Butterfly seed bombs
Whether you’re 8, 38, or 88, this activity is fun for all ages. It’s a fact – playing with seeds and dirt makes us smile. I dare you to try it!
So, what is a seed bomb? Well, I came across this idea in an article that talked about Guerrilla Gardening. You can google that term or “seed bomb” and find a whole host of links on the subject.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not advocating gardening on land that is not yours. You should only throw seed bombs on your own property or places where you have permission, but the idea of Guerilla Gardening was a funny one to me so I thought we could at least steal the idea of seed bombs from it.
A seed bomb is simply a dirt ball with seeds mixed into it that you throw out into an area where you want to get some nice native plants growing. The dirt that the seeds are mixed in provides a nice matrix for the seeds to get started in so the only step left is for mother nature to rain on it and shine some sun to get things started.
When preparing for this endeavor, you’ll want to make sure you select native seeds and that you get permission before seed bombing an area. You can check our Gardening for Wildlife Plant List for native wildflowers and you can order seeds online from places like Prairie Nursery. You can also ask friends if they have native plants growing if you can have some seeds from their garden.
With my love of butterflies and Monarchs in particular, I highly recommend Swamp Milkweed, Butterflyweed, Joe Pye Weed, New York Ironweed, goldenrod, asters, Beebalm, Bergamot, oh and I could go on but those are a few ideas.
Here’s what you’ll need for your seed bombs:
– 1 part Native seeds (this is super important – you don’t want to be spreading non-natives)
– 1 part Earthworm castings (which you can get online or at a nursery) or you can use compost (or a combination of the two)
– 5 parts Clay soil (which we have a lot of here in Loudoun so you probably have this in your garden already – you can also buy “non-toxic airdry clay” by crayola but local clay dug is much better)
The Los Angeles Times has an article showing how to make seed bombs step by step: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-hm.0529.seedbomb-pg,0,4073581.photogallery
Basically, you just mix the ingredients together, form small balls and let them dry. Then, go out this fall and throw them outside. The balls should stay intact rather than bursting apart and will work their magic through the winter and into next spring, bringing new flowers to your area.
This would be a great activity for kids starting or maintaining a wildflower garden at school too.