How to make seedballs

Seedballs: microcosms of the living world.

This past weekend, Al from my guerilla gardening group led a seedball-making workshop. I loved it; it was so satisfying just to get my hands muddy and spend a couple hours in a zen-like trance rolling seedballs… I highly recommend the process!

Here’s the recipe:

5 parts dry red clay*
3 parts dry organic compost
1 part seed**
1 – 2 parts water

We used a 16oz. plastic cup as a measure, which made enough for approximately 300 seedballs. After mixing together all the dry ingredients, we added enough water to form a mix that held together without crumbling but wasn’t so wet that it wouldn’t roll into balls. Pinching off small bits of the lovely mud, we rolled penny-sized balls and set them in trays. They will sit on my windowsill for three or four days until completely dry.

Ingredient notes:
*Dry red clay: Yes, this is the stuff that potters use. Commonly it comes pre-mixed, which you don’t want. You want the dry powder so it can be easily mixed. I’ve tried using grey clay from a riverbank – it doesn’t work so well. In Greater Vancouver there is something called Red Art Clay which is available at Greenbarn Potters Supply Ltd., 9548 – 192nd Street in Surrey (604-888-3411). Try asking at your local art supply store.

**Seeds: Workshop organizer Al provided crimson clover, white dutch clover and wild flower seeds, while the rest of the participants donated appropriate seeds – I put in California poppy, nasturtium and cilantro. Al also suggested using the edible, perennial and drought-tolerant plants listed at Plants for a Future.

Here we are, rolling away.

One of these kids is doing their own thing.

More on seedballs:

Path to Freedom
Masanobu Fukuoka

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