Thursday, April 16, 2009

Seed Balls

I just read an interesting NPR article about seed balls.  Apparently, they were created by a pioneer of natural farming in Japan and are used to plant in inhospitable and otherwise abandoned stretches of land.  These little seed balls sound like a fun family and/or community project and an excellent vehicle for a little guerilla gardening.

Here's the 'how to' cut n' pasted from the article:

How To Make Seed Balls

Emily Gallagher, a NAG member who specializes in open space issues, says it's easy to make seed balls.

"First, we mix the mulch and a seed mixture," Gallagher says. "We try to pick a seed that is native to the area and can withstand drought. We mix those together, and then we knead it like bread into a red terra-cotta clay. It is important to use the red terra cotta, because other kinds have different chemicals in it that affect growth."

The mixture is rolled into little balls, which then has to dry. The group then puts them in bags and distributes them. The mud and clay protect the seeds from being eaten by birds and rodents. After three to five rains, the balls break down and the seeds germinate.

Read the full article and check out some pics of seed ballin' in action here.


allularpunk said...

that's totally rad! except, i prefer if we call them 'seed bombs' and try to throw them in people's yards, sprouting terror all over the neighborhood via lettuce and cucumbers!

Marni said...

allularpunk: hahaha Seed bombs, indeed. Too funny! I can hear it now ... "Aghghghgh, the veggies are sprouting!" "Walter, we've been seed bombed again!"

Hannah said...

Great concept... And now I'm laughing over the mental image of "seed bombs", too!