We have the school holidays off to a ‘flying’ start here on The Ridge. In order to continue our planting schedule and provide the kids with yet another reason to be outdoors, we planned a seed bombing mission on a newly renovated garden bed.
We threw together a mix of cow-pea, jap millet, lucerne and sunflower seeds and soaked these for about half an hour in a mix of buttermilk and molasses. Soaking your seeds before planting activates them, making them more likely to germinate and sprout once in the soil. Using liquid that is nutrient-dense (and preferably fermented) provides the plants with a super boost and is a great start to life. Other things you could use to soak your seeds in include
– the liquid from kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut,
– the whey that forms on the top of your natural yoghurt, or
– some kombucha tea.
However, if you don’t have any of those, you can just leave a little milk at room temperature until it sours and use that.
Once the seeds are plump, you know they are ready for planting. If you intend to raise your seeds in the traditional manner, they can be planted into seed-raising mix, fine compost or dug straight into their growing location. For this adventure, though, we gathered some potting mix and sticky clay and added it to the soaking seeds. An activity in itself, great fun was had in kneading the ingredients together then rolling them into palm-sized balls. These were then placed in the sun to dry off a little. The clay allows the bombs to stick when thrown, and the soil provides the growing medium for the seeds to develop their roots and make their way into the underlying ground.
Launch time was a mix of gardening and playful warfare and kept the kids occupied for ages. Although more often associated with guerrilla gardening, our seed bombs proved an effective method for both sowing a cover crop and keeping the kids occupied during the school holidays. Seed Bombing is definitely an activity we’ll be trying again, and I think one that will be very effective for planting out a steep and hard-to-reach bank behind a creek.