Texas Junior Naturalists

Texas Junior Naturalists

Make Seed Balls

What are seed Balls? Seed balls are marble-sized balls formed by combining dry red clay, compost, native wildflower and/or grass seeds and water. They are rolled by hand and dried to be sewn outside to establish or revegetate an area with native plants. Why not just hand-broadcast the seed or dig a garden? Good question! These are still accepable ways to introduce seeds in some areas, however the seed ball functions to protect the seeds from heat, being blown away, or eaten by birds, insects or other animals until there is sufficient rain to melt the clay and allow the seeds to germinate. They are particularly helpful in windy arid environments. Making seed balls is easy and it's fun.

Ingredients

3 parts - Mixed wildflower and/or native grass seed (available at many garden supply stores and on-line - make sure to use native seeds for your area)
1 part - Soil humus or compost (available from gardening supply stores)
5 parts - Dry red clay (available from potter's supply - also called terra cotta clay)
1 part - Water

Other Materials

bucket or barrel
plastic tarp

Making the Balls

Mix up the the ingredients in a bucket with your hands until it is good and sticky. Pinch off small pieces of the mixture and roll it between your palms until it holds together well and begins to set up or harden. Toss the balls onto the tarp and allow them to dry 24 to 48 hours. When they are dry they are ready for broadcasting or short term storage.

Learn more about Seed Balls - http://www.seedballs.com/tblcon.html

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