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Science Project: Seed Bombs

Apr 30, 2012

Have you ever seen an empty lot in your neighborhood and wished that it could be nicer looking? Instead of the chain link fence and muddy dirt, would you rather see flowers and green? Well, now you can do something about it. Making seed bombs is an easy and fun way to garden and brighten the landscape of your neighborhood.

A Japanese gardener named Masanobu Fukuoka developed seed bombs, also called seed balls. He was a philosopher and farmer who was interested in natural farming and re-vegetation of unhealthy land. During the 21st century, he pioneered a method of farming that encourages natural patterns of growth and rejuvenation versus forced growth. He claimed that that’s what nature intended.

Seed bombs are small balls made of a mixture of wildflower seeds (or seeds native to the neck of the woods you intend to “bomb”), compost and clay. The compost feeds the seed and the clay helps to protect them from birds or other animals who might like to eat them. Because seed bombs are so small they are easy to chuck into that empty lot or a hard to reach plots of land that need a touch of flowers.

It’s best to do some research with your seeds. Wildflowers native to your area are going to have the best effect, but you want to make sure that you’re responsible and not encouraging invasive plant species that could cause harm to your area. Ask an experienced gardener what would be the best plant to “bomb” with. And maybe too it’s time to say, make sure you’re not seed bombing places that don’t want to be seed bombed. It’s my experience that most people don’t mind flowers in neglected spots, but perhaps seed bombing your neighbor’s manicured lawn that you see them mowing and watering and whispering sweet nothings to isn’t the best place to bomb. Use your best judgment on this one.

Materials:

(all measurements are in “parts” so you can control how big a batch you want to make)

  • 1 part wildflower seeds
  • 1 part compost
  • 5 parts red clay (powered or just clay)
  • water

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl add the seeds, compost and clay together.
  2. Mix thoroughly and add enough water so that you can mold the mixture. Shouldn’t be more than a sprinkle.
  3. Pinch off small chunks of the mixture and roll into balls.
  4. Let the seed bombs dry on a sunny windowsill for a day.
  5. Have some “bombing” fun!

Science Project:

There are lots of ways to focus seed bombing into a documented science project worthy of 1st place. Try using different plots of land with different amounts of sun and seeing how the same seed responds. You might be able to discover microclimates in your neighborhood. Try using different seeds in the same plot of land. There’s such a rich history to seed bombing that any project would be awesome!

Have fun and remember to seed bomb responsibly!

Have Your Say

If you could seed bomb any place in the world, where would you seed bomb? What seed you would use. Tell us in the comments section below!

9 Comments

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