Article written by Herbal Intern Val Effertz
What are seed bombs?
A mixture of clay, compost, water, and of course seeds all rolled into quarter-size balls. When they dry and harden you can “launch” them. This is handy if you have an area that’s hard to reach on foot. The clay gives the seeds a hard protective coating and the compost gives the seeds nutrients as it grows.
Why use seed bombs?
Many plants must go through seed/cold stratification, meaning the seeds need to be in 32 to 37-degree Fahrenheit temperatures for a month to several months (depending on the species) to break dormancy and germinate.
Another option for cold stratification is putting the seed in the refrigerator but I prefer to copy nature. The seeds fall, find a spot to settle in for a long winter, and spring into new life when the temperatures are warm. I usually wait until the first hard frost or even after it snows to drop my bombs. This way they won’t break down too early from the rain.
Some of the herbs I’m seed bombing this year are echinacea, wild geranium, marshmallow, and Lobelia. Most vegetables and annual seeds don’t need stratification, but I still use seed bombs in spring, with great success. They work perfect in a no-till garden.
Herbal Intern Val's Recipe:
1 cup of powdered clay
2 cups organic compost
¼ cup water (varies)
seeds of your choice
Instructions: Slowly add water to the dry ingredients until the consistency of Play-Doh. Roll the mixture into dime to quarter-sized balls and put into egg cartons to dry for two to three days. You’re ready to “Seed Bomb”!
This is a fun activity to do with the kids too!