Seedbombs

Seedbombs, or seedballs are a mixture of clay, compost and seeds that are designed to improve ecology in blighted often hard to reach areas. The components are simply mixed together into balls that can easily be dropped or thrown in an appropriate place where they spout into flowers

urban garden

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Good seed bombs

Seedbombs replicate a natural process that’s impossible in the urban environment

Seedbombs grow plants help prevent runoff, take up carbon dioxide, hold down dust and create oxygen and cleaner air

Seedbomb greening adds value and beauty to a neighborhood; a lot full of flowers is better than a lot full of garbage

Seedbombs also help promote biodiversity, for example flowers provide food for pollinators

Seedbombs are lots of fun!

How do seed bombs work?

The clay prevents the compost and seeds from being washed away in rain and keeps them damp

The seeds will sprout plants that need the compost for nutrients required for successful early growth

Giving the seeds this starter package helps root them and protects them from birds and rodents who eat as much as 80% of broadcast seed

They also give you a way to get them where you want them

Historyof seedbombs

Animals have been delivering seedbombs in the form of their scat for eons.  Bird and mammal droppings continue a main package and source of seed spread, but this is very hard in cities

here is some dispute about when people started making seedbombs, some attribute them to native Americans they have also been documented in ancient Japan where they are still called Tsuchi Dango (Earth Dumpling)

In 1938 Masanobu Fukuoka became the modern father of seedbombs using them in large scale agriculture and evangelizing their wonder.

From the 1970’s NYC’ Green Guerrillas have gained positive recognition for using seedbombs to transform hundreds of lots into green spaces start gardens in disused lots and wastelands.

How to make seedbombs

Wet clay Recipe (makes about 20 seedbombs)

1 cup wet clay (non toxic, color doesn’t matter)

2-3 cups compost, or high quality dirt (potting mix works if in a pinch)

2 teaspoons water (or as needed to keep mixture moist)

50-+  seeds of a desired seed mix ( think of what type of area your seedbombs will be used in, use the internet or ask at a garden store what will work best in the conditions –  use native plants if possible they’ll grow great! sunflowers are a good one to start with)

Dry clay Recipe (makes about 20 seedbombs)

1 cup dry clay (don’t inhale)

2 cups compost

+- 50 seeds

6 Tablespoons water

Directions

Put down newspaper over work area for faster clean up

In mixing bowl mush together the clay and dirt until mixture is uniform, your hands are the best tool

If the mixture becomes too dry to stick together add a few drops of water, it should not be wet! (for dry clay add water until sticky)

Take a pinch of the dough the size of a quarter

Add 3-5 seeds

Pancake another pinch of dough on top and roll into a ball

Let seed bombs fully dry in warm sunny place

Store in dry dark location

Toss seedbombs in abandoned lots, blighted neighborhoods etc.

Where should I toss my seed bombs?

Ideally you want a location that has some soil or grow medium already present, will get rain water and sunlight

Abandoned lots, roadsides, wastelands, brownsites,  gravel roofs (sparingly),  are all prime locations

They can also thrive in neglected tree beds (not sunflowers), planters, and just about anywhere

Remember: choose responsibly- parks, established gardens, and obstructive placements are considered off limits

How do seedbombs work?

The clay prevents the compost and seeds from being washed away in rain and keeps them damp.

The seeds will sprout plants that need the compost for nutrients required for successful early growth. Giving the seeds this starter package helps root them and protects them from birds and rodents who eat as much as 80% of broadcast seed. They also give you a way to get them where you want them.

Seed bomb mixtures are an art! Now that you’ve got the basics down try experimenting with the composition!