Introduction: Guerrilla Gardening - Bombing Style

Picture of Guerrilla Gardening - Bombing Style

Imagine you're driving through the urban jungle. You're living your life, trying to do what's right and while you're eating miles and avoiding crossing skaters, elderly persons, dogs and raccoons you see all those monotonous roundabouts, roadsides & abandoned spaces. Sometimes they're planted with things called 'flowers', most of the time there's just nothing but grass. If there is, any grass. Prozac, now!

Wouldn't it be just great to have some kind of magic stick to transform all those spaces in wild growing, colourful & useful flashes of green wilderness, with flowers, vegetables, cereals or, if you want, potatoes? Instant photoshop, for example.

Such magic stick exists! Only, it's not magic, and there's no stick. But there's better: bombs! Time bombs!

In this I'ble I'll show you how to make so called 'seed bombs'. You'll make them, you'll shape them, and you'll launch them on every spot you want to transform. The result will not be seen immediately but a result there will be. Be patient, it's a time bomb. And when it will explode, the result will be fabulous!

This concept of 'gardening' makes part of so called 'guerrilla gardening'. Guerrilla gardening is nothing new. It's a concept that rose in the US in the seventies with as main purpose to reclaim land in urbanised areas and put a finger in the smelly wound of agro-globalism. There's a very nice definition on the net, better than I ever could explain, but let's say that it's a direct political form of action, using gardening as a mean of environmental action.
It defends the right to land, agrarian reform, and sustainable agriculture. In short it's a kind of reclaiming urban public space (wastelands, industrial areas, green spaces) by citizens willing to put nature back in the city, with burning questions about food autonomy of cities, beautiful places in the city and on mismanaged private property.

But it is above all very entertaining, and deliciously subversive!

There are many ways to be a green guerrilla. Some guerrillas will transform public spaces into real gardens - once we found a few dozens of cannabis plants in the middle of a wildlife reserve (!), others will dislocate trees and plant them elsewhere and others will randomly bomb. There are even 'evil guerrillas' - those who make bombs filled with seeds of plants that most people hate: nettles, thistles or human-devouring tulips. Free beer for them!

You can be any green guerrilla you want! Let's booooooooooomb!!!

Step 1: Dig It!

Picture of Dig It!

To make these bombs you'll need a lot of black powder, wicks and some metal tubes.


I repeat. To make these bombs you'll need some clay and some seeds. That's it, sorry.

The seeds are the easiest part of the job. Go to the bio-shop and buy what you want.

Note: choose plants native to your region - plants that grow there naturally, I mean. Don't start dispersing exotic species, they are often quite aggresive and take easily the place of the natives. If you don't know for sure, ask someone.

Than the clay. The advantage of being a semi-geologist is that at least I know what to find under the grass. So I digged a hole, and at about one foot depth I found that clay-ish layer I Iove so much - called a 'horizont' - formed by very small particles that were washed out from the upper layer and accumulated there. Whatever, if you dig, you might find some clay in your garden. If you don't: any DIY-market will have.

How to know if it's clay? Make a ball - if you accomplish this you're on the right way - and throw it to something. If it sticks, good chance it's clay.

If it screams, choose another target.

If you have a mass spectrometer: learn to use it.

You have it? Great! Store it in a cool place.

Step 2: Don't Be Affraid to Get Dirty

Picture of Don't Be Affraid to Get Dirty

Now let's start to make those bombs!

Roll out some clay - by wetting the support first because it'll stick to it - or use fist power to make a pie.

Spread those seeds all over it - not too much, just a few seeds in every ball is enough (some guerillas mix a bit of loam with it too).

Put all that clay back together and knead it like bread dough.

Take a bit of that cake and roll your balls - wetting your hands helps.

Done? Nice! Store them in a cool place.

Note: you don't need to bake them!

Step 3: Find Targets and Laaaaaaaunch!!!

Picture of Find Targets and Laaaaaaaunch!!!

When those seed-bombs are made you can hit the road and find targets - drive-by shooting style.

Aim is to bomb the landscape. One driver, three bombers - I like that! Unless you have a pick-up, oh yeah!!!

Nice targets are roundabouts (how is it possible there are sprouts growing there?!), roadsides, public parks and so on. Be creative!

Or, for the evil guerrilla's: the green green grass gardens of your neighbours - maybe I should put a disclaimer at the end, in case...

The concept is simple. The clay protects the seeds when they hit the ground. It retains some moisture in the inside of the ball and protects them from sunlight. During the first rain the ball will dissolve slowly and the seed will germinate in its nutritious cocoon.
As soon as the radicle (small primitive root of the seedling) touches the ground it's done! Those sprouts will grow!

Enjoy!!! Can't wait to see those vegetables start to grow everywhere ;)

Step 4: Daily Growin'...

Picture of Daily Growin'...

Wait for the first rains to come & enjoy the magic...

Thanx, Altan ;)


LunaEros (author)2014-03-31

The land you're talking about belongs to the governments that have codes about what can be where or are privately owned.

And a lot of cities major base of income is tourism. They have a specific way the city is designed to attract the tourists. Destroying these spaces with plants other than what they have designed is probably illegal.

Besides what have you got against grass anyway? A lot of urbanites love the way manicured grass areas look. And there is PLENTY of land that is being and is zoned for farming. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean everyone is like that.

And egging on subversives to do this to their neighbors lawns is wrong and if they do and they're found out will probably get them injured.

mlaiuppa. (author)LunaEros2015-07-12

Then they had better do something better than allowing it to be covered in grasses that produce foxtails. There are plenty of native species that are more attractive and less of a nuisance. Maintain it or get out of the way, I say.

Going to bomb California poppies, milkweed, sage and clover. We need to support our bee and butterfly populations. What better use for our public medians and easeways?

phemy (author)LunaEros2014-04-03

I don't think this is "destroying" spaces necessarily. From an ecological and agricultural perspective it is enhancement. Grass is nice aesthetically but reduces the biodiversity of insects and invertebrates of the area it grows if artificially planted. Additionally, it provides no resources for pollinators. Almost all of our food (even some meat and dairy due to alfalfa feeding) exists because of pollinators and they are in severe decline worldwide. Most farming in the first world is just as manicured as those grassy areas so does not provide the kind of habitat native planting such as this does. Besides, plants in their native setting don't grow at a rate that is a threat, you can always cut or pull!

evara1 (author)LunaEros2014-03-31

I can understand his hate for the city landscape. You say it is designed to attract tourists, but the blatant artificial look of it all is just dreadful and quite frankly repressive. Any alteration done by this kind of "warfare" is a welcome change from the repulsive "Urban garden" look.

bricobart (author)evara12014-03-31

You got the picture, bomb it!

bricobart (author)LunaEros2014-03-31

The day our cities will be surrounded by evil forces, you will stare at your beautiful grass.

But I will eat mashed potatoes.

mlaiuppa. (author)2015-07-12

Something tells me my city is going to start having an invasion of milkweed for the monarch butterflies. Nice that the plants are native and prolific. All I have to do is harvest the seeds which is really easy to do. I might even include some clover and sage for the bees.

Colonel Hogan (author)2014-12-08

Now get about 30 of these and get a small catapult, and launch the bombs at your neighbor's lawn

bricobart (author)Colonel Hogan2014-12-09

Done it. Never seen so much cannabis - my retired neighbours let them grow 'since these weird plants were so beautiful!'. LOL

Oh my god. I could've died I laughed so hard. :D

moonchylde (author)2015-02-24

Some friends of mine did this years ago on the riverbank in Covington, KY... within two years the bank was blanketed with tomatoes, eggplant, squash, and pumpkins. The local homeless camps loved it. Unfortunately the city didn't; they bulldozed the garden last year saying it was an "eyesore" (because mud and trash are apparently more appealing). Looks like its time to go gardening again...

bricobart (author)moonchylde2015-02-24

Awesome, looks like the perfect survive-the-apocalypse story! Let's go gardening, before the hell breaks loose...

UruWalter (author)2014-08-07

muy bueno lo voy a hacer

Charlisaurio (author)2014-04-15

Great idea!

rozyb24 (author)2014-04-13

awesome! Great idea!

bricobart (author)rozyb242014-04-14

Thanx friend, I hope the japanese inventor is a member of the site!

TioFrio (author)2014-04-12

Love the idea

bricobart (author)TioFrio2014-04-14

Thanx, me too ;)

sallylea (author)2014-04-09

May be a dumb question, but what about throwing these on coarse gravel that has soil beneath? In other words no landscaping fabric to block weeds?

bricobart (author)sallylea2014-04-14

The balls will slowly desintegrate by rain and the clay will wash gradually through the gravel, providing a perfect ground for those seedlings.

jmurray32 (author)2014-04-09

good post and good idea, in the uk our roundabouts aren't as well maintained so i can imagine it being quite effective over here. i would be less about the veg in my bombs though and more about hardy flowering plants in that senario because of the fuel exhaust.

bricobart (author)jmurray322014-04-14

Yep, good idea!

ibwebb (author)2014-04-06

I may be a little late to chime in here, but I am going to anyway. I am not sure why some..others... seem so angry about you doing this. As you instructed; you are using 'native plants' so I am not sure as to the problem. Granted i am in the U.S. so it might be different there, but here there medians, etc that have native plants growing anyway and there are signs saying not to cut/pick them. They are avoided when the mowers come through as well. So, you may even be helping the area by adding flowers instead of the blanket of grass seed that half grow and half wash away. The government entities that are over this do not have the money or time to put flowers/nice plants in them. Some cities do, but most do not have the budget for it. I would think that they would like it (though I wouldn't stand up and say that I did it). Though if they really do not want them there they will just run the mower over them until they die off. I LOVE YOUR IDEA myself, but where I live...I'll just use these in my own yard/garden.

bricobart (author)ibwebb2014-04-14

Thanx mate, I totally agree! I'm sure if we all start throwing a few balls a year in a few years we could change the face of our landscapes. And it could be a great project to make kids sensitive to issues as loss of biodiversity, food autonomy etc. in a very funny way!

lee464 (author)2014-04-01

Sorry, I don't see the point of this, but It sounds fun in theory. Medians and other grassy areas all have one thing in common: they are frequently mowed ( in USA anyways). Your precious seedlings don't stand a chance. It worked for Fukuokasan because he did it on his own property. Nice instructable on seed bombs, though.

bricobart (author)lee4642014-04-02

In Belgium roadside mowing has to occur after flowering season, so once the plants are settled and they stand against the other species the job's done.

And, we did the same as Fukuokasan: all those balls are dispersed over our garden. Got to make new ones! ;)

Debi Tippets (author)2014-03-31

love the idea. I'd probably use California Poppy seeds. If that makes me a sinner oh well!

bricobart (author)Debi Tippets2014-03-31

Poppies are a wonderful idea, like it!

About This Instructable




Bio: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.
More by bricobart:18th Century Style Custom Pistol (nerf)Handsaw Hack DrawknifeBriar Smoking Pipe / Bowl
Add instructable to: