How to Make Seed Bombs
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!