Wildflower seed bombs are not a new phenomenon, they date hundreds of years and were used in agriculture to plant out hard to reach outcrops. But in more recent times they have seen a new lease of life, in the 1970s under the activists’ group the Green Guerillas, and more recently to help support the declining bee and butterfly highways.
Let’s find out how you can help by spreading our wildflower seed bombs or by following our simple 7 step guide to making make your own pollinator seed bomb.
- What Are Wildflower Seed Bombs
- Do Seed Bombs Really Work
- How To Make Seed Bombs
- The History Of The Seed Bomb
What Are Wildflower Seed Bombs
In short, wildflower seed bombs are a mixture of compost, clay powder, water, and seeds rolled or extruded into a ‘throwable’ shape. The purpose of a seed bomb is to act as a missile for spreading seeds!
Why would you want to do that! In the 1970s an activist called Liz Christy started a movement called the Green Guerillas, with the sole purpose of reclaiming lost, derelict or unused wasteland in New York City.
The Green Guerillas made a very crude version of the seed bomb which they threw over fences onto wasteland sites to allow seeds to germinate and let nature reclaim the land.
Today seed bombs can be used for many reasons, all of which are fun and okay, slightly rebellious!
Our seed bombs are made specifically for a few productive and ecological reasons.
Bee and Butterfly Pollinator Seed Bomb
With a declining bee population it is critical we act to preserve the kings of pollination. Bees are in rapid decline due to the rise in pesticides in agriculture and the dramatic reduction in ‘Bee Highways’ across the country. Bee highways are the flight paths bees take along hedgerows and plant borders.
With more suburban and urban developments the distance between each Bee Highway is increasing to the point where the bees cannot physically fly between them.
Our goal is to re-plant the Bee Highways and join up all of those pieces of land across the country by encouraging the use of wildflower seed bombs and pollinating flowers to allow bees to feed along their flight paths. Allowing them to continue to pollinate our food chain and keep us safe from harvest shortages.
Herb Seed Bombs
Herb seed bombs are a fun way of getting some edible plants growing in clusters around your garden or land. Not only do they have wonderful kitchen garden qualities they also contain the seed of flowing species that will attract pollinators into your garden.
Do Seed Bombs Really Work
As time moves on, the approach to Guerillas gardening has also evolved, but still with the objective of transforming dead patching of municipal land into a useful, beautiful or productive piece of nature.
The modern techniques used to form the balls and use of ingredients have changed from the early seed bombs, made from balloons and glass Christmas balls filled with soil and seeds. Today the compost and clay bomb breaks down when wet and blends into the natural landscape, depositing into the soil and covering them to assist very high levels of germination.
How To Make Seed Bombs
The ingredients are readily available online or at craft stores or garden centers and the process is simple and great fun. So why not try and make your own.
Seed Bomb Ingredients
- A selection of wildflower or pollinator flower seeds
- Peat-free compost or coco coir
- Craft powdered clay
- Bowl or container for mixing
- Hexagonal silicone mold optional
Making Wildflower seed bombs for bees and butterflies
- Take 5 parts peat-free compost or coco coir, and 2 parts clay powder and blend together the dry ingredients in a bowl
- Add 1 of your seed mix and blend into your clay and compost mix
- Gradually pour water into the bowl and mix until you have a bonding clay-like consistency. Be careful not to get the mix too wet or it will be difficult to handle and mould
- Make sure to fully blend the mixture and remove any lumps, as if you were mixing a cake batter by hand
- Press your mixture into your mould to form your seed bombs. If you don’t have a mould you can roll the mix into seed balls by hand. Aim for seed balls no larger than 1 inch.
- Place your wildflower seed bombs in a sunny or warm space to dry out and be ready for storage, or throwing!
- When it’s time to throw your bombs, well do just that and let the rain and nature do the rest
How To Make Seed Bombs With Paper
If you were wondering how to make wildflower seed bombs without using clay there is an alternative method you can try using paper to form this seed bomb.
- Take a few sheets of loose fibred paper such as newsprint or craft paper (not glossy)
- Tear the paper into small strips of around 2 inches in size
- Next, we need to add water to the paper strips to soften it and turn it into a pulp. Do this by adding water and the strips of paper to a bowl and leaving it to soak for a few minutes
- Next, mash the paper and water into a pulp by hand or add to a food blender.
- Next, add your seed mix and combine the seeds and the pulp
- Then strain off any excess water by squeezing the pulp to release the excess water. It may be easier to place the pulp mixture inside a cloth and wring it out thoroughly
- Finally, mold the pulp into a ball or press it into a cookie mold shape of your choice, which can be a fun thing for the children to do
- Leave the damp pulp seed bombs to dry in a warm place. You want to avoid the seeds getting soaked, so try an airing cupboard or a warm heated room.
The History Of The Seed Bomb
Okay, so to really get the idea we need to go back in time to 1974 when an activist call Liz Christy formed an ecological group named the Green Guerillas. Their primary agenda was to transform the derelict and unused parcels of land across New York City.
Seeds bombs were an early weapon of choice for the Green Guerillas. They would make seed bombs and throw them over the fencing and barriers, onto the unused dead spaces hoping to spread flowers seeds, to reclaim the natural ecology of these disused sites. A movement was born…
Who Was Liz Christy
In 1973 Liz Christy started a project with a group of gardening activists called the Green Guerillas to transform a piece of wasteland in Bowery and Houston closer to its original state before we tore it up to build a concrete jungle. Liz wanted to give it back to nature and bring that nature back to the people of the city.
The Liz Christy Community Garden
Today the garden has matured into a peaceful oasis bang in the middle of an urban landscape and has become an iconic place in gardening, ecology, and modern culture. It represents community and the human’s basic instinct to be close to nature. It’s home to a magnificent magnolia tree, a vegetable plot, and hosts a diverse range of wildlife.
It’s free to enter for more information see Liz Christy Community Garden
The Green Guerillas
Today the Green Guerillas has grown into a community of gardeners petitioning to reclaim lost plots of land and transforming them into useful and practical spaces to grow. They have inspired many Community Gardens and indeed created a movement. Today they are a non-profit organization offering support and advice to help communities cultivate the local communal landscape.