Make Seedbombs

A seedbomb is a little ball made up of a combination of compost, clay and seeds.The compost and clay act as a carrier for the seeds so they can be launched over walls or fences and into inaccessible areas such as wasteland or railways where the seeds can then bloom and thrive. Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka popularized making seed balls to help seeds grow with little work in areas difficult to farm. Now, “guerrilla” gardeners are using these balls as “bombs” to get seeds into neglected areas where they’d like to see plants grow. Seedbombs are a fun, easy and effective way to make your urban space more green and beautiful by spreading the seeds of your favourite plants and flowers. Moreover seedbombs increase biodiversity and help the bees and other insects survive in cities and urbanized areas. IMPORTANT: make sure to use non invasive species, indigenous wild plants and flowers are the best option and the one the most likely will succeed without extra efforts.

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Participants

This activity works with small, medium and big size groups. This activity is very suitable for kids (4+ years old), in this case an adequate number of trainers and adults should be present in order to take care of the kids during the process.

Materials needed

  • clay (white or red, but natural)
  • compost (in alternative, it is possible to use potting soil instead of compost)
  • seeds
  • water
  • trays
  • large bowl (to mix)

Goal

Creating seedbombs with seeds of indigenous, beneficial and non-invasive species that will bloom in urban settings re-creating a habitat for biodiversity, bees and insects and beautifying the city.

How to…

Mix 5 parts clay with 2-3 (or more, the exact ratio is not critical as long as it forms well) part compost in a large bowl. Add water carefully, do not exceed or the mix will become too muddy and liquid. The compost will provide nutrients and hold moisture while the clay will help buffer the intense chemistry of the compost and also serves to bind the seed balls together. The exact ratio is not critical as long as it forms well. You can start with moist or dry clay. Clay can be red or white, just keep in mind that red clay stains more.
Take a bit of the mix and spread it on your hand, place a few seeds in it (no more than 5 seeds per each bomb, too many seeds in each ball will over-crowd the plants) and then from a sphere.
Large seeds can be deep inside the seed balls while smaller seeds should be near the surface of the seed balls as they won’t be able to break out from deep inside a seed ball and may need light to germinate. The dimension is very important, seedbombs have to be small in order to allow the seeds to germinate and the diameter of the bomb should not be larger than the diameter of a small coin. Moreover smaller seedbombs also have the following advantages: cost less, lighter, it is possible to make more and carry more, are more discreet and have better soil contact.
The trainer can show the participants how to make a seedbomb and then let them practice by themselves. It is better to place seedbombs that are ready on a tray so that they can dry completely.