Why You Should Keep Seed Bombs In Your Pocket
Seed bombs are a ton of fun. To make, to give as presents, and most of all to throw and see the fruits (or flowers) of your labor. They’re relatively cheap to make, all natural, and you can cover a large area of neglected land or a hard to access area very quickly.
You may not notice them, those empty, boring, vacant lots you drive by all the time. It’s no wonder you don’t notice them either, there’s nothing to notice! Start looking next time you’re out and about. Right there! And another! Now that I am in the mindset of looking for them, I see them everywhere, and I plot my next drive-by.
Step One: Collect Your Materials
Clay: You can use moist clay, or dry powdered clay. For moist clay, use the kind pots are made with. Or you can use dry clay like Kaolin clay, that I think is commonly used in cosmetic recipes. My experience is that wet clay takes a bit more elbow grease to incorporate everything together, but dry clay can be easy to over water and make a delightfully sloppy mess. That said, I prefer dry clay. It’s cheaper and it stores better, so if I don’t feel like making ten pounds of bombs before the wet clay would dry into a hard lump, it’s okay.
NOTE: Highwater Clays in Asheville NC are a local supplier and have some great advice on which powdered clays are best for air-dried, non-crumbly bombs. For the clay-aficionados, clay is not clay is not clay.
Water: Enough to incorporate all the ingredients together (not always necessary with wet-clay).
Seeds: A mix of whatever you fancy. I like to use a mix of different varieties, herbs, flowers, and veggies. My co-worker Chris Smith here at Sow True Seed turned me on to always including some bean seeds in the mix, with the theory being that beans are quick to germinate and will help break open the ball and expose the rest of the seeds. If you’re into flowers, try some of Sow True Seed’s awesome flower mixes.
Soil: High quality garden soil, compost, or worm castings.
Step Two: Mix Your Materials
Your proportions are roughly 5 parts clay, 1 part compost and 1 part flower seeds. Mix your dry ingredients together, and then carefully drizzle water into the mixture (beware making a goopy sloppy mess!). It should be about the consistency of cookie dough.
Step Three: Make Your Balls and Let Air Dry
- Pinch off bits and roll into balls just shy of golf ball size. You can go smaller, but this is the size I like for their lobbing ability. (They can go far!)
2. Lay your finished bombs out on a cookie tray and let them dry for a few days.
This is a dirty and completely satisfying project, and if you have some kiddos around to help out, it’s a great way to let them get their hands gooey and spark their interest in gardening too.