Making seed bombs is a fun, educational activity for kids
Ready, aim, grow! A mix of crafting and gardening, seed bombs are the perfect spring activity to do with kids and a great way to increase their environmental awareness. But, what are seed bombs? Basically, they’re round balls made up of native seeds, potting mix, and air-dry clay to hold it all together. Once prepared, just toss them into a barren spot in your own garden or a vacant public space to hopefully fill it with flowers. That’s it! No care is required with seed bombs as they’re meant to germinate on their own to become a colourful display.
How to Make Seed Bombs
- 1 part potting mix or soil
- 1 part natural air-dry potter’s clay (can be found at craft stores)
- 1-2 parts seeds (native wildflowers, herbs, or other plants that grow easily in your area)
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cup
- Parchment paper or wax paper
- Baking sheet
- In a mixing bowl, combine equal parts soil and clay. Mix together well.
- Add 1-2 parts of seeds to the mixture, depending on how many seeds you want in each seed bomb. Mix together gently but thoroughly.
- Slowly add water to the mixture, mixing it in until the mixture has the consistency of playdough. You want it to be moist but not too wet.
- Take small handfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place the seed bombs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Let the seed bombs dry inside or in the sun for 24-48 hours. Once they are dry, they are ready to use.
To use the seed bombs, simply toss them into an area that needs some beautification or greenery. The clay will hold the ball together until it gets rained on, then it will start to break down. The seeds will begin to germinate and sprout, providing a burst of colour and life.
Choose your seeds carefully
It’s important that the seed mixture contain only plants that are native to your area as non-native plants can become invasive if they take hold, choking out beneficial vegetation. Some seeds to look for include Canada violet, Red columbine, and Spotted Joe Pye weed. Native plants can provide a range of benefits to gardens and are naturally adapted to the local climate, soil, and other conditions. This means that they require less maintenance and are less likely to be affected by pests or diseases. They’ll also attract and support a wide range of native insects and pollinators, birds, and other wildlife, which can help to create a healthy and diverse ecosystem.
You can find an extensive list of plants native to Quebec by visiting espacepourlavie.ca/en/native-plants-your-garden, the website naturaledge.watersheds.ca/plant-database/ or ask at your local garden centre.
While your seed bomb might not create a new Montreal Botanical Garden, you may be rewarded with a few seedlings the next time you pass by. And if nothing else, you’ll have learned more about native plants and pollinators, spent time outside, and it’s always fun to throw things!