What is a seed ball?
Seed balls are a mixture of seeds encased in a mixture of clay and soil humus. The clay and humus prevents the seeds from drying out in the sun, getting eaten by animals, such as, squirrels, mice, and birds, or from blowing away in the wind. When sufficient rain has permeated the clay the seeds inside sprout. The seeds are protected within the ball. The soil humus in the seed ball contains nutrients and beneficial soil microbes.
Seed balls are also called Earth dumplings
Why use a seed ball?
Seed balls are used for seeding dry, thin, and compacted soils. Seed balls are an effective tool for re-vegetation of degraded land. They are great for areas where rainfall is unpredictable.
How to make a seed ball
In order to make a seed ball, you need seeds, compost, clay, and water.
Once you've collected the various seeds you want to put inside a seed ball, make a compost of tree leaves, cut flowers, fruit peelings, vegetable peelings, straw, crushed egg shells, grass cuttings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, shredded newspaper and other natural resources. After you've made a compost, find red clay and blend it in with the seeds and the compost you've made. The red clay must be dried and grounded to ensure your mixture won't be lumpy. Do not use white or blue clay. White clay and blue clay contains minerals that will damage the process and the growth of the seeds. After you've made your compost, mix it with the red clay, add a little water and roll it up in a ball. The seed ball should be about the size of a quarter
What to do with a seed ball
Seed balls are scattered directly on the ground. They are not planted. If possible, scatter the seed balls in areas of existing trees and plant life. By doing this, you'll be assured that the soil can be used to support plant life. Make sure the seed balls you've created will thrive on open land and benefit the community. Also, stick to seeds that have adapted to the regional soil
Advantages of using seed balls
One of the biggest advantages of using seed balls is that you can scatter them on the ground without digging a hole or cultivating the soil. Another advantage is that seed ball sowing takes less time and money than traditional seed sowing techniques.
Children and Seed Balls
Making and scattering seed balls is a fun way to get children involved in gardening.
How many seed balls?
A minimum of ten seed balls per square meter are needed. More seed balls may be required to reclaim derelict land.
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