Make these seed bombs to plant in your garden or give to other people to plant. They will attract pollinators like bees and butterflies who will fertilise plants and allow them to produce fruit and seeds.
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What to do
Collect together all of the things you need and find a space to make your seeds bombs that can get messy. Doing this activity outside would be great if it isn’t windy or raining.
Use your cup to measure out 1 cup of flour and 2 cups of soil into your bowl. Add about a quarter of a cup of seeds. If you only have a small amount of seeds, see step 6.
You can make more or less of this mixture depending on how much of each material you have, you just need to remember the ratios of 1 part of flour to 2 parts of compost and a quarter part of seeds plus 1 part of water.
Fill your cup with water. Add half of your cup of water to the bowl and stir.
Stir your mixture until it forms a ball, as in the photograph. If your mixture is still crumbly, add a little of the remaining water at a time until a ball is formed.
Take about a tablespoon of mixture into your hands and roll it into a ball. You need to leave these balls to dry out before you use them or give them away.
If you only have a small amount of seeds, instead of putting them into the mixture, pour them out onto a plate. Roll your balls in the seed, covering the balls with a coating of seed. If the seeds do not stick, roll the balls in water and try again. Leave the balls to dry.
Things to discuss
How do you plant a seed bomb?
Throw it at the ground and see what grows! You could keep the seed packet as see if all of the flowers included in the seed mix grow.
Where should you throw your seed bomb?
You need to look for patches of bare soil. Wildflowers like to grow in poor soil conditions. Remove any existing grass, weeds and flora from the area, as this will prevent the seed from establishing.
When should I throw my seed bomb?
Autumn is the best time to sow wildflower seeds as it gives you the earliest display of wildflowers the following year. you can plant them between March and October and you should see flowers blooming 60 to 80 days later.
How it works
Why does the seed bomb need flour?
The flour is just to bind the compost and seeds together. The pollinators won’t be eating it!
Why do we want to attract these pollinators to our gardens?
Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, bees and small mammals are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot. It is through pollination that plants are fertilised and able to produce the next generation of plants, including the fruit and crops we eat.
Pollinators pollinate over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators. Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilise soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.
Did you know that wasps were important pollinators too?
We often think of wasps as pests who sting us for no reason, disturb our picnics and make nests in our houses, but they actually useful pollinators, travelling from plant to plant as they look for food, spreading pollen.
And that isn’t all!
Wasps are really important for our ecosystems. Each summer, social wasps in the UK capture an estimated 14 million kilograms of insect prey, such as caterpillars and greenfly. Without them the world could be overrun with spiders and insects!
What you will need
- Wild flower seeds
20 minutes or so.
Age 3 and up.
You know your children better than anyone, and you should judge whether they’re ready for this activity. You might want to think in particular about:
- Always wash your hands after touching soil
- Make sure bowls, spoons and cups are thoroughly cleaned before using them for food
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