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Kids in the Garden! Spring Blooms from Seed Bombs

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Remember the fun of making mud pies and getting your hands (and the rest of you!) dirty? Here’s a project that lets kids get their hands dirty, but also gives them the opportunity to bring spring blooms to your yard, school grounds, or anywhere you can get permission to throw them!

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What is a ‘Seed Bomb’?

Seed ‘bombs’ are made of clay, compost and wildflower seeds (or other easy-to-grow seeds) mixed together with water, formed into balls, and then dried. Once dry, they can be tossed into the garden, on backyard slopes, or anywhere that has full sun exposure and the ability to get water from sprinklers or natural rainfall.

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Materials Needed

Clay (I used Crayola Air Dry Clay found at Michaels Craft Stores)
Compost (sold in bags at hardware stores or garden centers)
A large packet (12 grams) or several smaller packets of wildflower seeds or easy to grow garden flower seeds (see suggestions below)
Water
Big bowl or bucket for mixing

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Making the Seed Bombs (Time to get dirty!)

Empty the clay from its container onto a sheet of newspaper, set aside.
Fill empty clay container with compost and dump into mixing bowl.
Pour seeds into mixing bowl and mix thoroughly into compost.
At this point, compost/seed mixture can be divided into multiple bowls for several children.
Divide clay into equal parts for number of bowls using.
Mix clay and compost/seed mixture together with a small amount of water using hands to mix thoroughly. Add more water a little at a time if mixture is too thick to work easily.
Once thoroughly mixed, form into one-inch diameter balls and place on cookie sheet or platter to dry. (One 2.5 lb. container of Crayola Air Dry Clay makes 100-110 1-inch seed balls).

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Note: This can be a messy project! Outdoor assembly and old or washable clothes are recommended!

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How to Use Seed Bombs

Seed bombs can be dropped or tossed onto any open soil. Rain or irrigation water will dissolve the clay/compost mixture. As it dissolves, the compost/clay mixture covers the seed and protects it from birds. With a little luck, regular rain, and sunshine, the seeds will germinate in a week or two and bloom in a month or two depending on the seed variety and weather.

Seed Suggestions

Wildflower seeds for southern California: California poppies (of course!), tidy tips, yarrow, lupine, blue eyed grass. Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano has wildflower mixes especially for southern California.

Garden flower seeds: Bachelor buttons, alyssum, forget me nots, feverfew, cosmos

Teena is a Master Gardener who appears as the western US ‘Gardeniere’ in Home Depot and Miracle Gro ‘how to’ gardening videos on YouTube. She also shares gardening tips, ideas and inspiration on her gardening blog, Thyme to Grow (thymetogrow.com), as well as offers online gardening classes on Udemy.com.
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