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How to Make Seed Balls

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Seed balls are commonly associated with guerilla gardening, but they can also be very useful in more traditional gardening as well. The balls, which are made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, can be tossed wherever you want plants to grow, and will break up as the seeds begin to germinate. Here's how to make them.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: One hour, plus drying time.

Here's How:

  1. In a bucket or other container, mix the compost, appropriate seeds for seed balls, and red clay powder well.
  2. Add 1 part water, and mix it in. Check for consistency; if the mixture holds together in a ball, you've added enough water. If it crumbles when you try to form it, add more water, just a little at a time, until you've gotten the right consistency.
  3. Make seed balls 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Roll balls gently between your hands until the seed ball feels firm and round, and is smooth on the outside.
  4. Set the rolled seed balls aside to dry on a counter top or cookie sheet. They will take three to four days to dry completely. Once they're dry, you can store them for when you're ready to use them, or go ahead and toss them wherever you want to sow the seeds.

Tips:

  1. This is a messy project. You might want to wear latex or rubber gloves if you are concerned about keeping your nails clean.
  2. Add the water slowly! If the mixture gets too wet, you won't be able to roll it into balls.
  3. If you do add too much water, start adding small amounts of the red clay powder to absorb some of the excess water.
  4. If you don't have time to roll all of your seed balls after making the mixture, you can store unrolled seed ball mix in a sealed plastic bag. Just don't wait too long --- if the mixture stays moist (as it would in a plastic bag) the seeds may begin to germinate before you have a chance to roll the balls.

What You Need

  • Three parts dry, sifted compost
  • One part seeds
  • Five parts dry red clay powder
  • One to two parts water
  • Cookie sheets or other surface, for drying the balls
  • Large container to mix the ingredients in
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