Seed ‘bombs’ are fun to make, share, and sow!
January rains bring prime conditions for wildflowers like California poppies to germinate, grow and thrive. A fun project for a rainy day for kids and grownups alike is to make seed ‘bombs’: portable, easy to sow spheres of wildflower seeds and planting mix. Make up a batch on the next rainy day when the kids are stuck inside driving you crazy! Share the ‘bombs’ with family and friends to spread the joy and beauty of wildflowers far and wide.
Follow these 5 simple steps to create your own seed ‘bombs’:
Step 1: Purchase supplies
- A tub of craft clay
- 3 – 4 packages of wildflower seeds (California poppies are my favorite)
- Small bag of potting soil or compost
Step 2: Mix clay, soil, and seeds together
- Divide clay into 3 or 4 parts. It’s easier to mix in small batches.
- Place 1 part clay, an approximately equal amount of soil, and seeds into a large bowl, bucket, or plastic washtub.
- Mix together adding enough water to create a workable dough like substance.
- Mix well. Yes, you will get your hands dirty!!! And probably the work area too!
Step 3: Form ‘bombs’
- Take a bit of the clay/seed mixture and roll into a ball. 1-inch balls work best.
- Set balls on a cookie sheet or other flat surface to dry.
- When dry, they can be stored in ziploc bags until the next rain, or to give to friends.
Step 4: ‘Bomb’ Away!
- Toss the ‘bombs’ onto open ground preferably right before it rains. If no rain is predicted, water the area where the bombs are for a few days until they dissolve.
- Raking the ground to loosen the soil prior to sowing can assist in areas of compacted soil.
Step 5: Care
- Water if rains are sparse.
- Pull weeds so they don’t overrun the wildflowers.
- Once the wildflowers have bloomed, leave the seed heads on the plant so they self sow for another show next year!
Where to see California Poppies in Bloom
The California Poppy is such a treasured feature of our state, that a natural reserve exists, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. It is located outside the city of Lancaster, about an hour and 45 minute drive from Los Angeles. Visit the Poppy Reserve webpage for directions and wildflower bloom status updates from February through mid-May. The reserve has eight miles of trails and an interpretive center as well as picnic tables. Peak viewing is usually in mid April.