Friday, October 29, 2010

From the Man- Seed Bombs

After a brief absence being the Crazy Green Mommy's backup in the War of Germs, The Man is back! 

Have you heard of flower grenades?

I can see the quizzical look through your computer screen. Not usually two words that go together- flower and grenades. Thanks to a design by Snowhome & Tony Minh Nguyen for Suck UK, they do indeed. 

The idea is reminiscent of the groovy 60's: One unfired clay vessel in the shape of a grenade, filled with poppy, rye grass and buttercup seeds. The actual idea of seed bombing isn't new, but this has to be one of the coolest designs it's ever seen. As these particular flower grenades can only be bought within the EU, we'll have to get creative if we'd like to join the revolution!

But wait, what's seed bombing and where did it come from?

That might be a really long post. So we'll keep it simple. In the 30's, planes were used to scatter seeds over Honolulu's mountains after some forest fires. Then in the 70's, Liz Christy coined the term 'seed grenade' while beginning her group of 'Green Guerrilla's.' Christy and her group turned a rundown lot in their New York City neighborhood into a garden. Guerrilla gardeners take neglected, abandoned land and turn them into areas with flowers and vegetables. Is it legal? Well, it is debatable in some cases. Chances are if it's been abandoned no one will care, but if it's an area that is clearly marked no trespassing, you may get fined, removed from the property by the owners or sent to jail. Clearly times have changed since John 'Appleseed' Chapman made his mark in the early 1800's.

Still wanting to add some life to otherwise uninhabitable looking areas? Here are instructions on How to Make a Seed Bomb from

step 1Materials

All materials in this instructable are cheap, easy to find, and are natural and organic.

Crayola air dry clay (can use dried red clay), and is found in walmart for about $5.00
Tough Flower seeds such as baby's breath, sunflower, and forget me not. ***Make sure they are not invasive, preference given to native flowers for your area.
compost or worm castings
yogurt container top or any large flat surface
Clay from a dried riverbed (Red or Brown)

For the dried red clay mix 5 parts clay with 1 part compost and 1 part flower seeds, put some careful drops of water into the mixture(make sure not to make it into a goopy sloppy mess!), Knead with hands into a ball, flatten it out and cut to desired size. Now just make into a small ball and let it dry in the sun. Now you have a red clay seed bomb. 

step 2Cutting

Cut a very thin piece of the clay
Tip: (The thinner you make it the easier you can press it down and shape it into a ball)

step 3Cutting (Continued)

Press down on a large flat surface (making it not paper thin but not as thick as a book)
Cut to about 2 and a half inches wide and 2 inches high

step 4Adding the compost

Sprinkle the finest compost onto the clay and the more compost you put on the better the chance the seeds will germinate)

step 5Adding Seeds

Add about 2 seeds to the mixture (depending on the quality you think the seeds are) 

step 6Adding the Water

Add just a few drops or it will become a sloppy mess that's almost impossible to take off ! The water will also help the compost stay inside the seed bomb

step 7Making Into a Seed Bomb

Scrape off with your fingers the clay and roll into a ball and make sure you don't let the seeds go out of the seed bomb!

step 8Adding More Compost

To have a better chance of your plant in your seed bomb of growing put your seed bomb into a pot of compost and rub the compost in and take it out and rub it in again. You can keep repeating this process till about the 5th rubbing then you have most likely covered the seed bomb with the compost.

step 9You're Finished

Now just let your seed bomb air dry and your finished. You can fit about 9 seed bombs or more in one pocket (estimated from size 12 boys blue jeans) and if you multiply that by how many pockets you have in your pants, jacket, and even hat plus the number of people you bring with you then you have a lot of area you can cover with your seed bombs! Now throw your seed bombs of change into any vacant lot, neglected flower bed, or bare lot!

Happy Guerrilla Gardening!


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