Seed bombs are little balls of clay and compost containing wildflower seeds. The idea of the seed bomb is that it can be thrown into areas of bare soil and provide a little pop of colour and biodiversity. They have been used by guerrilla gardeners to enhance derelict sites and provide wildflowers for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Seed bombs have become popular in recent years but they actually arose from Japan about 5,000 years ago in the practice called Tsuchi Dango, meaning ‘Earth Dumpling’. The practice was revived in 1938 by the Japanese microbiologist/ farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008), author of The One Straw Revolution. He used them as part of his sustainable farming system.
There are numerous ‘recipes’ for seed bombs available online; This method uses pottery or earthenware clay available from the craft shop, but if you have a heavy clay soil in your garden, you can use that instead (just use half the amount of compost in the recipe).
Wildflower seed mixes are available from many garden centres and online. If possible, please try to buy native Irish seed mixes that have been grown in Ireland. Making seed bombs is simple and it is delightfully messy – so get on some old clothes and cover your work surface with old newspaper. Its probably best to do this activity outdoors!
Seed bombs can be made at any time of year but they should be thrown or planted in the spring or summer time. They make lovely gifts for friends and family. You can use your seed bombs to brighten up bare patches in your garden or at school. They should be thrown on to bare soil or you can put them in pots or window baskets. Once they have some rain they will begin germinating!
Please only throw seed bombs on your own property or on sites where you have permission. You should only use them in gardens and not in wild areas in the countryside.