Friday, March 21, 2014

Let’s make Seed Bombs: A fun-filled flower planting activity for all ages

by Lynne Walter, Associate Director

Spring has officially arrived!  And there is no better time than now to get outside with your friends and family to do some gardening and planting.  A simple and easy activity you can do together is to make and plant seed bombs!  This is also a great take-home activity for kids ages 3 and up--ready-made for classrooms, birthday parties, and festivals.

Photo by NCDOT via flckr
Seed bombs are made of clay, organic compost, and flower seeds.  They were inspired by guerrilla gardeners, who plant beautiful things in less-then-beautiful places.  Seed bombs are designed to be easy to plant and to automatically fertilize the beautiful flowers that grow from them, attracting pollinators like butterflies, honeybees, and even hummingbirds.

How Do We Do This
First, you will need to gather your supplies:
  • Clay (you can use potters clay or clay dug right from your backyard)
  • Organic compost (worm castings are a great choice)
  • Flower seeds (a wildflower mix with native flowers from the Southeast will work well)
  • Medium-sized waterproof container (for mixing)
  • Big wooden or plastic spoon
  • Water (in a watering can or water bottle)
  • Flat tray or cookie sheet
  • Sandwich bags
  • Paper towels
  • Hand wipes
  • Tablecloth that can get dirty or some newspaper
Once you have all your supplies, head out into the beautiful spring weather to make your seed bombs.  Set up the supplies on a table covered by the tablecloth or newspaper:
  • Mix together the clay, organic compost, and flower seeds in the medium-sized waterproof container:
    • 5 parts clay
    • 1 part organic compost
    • 1 part flower seeds
  • Add enough water to the mix so that is gets muddy, but not soupy
  • Make seed bomb mud balls (about 2 inches in diameter)
  • Put the seed bombs on the tray to dry for a few minutes
  • Put the seed bombs in the sandwich bags and place them in a cool, dry place for 24 - 48 hours
  • Once you're ready to use your seed bombs, simply take them out of the bag and throw them where you want to plant them.
  • You can also crush them up by hand and plant them this way, too.
  • Give them a little water and watch them grow!
Volunteer Shannon making seed bombs at a Toxic Free NC event

Have other questions about organic gardening?  Check out Toxic Free NC for more information, helpful hints, and workshops.

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