How To Make Seed Balls / Seed Bombs
August 01, 2014 1 Comment
How To Quickly Make Seed Balls
Fun Fact: Bees have 5 eyes – 3 simple eyes on top of the head, and 2 compound eyes, with numerous hexagonal facets.
Seeds - Can be wildflowers, herbs, vegetables (lettuces do well), or native grasses
Clay - Dig it from a creek bed, buy it in powdered form, or purchase wet clay. Any clay is fine, but powdered clay is easiest to work with.
Compost - Either make your own or purchase a bag of good quality organic compost. Worm Castings also help, but don't use them more than 10% of your compost portion.
Big Bowl - and Some Helper Hands
Instructions for How To Make Seed Balls
- Do a dance, this activity is fun, so celebrate and jump around for a minute!
- Mix 1 parts dry powdered clay with 7 parts compost by weight in a big bowl. Mix these together first. If using wet clay, you will want to mix the compost into it bit by bit using a heavy spoon or strong hands.
- Mix in 1 part seeds by weight into the clay and compost. If the seeds are very small (like california poppies, yarrow, tidy tips, etc) you can use less, because sometimes 1 cup of seeds can be 250,000 seeds, which would be overkill for a batch.
- Mix in 1-2 parts water slowly, usually the 1st part can be added quickly, but the second part needs to be added until you get a thick, dough like consistency.
- Break small pieces off and roll them between your two hands into seed balls or seed bombs, whichever you like to call them. The optimal size for making seed balls by hand is between the size of a dime and a nickel.
- Let them dry for 24-48 hours until they are fully dry before tossing them. Putting them in semi-direct sunlight speeds up the drying process, but don't bake them or heat them too hot, the seeds won't germinate.
Ideas for Planting The Wildflower Seed Balls
- Toss them in your backyard!
- Go Hansel Gift them as party favors at your
- Go Hansel and drop them along your route to work then enjoy them everyday. You deserve it.
- Make a kitchen window garden by adding herb seeds and turning your seed bombs into Thyme Bombs.
- Reverse egg hunting - Truly celebrate spring by letting kids add color and life to your backyard.
- Make (Big) Kids Smile - Order a bunch for your wedding, school garden project baby shower, corporate event, birthday, or anniversary party.
Many people across the internet recommend a 5 parts clay to 3 parts compost ratio. I also used this for a short while until it became evident the seeds were having challenges in breaking out of the seed ball, and the seed ball was not disintegrating as quickly as I would have liked. I recommend making the mixture as high in compost as you can make it, while still using the clay to hold things together. My experiments have shown to produce success seed balls with 1:1 ratio of clay to compost and even higher ratios of 2 parts compost to 1 part clay. Some of the higher compost seed balls do not have as much strength though, so beware they might need to be stored or transported gently.
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May 04, 2018
Hello! I love this idea! I had tried this last summer with recycled paper, with NO success so I am excited to do it with clay! I am also making for treat bags for my 4 year old’s preschool Easter party. My question is this: How far in advance can I make them? For example, I do not want the seeds to start to sprout before the party. However, with 22 kids in the class and making 3-5 small egg-shaped bombs proves to be quite time extensive. I would love to work small batches throughout this week to get them done in small windows of time and give them time to dry. It’s currently March 3rd and our party is March 22nd.
Thanks so much for your idea and your time.