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Making Seed Balls

Making Seed Balls

Mary Smith |

Last week I had another amazing opportunity to volunteer at one of my favorite schools.  The Sage School Garden invited Mary's Heirloom Seeds back for Earth Day Celebration and my station was making Seed Balls.  However, we didn't "just" make seed balls.  Before each class, I gave a short explanation of the importance of planting for pollinators.

Fun fact: 1 in every 3 bites you eat required pollination from a honey bee. source
Honeybees aren't the only pollinators.  Just as important but not really discussed are birds, bumblebees, ladybugs, hummingbirds and even the wind (to name a few)

Planting for pollinators can increase crop yields in your garden so we recommend adding a few extra seeds to your garden or around your garden.

I enjoy volunteering and teaching.  This was AWESOME! So awesome that I plan on doing this again with my sister and her kids for our garden.  These will be great for our Pollinator Protection Patch.

"An Ancient Method of No-Till Agriculture"
The rediscovery and popularization of seedballs (or “Clay Dumplings” as he called them) in modern times is typically ascribed to Japanese natural farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka.

As with many natural farmers, Fukuoka believed that tillage over large areas is laborious, destructive to soil health, and ultimately not needed and thus a waste of time and energy. Thus, seedballs have become an important aspect of many natural farming and conservation enterprises around the world.

Learning how to make seed balls is a fun activity for kids. It’s easy to do and can be easily adapted to your region. The seed ball recipe can be altered simply by changing the ratio of ingredients and/or seeds.

potting soil
clay powder
large tray to mix ingredients
box to store seed balls

I've seen different ratios of soil and clay so feel free to adjust depending on your ingredients

Start with 2 cups of potting soil, 1/2 cup clay powder, seeds and 1 cup of water.  Add more water if your mix doesn't stick together.

We used the Butterfly garden Mix seed pack for this first batch

 ALL of the kids in my 6 classes had a chance to get their hands dirty making seed balls to take home!

To make it easy for them to transport, we stapled the instructions to small bags for them to take home.  A cardboard box would be better to store them in but that wasn't possible this time around.  Funny thing happened to my seed balls.  I forgot to take my "sample" seed balls out of my go-bag from the event.  About 5 days later I opened it up to prep for my next school volunteer day and the seeds had SPROUTED!!

When you're ready to plant your seed balls, don't bury them.  You can place them carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time.  From there, Mother Nature will take over!

I hope you have enjoyed another educational article.  If you have additional questions, please leave a comment below or send an email to mary@marysheirloomseeds.com


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@Jeanette, We used a full pack of Butterfly garden seed mix for this recipe. The amount of balls this recipe creates will depend on how large or small you make them

Happy Planting!

Mary @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds,

Hi Mary, I found the recipe for the seed balls but how many seed do you use? Are they mixed with the potting mix or into each seed ball…if so how many seed per ball? Thanks for your help.

Jeanette ,

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do exactly what you are doing with the seed balls. Thanks so much for sharing your method. First I need to find the clay powder. Also, what are the preportions of each….or did I miss that? So glad I found your site….will be following you for sure. Thanks

Jeanette ,

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