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Seed Bombs: Fighting the Filth

Here's our DIY guide for making (and planting) these throw-and-grow green grenades.

Seed Bomb SproutingThe guerrilla gardening movement has blossomed as it’s moved from the underground (heh, heh) into the light of day with seed bombs. What is guerrilla gardening? It’s the practice of planting — you might also say beautifying or greening — neglected, vacant land, both public and private. Sometimes this involves edible plants, sometimes decorative (or both).

The act, despite its obvious benefits, is frequently illegal and anyone participating should be aware of the consequences, even if they’re seldom applied. Though the history of the movement has not been recorded — it’s a guerrilla movement, remember? — it reputedly began in New York City and other urban centers during the 1970s when much land was abandoned and public spaces were often ignored.

Hand-rolled and packaged by people with disabilities, Seedballz Seed Bombs are changing lives. Contains an all-natural mixture of seeds, red clay and soil humus. The clay helps speed germination and protects against thieving birds and insects. Sold in 4 oz packs.

Seed bombs are the major weapon in this ground attack. They contain everything needed — compost, clay and seeds — to yield a green explosion in open ground. They can be dropped, tossed or shot from sling shots (our tests show a danger of backfire with the latter method).

Also known by their less radical name seed balls, they’re fun to make and use and are an especially great project for children though we recommend you makes sure your kids know they should be used legally — see the comments below — and never as weapons (you can always use seed bombs on your own property, or get permission before attacking someone else’s property).

DIY Seed Bomb Recipe

  • 4 parts potter’s clay available at your local art supply store
  • 1 part organic compost
  • 1 part seeds of your choice
  • 1 part water

Hand mix compost, clay and water thoroughly to a consistency of Play-Doh®. Add seeds (native varieties are best) and mix well. Roll 1 inch balls from the mixture, adding more water if they do not hold together easily. Place on a cookie tray and allow to dry for 24-48 hours.

Seed bombs have become so popular that even legitimate businesses have joined this subversive movement of veggie-vandalism. Planet Natural has gone guerrilla gardening one better by offering a selection of SeedBallz. Made by people with disabilities, they’re offered in a number of flower, veggie, and herb-seed varieties. Purchased or home-made, seed balls are a great way to go on the offensive in the green revolution.

3 Responses to “Seed Bombs: Fighting the Filth”

  1. Judy Ney on May 14th, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Before I plant these, do they contain neonicotinoids? We need pollinators.
    Thank you,

    • E. Vinje on May 14th, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      Judy –

      Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides. They would not be in seed bombs, which are a mixture of seeds, clay and mulch.

  2. annika on June 13th, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    When used for permaculture seed bombs/balls are great, but it’s ILLEGAL to dump seed bombs on private property. Dumping is a TRESPASS. Here’s what’s going on in my part of the upper middle class world: whenever a neighbor has a problem with another neighbor he or she bombards their neighbor’s house with seed bombs. Seed bombs not only ruin landscapes that cost thousands of dollars to plant but they also invite rodents. That’s correct–rats, white footed mice, brown mice, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, many birds and their predators are attracted to seed balls/bombs. The rodents chew up expensive roots on bushes, trees and herbaceous plants as they desperately try to eat all the seeds and moss. Rodent’s poop also attracts their predators, and those predators tear up the garden looking for rodents. As if this is not bad enough some have decided to throw glass shards inside the seed balls.

    Seed bombing private property, other than yours, could cause the destruction of property and it is illegally dumping. Dumping is against the law and a person can get a fine, arrested or sued for such acts. As for children, anyone teaching them to throw seed balls on private property other than their own, is encouraging bullying and unlawful behavior, and therefore corrupting minors.

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