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Making Seed Bombs with Air Dry Clay
One easy way to help bees is by making seed bombs. Making seed bombs with air dry clay is so easy that even the kids can get involved. When it comes to making our world a better place for bees, every flower counts. Create more plant diversity in your neighborhood by planting a variety of flowers.
This project is a great way to spend a rainy day. It is something that works well with kids and adults. Use a drop cloth or newspaper to catch any spills.
It is a good project for young kids who are working on developing gross motor skills. But, it is also a good hand exercise for senior citizens.
What are Seed Bombs?
Seed bombs, or seed balls, are small round objects that contain viable seed inside a “soil-like” material. They are generally composed of 3 basic ingredients.
- flower or herb seed
- a bit of potting soil
- clay mixture
When the seed bomb is thrown into a suitable landscape, rain will cause the seeds to sprout inside the ball.
The new seedling is nourished by the soil as the clay is slowly dissolved by rain. Of course, not every bomb will result in a successful plant.
However, they are so inexpensive that you can make a lot of them. Don’t be stingy with them – seed bombs away!
What Type of Clay do You Use for Seed Bombs?
The 2 most commonly used types of clay for making seed bombs are “air-dry” clay (which we discuss in this post) and red clay powder.
You can learn more about using red clay in my post that uses powdered clay for seed ball construction.
For this project, “air-dry” clay serves as the binding agent that holds everything together until the plant is ready to grow.
Choosing Flower Seed for Seed Bombs
You will find hundreds of seeds that can be tucked inside your seed bomb creations. However, you will have more success if you take your climate into consideration.
For wildflower ideas, choose plants that are native to your area or grow well without supplemental watering. (Unless you are planting them in a garden spot with access to the sprinkler)
How Many Seeds Go in Each Bomb?
The number of seeds that you use inside your bomb depends on the type of flower. For plants with large seeds, such as sunflowers, 2-4 seeds will be plenty.
For plants with much smaller seed size, a larger amount (perhaps 1/8 tsp) is more suitable.
Making seed bombs with air dry clay requires very few materials. And all of the ingredients are easy to find.
Step by Step Instructions for Air Dry Clay Seed Bombs
- air dry clay
- potting soil
- flower seeds
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Making air-dry class seed bombs is a fun gardening activity for kids of all ages. Only a few materials are required and it’s a great way to help the bees.
- Pinch off small pieces of clay
Break off small pieces of air dry clay. We want to have enough clay to finish with a ball about 1- 1.5” in diameter.
Use your thumb to shape the clay into a small bowl. They don’t have to be perfect – have fun.
- Mix chosen seed varieties in a small cup
Mix your flower seeds together in another cup. I like to mix large and small seeds together.
You can use any type but choose something easy to grow in your region. Place a small pinch of seeds in each clay bowl.
- Add a pinch of potting soil to nourish seeds
Now, let’s add a little potting soil – any type will do. Add a teaspoon (or so) of potting mix on top of the seeds.
And use your fingers to pinch the clay bowl closed, incorporating the soil and seeds into the clay mixture.
- Coat each seed bomb in potting soil
Gently roll the clay seed bomb in loose potting soil. This natural soil covering will help nourish the seeds as they grow and give your seed bombs a more natural look.
Do Seed Bombs Really Work?
Seed bombs really do work and are a great and fun way to increase pollinator habitat. However, not every one will become a new flower.
Weather conditions play a role in the success of this type of gardening. Sufficient rain is necessary to get the new seedlings established and growing.
However, that it not unlike other forms of gardening because not every plants thrives and grows in conventional gardens.
Where Can You Throw Seed Bombs?
The whole purpose of making seed bombs is to create more blooming flowers without any care by the gardener. When deciding where to throw seed bombs, consider the needs of the plants.
Tossing a handful in the middle of an asaphalt parking lot is not likely to yield good results. However, any field that has some top soil and moisture is a good candidate.
Bare spots along the edge of the yard or on the edge of wooded areas are also good candidates for seeds suitable to the climate. Create a small natural bee friendly garden area.
How Long Will Seed Bombs Last?
These can be made several weeks ahead and stored until needed. For extra freshness, store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use or give them away.
DIY Seed Bombs as Great Gifts
These easy to make DIY Seed Bombs are perfect for gifts. Whether you need a small gift for teacher appreciation, Mother’s Day, Wedding Favors or any occasion, this is an inexpensive way to promote pollinator habitat.
When your seed bombs are finished, wrap each one (or several) in a colorful piece of fabric. Cotton fabric, burlap and other breathable materials are best.
Attach a label that tells the user what to do and there you have it. An eco-friendly gift that allows everyone to take part in helping bees.
Seed Bombs for Gifting
- Cut a 7” square of colorful fabric. I like cotton or burlap because it allows the clay to continue drying but you can use any kind you wish.
If you cut the material with pinking shears – it will ravel less.
- Place 1, 2 or 3 seed bombs in the center and wrap the fabric around it. Tying with a pretty ribbon or string to keep everything in place.
If you use a fabric that is not breathable, let the seed bombs dry for a week or so before wrapping.
You may choose to add a cute tag. This will explain how the recipient can help bees by casting their seed bomb somewhere in need of flowers.
Final Tips On Making Seed Bombs with Air Dry Clay
What do seed bombs and tacos have in common? It’s almost as much fun making them as using them.
This easy garden project is a lot of fun and yet another simple way you can help save the bees. Make some air dry clay seed bombs with your family this year.
This is a great project to use to showcase the important of all pollinators-not just honey bees.