Bombs away in the garden! Making a "seed bomb" lets your junior guerrilla gardener spread flowers far and wide. A perfect way to get back outdoors after a long winter, this easy seed bomb recipe teaches simple life science, and a little bit of history as well!
Clay (dug up from a yard, or powdered red pottery clay from a pottery shop)
Shovel or scoop
Optional: gardening gloves
What You Do:
Tell your child that seed bombs were once used by Native American and Japanese gardeners, and today are used widely around the world. Seed bombs are balls of dirt and seeds that can be easily planted. She can make some herself with just a few ingredients straight from nature.
Help your child collect or harvest seeds from current plants, or buy her some wildflower seeds from a garden shop. It will be best for your ecosystem if the seeds you get are not from any weeds or invasive species, but instead are for plants native to your area.
Let your child mix the seeds along with three scoops or shovels full of compost (dirt) in a bucket. Then have her add five scoops or shovels full of clay and mix again. Slowly, she can then add one or two scoops or shovels of water and continue mixing her ingredients until they are all blended and not too wet. The mixture should be a cookie-dough consistency to hold together as balls.
Have her mold the mixture into ball shapes. Balls that are around 2 to 4 inches work well for seed bombs.
She should leave her seed bombs out to dry for 24 hours, preferably getting some sun on them in the process.
After the seed bombs are dry, she can toss it into a pile of dirt (it is best to use them while fresh or they may start to sprout on the ball). She can water it herself or wait for rain. Blooms should be visible within 2-3 weeks!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.