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Seedbombing – a unique, fun, and engaging project developed by Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud of Common Studios. Organic Soul will be helping Phillips and Karlsrud team up with Chrysalis, a non profit in Los Angeles, to retrain economically disadvantaged and formerly homeless men and women for the field of urban sustainability. Get to know them a little better*!
Seed bombing is an exciting and innovative way to enhance land vegetation. However, if you’ve never heard of these little objects, you’re probably wondering exactly how they work, how successful they are, and whether you can make them at home. Here are the key facts you need to know.
What Is Seed Bombing?
Seed bombs are small balls, typically made up of some combination of seeds, clay and compost. The latter two components help to carry the seeds to their intended location when you throw them into an area that is hard to access (e.g. a wasteland). While you might think the idea of a ball is redundant and that seeds could just be thrown loose, the majority of seeds are so light that they can easily be blown away. This makes it implausible to successfully launch them over distances.
Seed bombing is a great approach, because it’s a quick, easy action that can lead to productive change on a massive scale. They can be used in window boxes, home gardens, alley ways, urban green roofs, roadsides, and just about anywhere that’s unmaintained (where the seed bombs can grow undisturbed). Seed bombs can be the start of edible crops, a beautiful field of flowers, or a garden of herbs.
It’s even possible to make ‘companion’ seed bombs, where the seeds of multiple plants that grow well together are put into the same ball. For example, some are good at working together to condition the soil, deter pests or boost pollination.
Do Seed Bombs Really Work?
The short answer is ‘yes’ and the results can be amazing! Within a few days to a couple of weeks, the initial seedlings begin to work their way through the seed bomb and start to take root in the surrounding ground. From there, they grow into fully mature plants when the environmental conditions (i.e. water supply, temperature and position) are right, and then more seeds go on to germinate. The average seed bomb dissolves within weeks or months, depending on the amount of rain in the area and the time of year.
How To Make Seed Bombs With Paper
There are seed bombs for sale, so you don’t always have to make your own. However, there are also straightforward seed bombs recipes you can try, and this is a fun activity to do with children (or just by yourself). All you’ll need is the following:
- Your chosen seeds
- Old newspaper
- A sieve
- An ice cube tray or similar mold
- An immersion blender
- A cloth
Start by shredding the old newspaper, then put it in a container for blending and add warm water. Next, add your seeds—roughly 1-2tsps per sheet of newspaper will create the right balance. Transfer this gooey mixture into your sieve, on top of an old cloth or fabric scrap that you don’t want to use again, then squeeze until as much water as possible comes out. It will be a slightly unpleasant texture, but remember that it’s only paper!
You’ll be left with a damp mass that can be firmly pressed into your molds or just rolled into balls. Remove from the mold (if you’re using molds) while they’re still moist, then sit them somewhere they can dry quickly. Avoid excessive heat levels, as high temperatures can kill the seeds. However, you’ll also want to make sure that the area is warm enough to prevent immediate sprouting. Then, when the material has dried, all that’s left is to choose your desired location and seed bomb to your heart’s content!
*Text from the video:
“Its always refreshing when people go above and beyond to use their design talents for a higher purpose. Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud of Common Studios are two LA designers are using a simple concept to bring more interaction between people and their urban environment. Through a series of fortunate events, they have a acquired gumball machines, and have filled them with hand made seed bombs. In partnering with local businesses they have found a means of engaging local shoppers to be a part of of making the space around them more beautiful. They have teamed up with Project H and are using the gumball machines as a means to raise funds for more interesting social design initiatives.”