seed ball is a marble-sized ball made of clay, earth and seeds which is used to replant areas where the natural flora has been destroyed. Before the development of the native plant seed ball, reseeding some natural areas was difficult. The traditional method of broadcasting seed comes with several major drawbacks. The seed is sown on top of the soil where it may be baked dry by the sun, blown away by the wind, washed away by heavy rains, or nibbled away by birds or other small wildlife. Very little is left to germinate and grow.
In dry areas, the shape of the ball actually gives enough shade to conserve moisture. The seeds begin to germinate and the ball breaks apart. The small pile of crumbles provides the start for the root system, but is still heavy enough to anchor the emerging seeds to the ground.
The small leaves of the new plants provide enough shade for the soil to conserve more moisture. The plants then mature and produce their own seeds and provide shelter once the second generation seeds fall to the ground. The seeding and regrowth continues until complete plant cover is achieved.
Each student needs:
- 2 parts potting soil
- 5 parts pottery clay mix from your local art store
- 1-2 parts water
- 1-2 parts seeds of your choice
- Large tub to mix ingredients
- Large box to dry and store seed balls
- Mix the soil, clay and 1 part water thoroughly. There should be no lumps. Slowly add more water until the mixture is the consistency of the toy store molding clay that comes in a can.
- Add seeds. Keep kneading the dough until the seeds are well mixed in. Add more water if necessary.
- Take small bits of the clay mixture and roll into ball about one inch in diameter. The balls should hold together easily. If they're crumbly, add more water.
- Dry seed balls for 24-48 hours in a shady place before sowing or storing. They store best in a cardboard box. Do not use plastic bags.
- The last step in how to make flower seed balls is sowing them. Yes, you can place them carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time, which is a lot more fun. Don't bury them and don't water them.