If you’ve never heard of seed bombs before, you’re in for a treat. They’re a staple of guerilla gardeners around the world, enabling them to sow seeds in areas that they would otherwise be unable to reach.
There are a lot of reasons to make your own seed bombs:
- Garden in hard-to-reach areas
- Beautify a barren lot with a floral explosion
- Garden in an area that’s otherwise “restricted”
- Start seeds in a creative and organized way in your own garden
There are a lot of different ways to make your own seed bombs, but we’ll go over the simplest and easiest method in this article: the classic clay seed bomb. It’s extremely easy to make in bulk and you can get it done with only four ingredients.
P.S. If you want to skip the process and buy these for a friend, check out this 3 pack of organic seed bombs (edible flowers, salad greens, and herbs).
Step 1: Gather the Materials
Everything you need to make seed bombs can be found for free, but you might find it useful to pick up a couple of things from the store if you want to make a lot of these bad boys.
- Clay – If you can get clay from your local area, go for it. Otherwise the best option is Crayola Air Dry Clay or get a seed bomb matrix.
- Water – Simple tap water is best. Used to form clay.
- Seeds – Try to use seeds native to your area. They will grow better and not act as invasive species.
- Compost – Using compost or worm castings will do. Used to provide a nutrient-rich growing environment for seeds.
- Container – You need a flat, smooth surface to prep your seed bombs.
Step 2: Cut the Clay
Cut a thin piece of clay out of the mix. Remember, the thinner that you make your cut, the easier it will be to press and shape into a seed bomb.
Step 3: Shape the Clay
Press the clay down on a large flat surface to about 1cm or 1/2 inch thick.
Cut it to about 2.5 inches wide and 2 inches long.
Step 4: Add the Compost
Begin to sprinkle a fine layer of compost into the surface of the clay. Make sure to get full coverage here and add a good amount of compost – this will increase the seeds chance of germination.
Step 5: Add the Seeds
Add anywhere from 2-5 seeds to the mix. Be generous with your seeds to make sure that you get germination. The last thing you want is to make a seed bomb that doesn’t “explode”!
Step 6: Add the Water
Add just a few drops of water to the mixture. Any more and it will become waterlogged and kill any chance you had of seed germination. Be careful not to add too much water.
Step 7: Mold Into Seed Bomb
Get ready to get dirty. Scrape the clay off of your flat surface with your fingers and roll into a ball. Make sure you keep the compost and seeds in the center and avoid any spilling.
Step 8: Coat With Compost
If you want your seeds to have the best chance of growing, coat all of your seed bombs in an outer layer of compost. The best way to do this is to drop each seed bomb in a pot of compost and coat it up to five times.
Step 9: Bomb Your Neighborhood!
Let your seed bombs air dry first, then take them out into the streets! You can carry a LOT of these with you wherever you go and chuck them in neglected areas.
If it’s an area that doesn’t get water regularly, you’ll need to make sure to water your guerilla garden, so make sure it’s convenient for you (like on your walk to work)!
Posted on November 20, 2014 by Suttons Gardening Grow How in Childrens Corner with 1 Comment
(For starting in March – April)
Seed bombs are not only great fun for the children to make and scatter but are also an ideal way to bring some life to any hard to reach or barren areas. Perhaps the corner of the school playing field or the back of the playground? Or maybe the children would like to take their seed bombs home for their own gardens?
Great fun can be had putting the right name to the right flower!
A whole lesson can be structured around the different insects and birds attracted by the different flowers.
Our Seed Bomb Kits, featured below, include enough seed to make about 35 seed bombs per kit.
How seed bombs work
A seed bomb is a ball made of compost mixed with flour and water into which seeds have been embedded. Once the bomb has been thrown and the seeds have begun to germinate the bomb will slowly break apart. The soil will then provide a base for the seeds to start growing.
April to June is the time for seed bomb making!
Once you’ve chosen and ordered your seed mix below you just need to source some flour and compost. Oh and maybe some plastic aprons – things could get messy!
Most bombs are bad. Very, very bad. There are some though, like seed bombs and Jägerbombs, that are infinitely wonderful and can lead to all kinds of revolutionary green and flowery outcomes. Right? Wrong. Seed bombs are the only truly transformative missiles about. They’re little packages of plant seeds mixed up with clay and lobbed into hard-to-reach places. They sit on the ground until dissolved by rain and then they spring into life – surprising the thrower and their neighbours, pleasing the bugs and bees, and brightening up bare patches of earth.
Seed bombs are a bit revolutionary, a bit guerilla, and a lot of fun. Here’s how you make ’em:
1 handful potting mix or compost
1 handful clay (We share a studio with ceramicists so we used some of their leftovers. If you live somewhere with particularly clayey soil you could just dig some up!)
2 tablespoons of seeds of your choice (see etiquette section below)
1/2 teaspoon of slow release fertilizer (optional)
Seaweed solution or water
In a large, fancy bowl (like ours, borrowed from The Fortynine Studio) mix the potting mix/compost with the clay, seeds and fertilizer until combined. Of course, fancy bowls aren’t essential but they do add a certain sense of weight and decorum to the process (a very important aspect of revolutionary acts).
Add the seaweed solution/water as required. We only used a slurp or two to make sure everything stuck together.
Roll dough into balls around the size of a golf ball.
Place balls in a sunny spot to completely dry out. It’s important to do this quickly after making them to stop the seeds from germinating in the moist mixture.
Once the bombs are completely dry, put a couple in your pockets and head to your backyard, or a bare street verge and do some bombing!
The bombs will sit patiently on the ground until there is enough rain to break the clay and organic matter down and encourage germination of the seeds.
SEED BOMB ETIQUETTE
Before you get too carried away, bombing the your ‘hood, heres a few things worth thinking about:
Weeds: Be sensible about what seeds you put in your bomb. Don’t go about spreading plants that can become invasive, and stick to smaller plants rather than trees if you’re bombing in urban areas without much space. Use tough plants that will survive with minimal maintenance but always make sure they’re not weedy before bombing. Check the weed status of the plants you’re wanting to use here before starting.
Seeds: You can use a range of different plants seeds in your bombs, plants with small seeds work best as they will bind to the clay better than large ones. Many native plants seeds will grow well, as will many edible plants.
Seed bomb seed ideas: Parsley, chives, calendula, dill, sunflowers, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, thyme, salvia, cosmos, native paper daisies, beans, and on and on….
Location: Be considerate when lobbing your bombs. Hard to reach spots in your backyard are a good spot to start. Stick a few in your pocket and take a wander around local streets for untended street verges and hard-to-reach/forgotten patches of earth that need some green. It’s probably best not to throw them in your neighbours backyards without asking first…
Don’t go bombing near bushland (unless you’ve got locally collected seed from endemic plant species in your bombs, but even then, I reckon it’s best to let the bush be bomb free).
Season: Consider the time of year you are planning on bombing and what plants will be best sown at that time. If you’re bombing in spring, make sure you pick seeds that will germinate best in spring. Make sure the seed combos you use in the bomb germinate at the same time.
Get bombing, get greening, get revolutionary!
Author Georgina Reid is a writer and designer, and the founding editor of The Planthunter. In addition to editing The Planthunter, Georgina contributes to a range of design and culture publications and speaks regularly about her work. Georgina’s first book, The Planthunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos, and Plants was released in Australia by Thames and Hudson in 2018, and in the USA by Timber Press in 2019.
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This post How to Make Homemade Flower Seed Bombs contains affiliate links. To learn more visit my About Me page.
Can you even believe that gardening season is almost here? These homemade flower seed bombs aren’t just pretty to look at, but they can fill your yard with gorgeous blooms in no time. Great to make for gift giving as well, these homemade flower seed bombs would make pretty party favors or a fun grab and go gift. Once made, you just drop them in the soil, water, and grow! Here is how to make your own homemade flower seed bombs in just minutes.
Homemade Flower Seed Bombs
Here is what you will need:
– tissue paper either colored or plain
– mixing bowl
– flower seed mixture of choice (we chose a shade mmix, you can choose wildflowers, hummingbird mix, etc.)
You might notice that I didn’t give any measurements, and that is because you really decide measurements as you go. It is sort of a trial and error process. Now let’s get started.
1. Begin by tearing your tissue paper up into small 1 x 1 inch pieces. Measurements do not have to be exact, but this should just give you a general idea of what the size should be.
2. Place the torn tissue into your bowl. Add a teaspoon of water. Begin mushing and smooshing the paper into the water until all of the pieces are damp.
3. If your mixture is too watery, add more paper pieces. If your paper is still too dry, add another splash of water.
4. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flower seeds into the bowl. Feel free to add more if you wish.
5. Now, ball the mixture up in your hand and roll it into a ball. Continue to wring out any extra water as you do. Continue to shape the ball as shown.
6. Once you have a nice even shape, take a few pieces of clean tissue paper and dampen them. Wrap them around the outside of the ball to give it a smooth and clean finish.
Now all you have to do is set the homemade flower seed bombs on a plate to dry. They may take up to 24 hours to dry out as needed. When you are ready to use your homemade flower seed bombs, simply bury them in nutrient rich soil, water, and grow!
You can bag these up to give as Mother’s Day gifts, party favors, even wedding favors. They are so easy and inexpensive to make. So gather up your supplies and give these simple homemade flower seed bombs a try!
Want to see some more fun gardening projects? See what else we have been working on:
– Scrabble Tile Garden Markers Craft
– Homemade Flower Pot Cleaner Recipe
Quick and easy steps to make your own colorful seed bombs to throw and grow wild flowers. Great Earth Day crafts for kids and wedding favors.
When I was in grade school, I remember celebrating Earth Day with soil lessons, making those super fun seed sprout bags, and eating worms an dirt. I’m sure there was more, but that’s whats going through my brain right now.
This post may contain affiliate links, that means that I make a few pennies if you purchase through my links… but the price for you stays the same!!
I promise this is going somewhere, so just bear with me. My friend Angie is also getting married soon with a science themed wedding. It’s awesome. I’m not gonna lie. We were talking about what she should do as favors, and the idea of seed bombs came up. To which my brain hearkened back to Earth Day activities and I thought it would be such a fun thing to do with the kiddos! See, I connected it! Be proud of me!
Anyhoo, for Angie’s wedding we wanted to create something that had a pop of color and you can’t really do that with soil…. I mean its brown. So! We had the idea to use tissue paper so we could control the colors. The kids really took to this… I mean, who doesn’t like tearing up paper? Fair warning, you’re going to need a blender for this. I LOVE using my Magic Bullet for these types of projects.
Tissue Paper Seed Bombs
Tissue Paper (1 sheet/bomb)
Packages of Wildflower Seeds (1 small package makes about 2-3 bombs)
Small bowls or plastic food containers (1 for each color bomb)
Paper Towels or Cheesecloth
Blender or food processor
1. Tear up your tissue paper.
2. Pour water over your tissue paper so that it is completely soaked. I let the kiddos do this with a little bit at a time. They thought it was really cool to watch it soak through the paper and spread.
3. Set up your drying station by suspending 2 paper towels over your bowls. I used some plastic food containers then used the binder clips to keep it suspended.
4. Use your blender to mash the tissue paper into a pulp, then pour over your drying station. Do this for each color tissue paper.
5. Mix your seeds up into each color.
6. Squeeze out excess liquid while forming small balls with each color. The kids thought this was hilarious and there was water everywhere. Probably best to do it outside or over the sink.
7. Set your seed bombs out to dry. It takes about 24 hours (less if you live in sunny SoCal)
8. Once your seed bombs are dry, you can gift them to friends or use them yourselves!
Have you ever tried making seed bombs? We are going to show you how to make Seed Bombs. This is an easy project for how you make a homemade seed bomb. Seed bombs can be made any time but are perfect for being tossed onto the ground in spring, summer and the fall.
Who is excited about the gardening season? I am it’s been way too long since we have been able to garden due to the drought. With all the rain it’s time to DIY seed bombs .
Once the flower bombs are made you can gift them, use them as wedding favors, use them for party favors or toss the seed bombs into the yard. You can make various types of them, earth day seed bombs, flower seed bombs, herb seed bombs. Then let nature bring joy to your or someone else’s yard or garden.
If you are going to give yours as a gift, we have “You’re The Bomb” free printable for you to print to add to your handmade gift.
What’s a seed bomb?
A Seed Bomb is a mixture of soil, sometimes including clay, other ingredients, and seeds. We show you our favorite way to make seed bombs with dirt. In other countries, they may be called Seed Balls.
Why make this garden DIY?
They are a great way to get flowers, vegetables, herbs growing in areas that don’t have plants. Help spread joy and plant life.
Gift your homemade seed bombs to mom for Mother’s Day, dad for Father’s day, grandparents for Grandparent’s Day, teachers for Teacher appreciation gifts or a gardener for their birthday. You get the picture, there are so many people who would love to toss them in the yard or garden, then see the seeds bloom.
Let’s get started on this project
First, gather your supplies. Then make your dirt mixture following the how-to directions below.
What you will need to make this gardening gift
- 1 cup organic potting soil mixture
- 1 cup organic all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour OR clay soil (clay powder for seed balls)
- ¼ of a cup of water
- 3 seed packets (wildflower and hummingbird seeds) (flower seeds) (herb seeds) (milkweed seeds) or paper bags (and print the printable gift tag below)
- A bowl *optional
Gift Tags “You’re The Bomb”
A quick glance of the steps for making seed bombs
After combining the soil mixture, stir in the seeds carefully.
Add water, stir (add more water if needed) and begin to form balls. Form balls by shaping the damp dirt mixture with your hands.
Place your molded seed bombs onto a lined tray. When done set them into the sun to dry. Dry about24-48 hours. When they are fully dry they are ready to use or wrap up for a gardening gift.
Making the gardening gift
- When the seed bombs have dried, place them in a clear plastic treat bag and secure the top with a piece of twine.
- Print the printable gift tag on card stock and cut out.
- Punch a hole in the top of the card and tie the card onto the gift bag.
Tada! Your done Be sure to pin it for later if you aren’t making this project now. Or print it and make it now!
How To Make Seed Bombs
How to make Seed Bombs. Make them, let them dry, package the gift and add the free printable gift tag. Makes a great gardening gift or favors.
Have you had an experience like this: You're walking with your dog and you see an abandoned lot or overlooked corner of a park and you think, "Wouldn't it be great if there were flowers here?" I had such an experience recently when my dog lingered at an unsightly patch of earth in the middle of a cul-de-sac. As my dog went about her business, my imagination went wild thinking of cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias growing among the scrub grass. It was at that moment that I turned into a guerrilla gardener. I went home and, for the first time in my life, made a bomb–a seed bomb, that is.
What's a seed bomb?
A seed bomb is a mixture of rich soil, seeds, and clay that is shaped into a small ball. Once dry, these bombs can be easily distributed to areas that needs a little "flower power." Some guerrilla gardeners toss them into abandoned fields or alleys, others use them to grow flowers in their own gardens.
Once in place, the seed bomb will be watered by Mother Nature. This water will help the clay in the seed bomb to dissolve. Eventually the seeds will take root and flowers will grow to brighten up a spot that was dull.
For the purposes of this post, I focus on flower seed bombs, but there's no reason why you couldn't use vegetable seeds as well. Just consider where you're "planting" your seed bomb and whether or not it is easily accessible at harvest time.
You, too, can make a seed bomb and become a guerrilla gardener. You probably already have the supplies on hand, and if not, they're easy and inexpensive to get.
rich soil and compost mixture
seeds (In order to avoid invasive species, be sure to purchase seeds that are native to your area. Your local cooperative extension will be helpful in identifying native species. Also, consider the conditions the seeds will be growing in. Marigold or poppy seeds are good for areas that are sunny. Foxgloves are shade friendly flowers, and cosmos grow well in most conditions.)
Note: How much of each supply you need depends on how many seed bombs you intend to make.
3 Super Easy Steps:
1. Soak the seeds overnight. This will soften their outer shells and help them to germinate faster. In an ideal world, you will soak them in compost tea, but if you don't have any, then water will work fine. If there are seeds floating, discard them.
2. Combine the soil-compost mixture with clay and seeds and shape into a golf ball sized ball.
Note: There are a seemingly infinite number of ways to make the soil-clay-seed mixture. See some variations listed below.
3. Dry seed bomb for 24 hours before you start your guerrilla gardening.
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Variations on Step 2:
Combine one part seed with three parts compost-soil and five parts clay and combine until it is a cookie dough consistency. Add water if it is too dry.
As clay is a primary ingredient in kitty litter, some guerrilla seed bombers use kitty litter in place of clay.
Instead of mixing the seeds into the clay-soil mixture, mix the clay and soil together and form into a golf ball sized ball. Then poke your finger into the ball to make a hole. Place seeds in the hole and then gently cover the hole with a bit of clay.
Combine five parts sawdust, one part seed, and mix with a biodegradable food safe glue. You want the mixture to be not too wet but moist enough to form a ball.
Common sense goes a long way.
When it's time to let your seed bomb fly do so with (at least) an ounce of common sense. For example, don't seed bomb private property. Seed bombing a fallow field can be fun but be certain that it isn't farm land.
No, seed bombing isn't fool proof.
Perhaps one more ingredient should be added to the list of supplies: optimism. There are a number of reasons why a seed bomb may not be successful: lack of rain, poor seed quality, poor soil quality where it is expected to grow. Some guerrilla gardening skeptics even worry about over-seeding and the seeds strangling each other as they grow. (This particular concern isn't keeping me up at night.) Thankfully, none of the supplies required to make a seed bomb is very expensive. So, if the seed bomb isn't successful, at least you haven't lost a lot of cash.
Did you know?
Seed bombs were first used in the 1930s by Japanese farmer-microbiologist-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka. He created tsuchi dango (earth dumplings) to distribute seed in his farm. Fukuoka is known for other advances in sustainable farming. IMHO, it is well worth checking out this web site to learn more about his One Straw Revolution.
Making seed bombs is a great way to get kids involved with gardening. With a little help, even a toddler can help to make a seed bomb. Imagine the fun a kid could have on a neighborhood walk throwing seed bombs!
Kick off your spring science with an Earth Day activity and make seed bombs with your kids! Super easy and fun to make, start a new tradition this Earth Day and learn how to make seed bombs. A flower seed bomb is also a fun DIY gift! Use this seed bomb recipe and make them for mom for Mother’s Day too!
HOW TO MAKE SEED BOMBS
EARTH DAY SEED BOMBS
Earth Day might come once a year, but we can keep the spirit of Earth Day alive all year long. Planting seeds is a wonderful kick-off to spring and summer, and learning how to make seed bombs is a great way to get your planting started. Bonus, you can give these seed bombs as gifts!
Make these DIY seed bombs with simple materials you can pull straight from the recycling bin or use scraps of colored paper. I always save the bits and pieces of whole sheets. Here we strategically used Earth Day colors in blue, green, and white. You can use whatever is available making it even more eco-friendly!
Click here to get your FREE spring STEM activities!
HOW TO MAKE SEED BOMBS WITH PAPER
Get the kids in the kitchen with this exciting and fun activity perfect for talking about flowers, science, and more! How does a seed grow? If you haven’t started a seed jar or tried this eggshell seed growing activity , you must read about them. The seed jar was just awesome!
It’s fascinating to watch flowers grow and bloom throughout our yard all summer long. We love planting a variety of colors and caring for them throughout the summer months and even into the fall for a few of them last year.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Easy Flowers To Grow
SEED BOMB RECIPE
YOU WILL NEED:
- 3-4 Packages of Flower Seeds
- 3 Sheets of Construction Paper (we used blue, green, and white)
- Food Processor
- 3 Small Containers
- Baking Sheet and Parchment Paper (drying seed bombs)
HOW TO MAKE SEED BOMBS
STEP 1: Start by cutting your construction paper into one-inch squares. Place each color separately in a container.
STEP 2: Once you have cut up all your paper squares and each container is ready, add water. Cover the paper completely and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
STEP 3: When the 20 minutes is finished (the hardest part is always waiting), take one container and squeeze the excess water out of the paper. Place the paper in a food processor and pulse until the paper becomes pulp!
Place the pulp back into its container. Go ahead and repeat with the next two colors until you have three containers of pulp!
STEP 4: Divide the packages of seeds between the three containers gently mixing them into the pulp.
STEP 5: Start by taking a bit of each color from each container and forming it into a ball! We wanted these to resemble the Earth for Earth Day. If you have chosen other colors that are great too! To make the Earth try not to mix up the colors too much.
These kinds of Earth Day activities are a wonderful gateway to talk to your kids while your hands are busy! Talk about the importance of planting seeds, clean water, clean air, conservation and anything else they are interested in hearing about! Getting a little messy and hands-on with kids is super engaging and creates the perfect atmosphere for learning!
STEP 6: Place your homemade seed bombs on a parchment lined baking tray. You can go ahead and press a few more seeds into the balls if you think they need a few more. Let your tray dry overnight.
PLANT SEEDS WITH KIDS
Get ready! Once dry, toss your flower seed bombs into your favorite flower pot or garden plot. Still have to dig a hole first! These also make fun gifts to give to friends and family. Decorate a flower pot, add a seed bomb, and you have a sweet gift that’s Earth-friendly!
We hope you have founded a fantastic new activity to celebrate Earth Day that you can turn into a tradition each year with your kids at home or classroom!
EASY TO MAKE FLOWER SEED BOMBS WITH KIDS FOR EARTH DAY!
Click on the image below or on the link for more fun Earth Day activities to try out for Earth Day.
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