprinkle the finest compost onto the clay and the more compost you put on the better the chance the seeds will germinate).

Step 5: Adding Seeds…

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Add about 2 seeds to the mixture (depending on the quality you think the seeds are).

Step 6: Adding the Water…

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Be careful on how much water you add. Add just a few drops or it will become a sloppy mess that’s almost impossible to take off ! The water will also help the compost stay inside the seed bomb.

Step 7: Making Into a Seed Bomb…

How to Make a Seed Bomb

This is going to be dirty. Scrape off with your fingers the clay and roll into a ball and make sure you don’t let the seeds go out of the seed bomb!

Step 8: Adding More Compost…

How to Make a Seed Bomb
To have a better chance of your plant in your seed bomb of growing put your seed bomb into a pot of compost and rub the compost in and take it out and rub it in again. You can keep repeating this process till about the 5th rubbing then you have most likely covered the seed bomb with the compost.

Step 9: Your Finished…

How to Make a Seed Bomb
Now just let your seed bomb air dry and your finished. You can fit about 9 seed bombs or more in one pocket (estimated from size 12 boys blue jeans) and if you multiply that by how many pockets you have in your pants, jacket, and even hat plus the number of people you bring with you then you have a lot of area you can cover with your seed bombs!

Now throw your seed bombs of change into any vacant lot, neglected flower bed, or bare lot and don’t forget to water your new brand new guerrilla garden! (Via Instructables)

If you like this idea, be sure to share it with your friends and inspire someone you know. Anything becomes possible with just a little inspiration…

Spring keeps hinting it’s going to show up around my house: the sun will say hello for a hour or two, the birds will test out their morning songs before disappearing, and I haven’t seen one of those awful, gross and gray snow piles in the last few days. I’m looking out the window, and I can almost hear that suite from Peer Gynt that they always played in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Sounds likes it to drop a bomb.

A seed bomb, of course. While you may be working hard to get your own seedlings for fruits and veggies for your own garden, don’t forget the bare spots, abandoned lots, and dead commercial development spaces around your neighborhood that could use some fresh blooms as well.

I’ve seen these a lot in the hip gift shops and museum stores, and love this DIY version:

The seed bomb is cheap compared to buying transplants, is natural and organic, easy to make, pocket sized, and you can easily cover a large area with seed bombs in a very short time. The seed bomb is also a great weapon in the guerrilla gardeners arsenal when the guerrilla gardener needs to quickly get the job done.

Whether you want to make a public statement, or just make a positive contribution, these seem easy, inexpensive, and a great weekend project to do with little ones or to give as gifts.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

Spring keeps hinting it’s going to show up around my house: the sun will say hello for a hour or two, the birds will test out their morning songs before disappearing, and I haven’t seen one of those awful, gross and gray snow piles in the last few days. I’m looking out the window, and I can almost hear that suite from Peer Gynt that they always played in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Sounds likes it to drop a bomb.

A seed bomb, of course. While you may be working hard to get your own seedlings for fruits and veggies for your own garden, don’t forget the bare spots, abandoned lots, and dead commercial development spaces around your neighborhood that could use some fresh blooms as well.

I’ve seen these a lot in the hip gift shops and museum stores, and love this DIY version:

The seed bomb is cheap compared to buying transplants, is natural and organic, easy to make, pocket sized, and you can easily cover a large area with seed bombs in a very short time. The seed bomb is also a great weapon in the guerrilla gardeners arsenal when the guerrilla gardener needs to quickly get the job done.

Whether you want to make a public statement, or just make a positive contribution, these seem easy, inexpensive, and a great weekend project to do with little ones or to give as gifts.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the news and our lives, and with stress levels soaring because of it, I thought I would discuss a topic of a lighter note: Wildflower and Tree Seed Bombs. While it might suggest a topic of a less serious note, some of the words associated with the subject have some severe associations. Just the word “bomb” does not bring to mind something the family can make and do together. On the contrary, making these seed bombs is also a fun family project while we are subject to stay-at-home laws.

And the hobby of “guerrilla gardening” also does not conjure up an image of a fun way to spend a weekend day. Though it sounds radical, guerrilla gardening is not an overtly political or polarizing endeavor. Its objective is simple: transform unused land into gardens. People all over the globe are drawn to this humble mission and are taking up arms in the form of shovels, compost, plants, bulbs, and seed bombs in an attempt to bring their communities back to life. How to Make a Seed Bomb

One might think that wildflower and tree seed bombing is a newfangled hipster way to plant seed and help the environment, but not so. Even though one can throw the seed bombs out of a moving car, from a bicycle, or on a hike, seed bombing is an ancient practice that goes back to the feudal days of Japan. While on the surface it seems like a simple concept, like most things in life, to get the most good out of it, one needs to put a little thought into it. Furthermore, believe it or not, seed bombing can be illegal, so here are some tips from a New York Times article and from a few other DIY gardening articles.

Recipe

While there are a number of seed bomb recipes one can use, make sure you use one that can lead to the greatest rate of seed germination and ultimate success. Just like any good recipe in the kitchen, for this garden recipe you will need a mixing bowl and baking sheets. Summarizing a recipe from Daniel Cunningham, a horticulturalist at Texas A&M, add one-part native wildflower seed mix to four parts powdered clay and five parts fine-gained compost. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and stir in water slowly until you have a thick bread-dough consistency.

Gather a small pinch of this seed-infused mud mixture and roll it into marble-sized balls. A cup of seeds can yield dozens of the seed bomb balls. Set the balls on a cookie sheet and let them dry in the sun. These clay balls protect the seed from the heat of the sun. They’re heavy enough to be unaffected by the wind or heavy rains and the hard clay casing deters animal nibblers as well. How to Make a Seed BombIn dry areas, the shape of the ball actually gives enough shade to conserve moisture. The seeds begin to germinate, and the ball breaks apart. The small pile of crumbles provides the start for the root system but is still heavy enough to anchor the emerging seeds to the ground.

Types of seeds to use and when to plant

Make sure the seeds you are using are native to your area, whether they be wildflower or tree seeds. The last thing you want to do is introduce invasive species to your area. I have spent countless hours in the local National Park and surrounding areas removing invasive species that are wrecking havoc on old established forest growth.

Fall to early spring is the best time to make and throw seed bombs. Seed bombs need water and moderate temperatures to succeed. The seeds of many northern species need to experience a winter cold period before the seeds will germinate. Sowing the seeds during the cold and wet time of year will give these seeds the best chance to work their way into a soil niche and provide the cold stratification they need for germination. By mid-May, the landscape begins to warm, and the soil dries out. This makes late spring a riskier environment for seed germination if you cannot provide supplemental water. How to Make a Seed Bomb

Leaving a Positive Impact

Now that your seed bombs are ready to go and the time of year for planting is right, now what. Believe it or not, you just can’t throw your seed bombs wherever you want. It can actually be illegal to do so. We don’t want you to end up in jail! Don’t throw your seed bombs on farm land, you don’t want to interfere with agricultural production. If in an urban area, while most people won’t call the police on you for trying to liven up a blighted area, it is best to get permission first so you won’t be accused of vandalism or trespassing. Seed bombs are a delightful idea and, if done with the planning previously discussed, I really can’t see why anyone would reasonably object.

Using native plant seed balls is a great way to reseed the landscape and to reclaim bare patches of land. In Texas, some of the highest concentrations of wildflowers can be found along highways thanks in part to the work of former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, over 50 years ago. And there have even been proposals in recent years to adopt the idea on an industrial scale to repopulate vast areas with trees. Reforesting devastated, blighted areas that are lacking vegetation is what The Gifted Tree advocates, by planting memorial and celebration trees in 30 plus countries worldwide. As Lady Bird Johnson once said: “ugliness is so grim.” How to Make a Seed Bomb