This past weekend, I made my first batch of seed balls: portable, pocket-sized seed-delivery devices commonly used in guerrilla gardening.
I loved it; it was so satisfying just to get my hands muddy and spend a couple hours in a zen-like trance rolling seed balls… I highly recommend the process!
Seed ball recipe
5 parts dry red clay*
3 parts dry organic compost
1 part seed**
1 – 2 parts water
I used a 16 oz plastic Solo cup as a measure, which made enough for approximately 300 seed balls. Using 1 cup as a measure yields approximately 50 seed bombs.
Seed bomb making method
- Mix all the dry ingredients together
- Add enough water to form a mix that holds together without crumbling but isn’t so wet that it won’t roll into balls
- Using a spoon or your hands, pinch off quarter-sized balls and set them aside on a tray
- Use immediately, or set aside for three or four days until completely dry, then store in a porous container such as a paper bag
*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: The best seeds for making seed balls are non-invasive in your area. Pollinator blends, native wildflower mixes, and cover crops are good options. I opt for smaller seeds because I’ve found that larger seeds sometimes split the seed bombs open as they dry. For this batch I used crimson clover, white dutch clover, a BC wild flower blend, California poppy, nasturtium and cilantro. You could also try the edible, perennial and drought-tolerant plants listed at Plants for a Future.