The first time that I made seed bombs, it was a complete disaster. Instead of buying dry red clay, I bought a wet clay block from the art store, the compost that had splintery twigs in it, and seeds that had some weird husks added to the container as filler. It was seriously terrible; the wet clay was almost impossible to mash together with the compost, and the twigs and husks kept painfully poking my hands. Making seed bombs doesn’t have to be painful. I hope that the following instructions will give you a completely pain-free experience for your first time creating seed bombs.
What you will need:
- a measuring cup
- ½ cup dry red clay (ask around at your local potters business, or you can order online from Echo Ceramics, http://www.echoceramics.com/
- ¾ cup compost (you can find high quality, twig-free, compost at Whole Foods)
- 1/8 cup native wildflower seeds (I order mine from americanmeadows.com because they offer seeds native to any location in the States, at the best price that I’ve seen online)
- ½ cup of water
- a bowl or bucket, depending on how many you are making
- a wooden spoon or mixing utensil (optional)
- a plate or tray covered with paper towels
This mixture will make ten 1-inch round seed bombs or 20 ½-inch seed bombs. If you would like to make more, just multiply the ingredients accordingly.
*Note: You should probably wear older clothing, and definitely have a willingness to get a little dirty.
Making the seed bombs:
Part 1 – Mixing:
Slowly pour the dry red clay, compost and seeds together in your bowl or bucket.
Lightly mix the contents until they appear to be evenly distributed. Next, create a small pit or well in the center of your ingredients. Pour the water into the well and mix it using your spoon or hand.
The ideal consistency of the seed bomb mixture should feel like thick dough.
*Note: If your mix is too dry, add a little bit of water at a time until you reach the sweet spot. Alternatively, if your mixture is too wet, sprinkle some compost or dry red clay on top and mix until you find the correct consistency.
Part 2 – Forming:
Once you think you have found the right consistency for the mixture, you can start forming the seed bombs. Grab a small chunk of the mixture, approximately the size of a silver dollar, and gently roll between your palms until you get a round shape.
Once you have finished forming a seed bomb, place it on the paper plate or tray covered in newspaper.
*Note: Seed bombs are typically spherical, but you can take liberties with the shapes you choose, provided that you keep them fairly small (1” or under in thickness). For example, feel free to gently roll out the seed bomb mixture, like a pie crust, and use small cookie cutters to make fanciful shapes.
Part 3 – Waiting:
After shaping all of the mixture and placing the formed seed bombs on the plate or tray (covered with paper towels), place the seed bombs in a dry, warm location overnight.
*Note: Do not bake them! If you do, you’ll cook the seeds and render the seed bombs useless!
Part 4 – Throwing:
Once the seed bombs are dry, you are ready to become a guerilla gardener!
To plant the seed bombs, just place or throw them wherever you wish (there is no need to bury them, since they are already protected in the compost and the clay).
If you live in Los Angeles, like me, you can plant seed bombs pretty much anytime of the year. If you live in a location with distinct seasons, plant them after the threat of frost has subsided, in late March through October. You may water them periodically or let nature do its work – the beauty of choosing wildflowers that are native to your area is that they aren’t unnecessarily fussy. You should see little sprouts within 2 to 3 weeks and soon enough, you’ll have beautiful wildflowers!
*Note: Seed bombs can be stored in a dry location at room temperature for up to a year before the seeds expire.
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