Random Acts of Planting with Seed Balls by Donna Rouch, Second Vice President, NGC

Posted on National Garden Clubs, Inc. website on February 7, 2022

Gardeners have their particular way of planting seeds in their garden.  Gardeners can make straight rows or contour rows; plant on mounds or in twelve-inch squares.  My grandmother’s cry was, “Just get it in the ground and water!” Mother Nature allows those tiny seeds to sprout and push their little heads through the soil toward the sun despite what we do or don’t do.  Voilà!  A seedling emerges.  When it’s given adequate sustenance will become an adult.  Whatever technique you use requires WORK!  You can’t get away from sweat on your brow, an aching back, and sore muscles.  Or can you?

Fun is at hand, my friends.  Seed balls are like cocoons for seeds.  Adults and children enjoy making them and dispersing them.  The former Federated Garden Clubs of Nebraska, Inc. President and current contributor to The National Gardener, Charlotte Swanson, increased the milkweed population for monarch butterflies and gave seed balls filled with milkweed to motorcyclists to throw as they ride the highways and byways of Nebraska.

seed ball seed balls

The following is your recipe for fun:

  1. Obtain ready mixed clay (may be found in the craft section), potting soil, or compost and seeds.
  2. Mold clay in the palm of your hand, placing an indentation in the middle.
  3. Add a pinch of soil and a pinch of seeds (approximately 4-6 if small seeds or two large seeds).  If you have seeds that germinate quickly, you only need 1-2 seeds.
  4. Wrap the clay around the seeds and soil by forming a dime-sized ball.
  5. Let the seed ball dry for 24-48 hours at room temperature.
  6. You may toss with your hand, use a slingshot or blowgun to disperse the seed balls.
  7. Giggling is encouraged.

Have fun!

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