After some research I am happy to report that we have made awesome dirt bombs packed full with wild flower seeds to colour up our roadside boundary and the boundary edge of the horse paddock. It took some ‘weeding’ out of different ideas with how to best make these bombs from a collection of YouTube videos. The idea that made most sense is what our boys Rupert and Eden had a shot at making with me last week and I have a strong feeling this method will actually work (recipe below). Better still, there was no back breaking work to do and it kept Mr almost 5 year old entertained all afternoon. Double bonus!
Scattering those pretty little flower seeds directly on the grass does not prove to be very successful with germination from my experience. Trialing this myself in enthusiastic years gone by, I would find the more ‘invasive’ wild flowers would take, but the conditions were not right for the full range of seeds to grow into beautiful mixed flowering plants. The reason for this is because the roots of each annual can’t get hold when not sown into correctly prepared ground. Time consuming prep by removing grass and adding a mix of compost to the soil or covering the grass with weedmat and then dumping a mix of compost and soil on top of the weed mat will allow for effective germination, but heavy work was not what I was after. I wanted to find something fun to do so that our kids felt better about gardening – rather than hiding behind a homework excuse or headache. Yes, the prep on our land at times has not been easy, so I was on a mission to have the kids begin to fall in love with gardening or at least tolerate it with me.
This is what we did and I see little peaky plants starting to germinate from some sneaky balls I dropped near to the edge of the bank so I can watch progress close by.
Successful Seed Bombs
Harvest 3 cups of clay from somewhere on your property or from a nearby park. There are few places nationwide where there is no clay around so make this your first bonding time is for a clay hunt. Any grey or yellow clay is fine.
Pinch of pieces and let them dry out completely over a few days. These small pinched pieces are what you are going to grind next.
Using a cut off branch or piece of firewood, pound the clay pinches until they are a mix of powdered clay and small fine grain.
Measure 3 cups of quality compost into your container of ground dry clay. Palmers X Compost is perfect for this.
Stir together until evenly combined. The clay will help hold moisture to the seeds and hold the ball together as Spring rain begin to dissolve the balls. The compost will help your seeds grow well and provide nourishment to the growing plants.
Mix in packets of seeds. For this recipe we have made 80 golf sized seed bombs. There are enough for a fun drive by and cheeky throwing out the window into the road side ditches which aren’t maintained by council. You will need 10 packets of seeds for this many balls. If making less balls, divide your soil mix accordingly.
Add enough water for the balls to be easily rolled. You will not need much so go very slowly. Create your balls to be golf ball sized or smaller or there will be too many seeds in one spot to grow to maturity.
Get throwing! Choose sites with full sun and don’t throw them under trees that will have foliage in the summer months as the plants won’t grow.
Let nature do her work and soon a glorious mix of pretty pickable flowers will flourish in your neighbourhood