By: Savannah Steblein, Education Coordinator
In the past couple of years you may have seen (particularly on TikTok) people shaking parmesan shakers over empty patches of land they skate by, tossing dirt-balls out of cars, or just tossing a handful of seeds in an empty tree well. All of these are forms of guerilla gardening, a trend that started in the 70’s involving individuals working alone or together to “regreen” unused or abandoned spaces in urban areas. A special note: this means that private property is off limits -- DTG does not want to accidentally get our loved ones in trouble :)
Recently I have been doing *excessive* research on one of these guerilla gardening methods: Seed Bombs. If you haven’t heard of this quirky, yet effective way of planting seeds, then allow me to introduce you. Seed bombs are tiny balls, about the size of almond m&m’s, made of soil/compost, clay, and seeds. The clay and dirt protect seeds from erosion and hungry animals until the weather is just right. When the spring rains come, the seeds will use their soil homes to grow roots and sprout. When they break open the balls, the roots grow towards the soil floor, their new home.
There are many, many recipes for seed bombs. When making them, I referenced three different websites (links attached below). But much like my cooking, I minimally followed the recipe, using the resources I already had rather than buying anything new. Warm December weather allowed me to dig for clay in my backyard, but unscented kitty litter is a cheap alternative. I also used soil from a pre-opened bag and added native seeds that I ethically gathered this fall, but use what works for you.
In regards to seed choice:
Being the conservationist that I am, I want to add a little information on seed choice. Make sure to do your research on native and invasive species in your area. An invasive species will do more harm than good and native plants are the best option! There are so many beautiful plants and flowers native to us here in the Rappahannock Region. I highly recommend checking out the free Plant Virginia Natives plant guide pdf linked here: www.plantvirginianatives.org/native-plants-for-central-rapp
Learn more about seed bombs here: