Seed bombs are an ancestral Japanese gardening technique, called Tsuchi Dango (earth dumpling), re-integrated into farming practices by Masanobu Fukuoka, microbiologist, farmer and author of The One Straw Revolution. Their purpose is to plant and grow with minimal human intervention, which makes them perfect for guerrilla gardening (more about that another day). You make a little ball of clay and compost or fertilizer with the seeds rolled up inside. This gives them a good start in life no matter where they land.
After about 3 weeks, give or take depending on rainfall, temperatures, etc, the seeds will start to germinate, pushing down into the soil, and the ball will break apart as the plant grows, loosening more seeds to germinate.
There are a few things to consider in seed bombing. Think about your environment and opt for non-invasive species. You can make seed bombs with one type of plant, or with a combination of seeds from different plants that play well together (companion planting). The earth is your canvas, and you can beautify it any way you like. You might even want to create a slow explosion of herbs, like basil, rosemary, thyme…or a soft ground cover around the base of an urban tree that will provide the soil with nitrogen, like clover…or flowers that provide comestibles for bees and butterflies…whatever you like.
Another thing to think about is possible intervention. Your efforts will be wasted if you seed bomb an area that gets mowed by city workers. Look for neglected spots or little islands of safety where the mowers can’t reach, such as under park benches or right up against the side of a building.
Neglected and desolate spaces have a negative impact on the community, mentally and demographically. They’re ugly, repellent. We often manage to walk by them without paying attention, blocking them from our overt mental processes, but anything you see is ultimately processed by your brain, whether you know it or not. You can make a very real difference in the well-being of your community, and have fun doing it! So if you don’t have plans for the weekend, or are feeling bored, do a little seed bombing project. Here are some simple instructions for making seed bombs. There are several different ways to make them and lots of tutorials available, so feel free to search for one that works for you. Watch this Seed Bomber video to get inspired!