Introduction: How to Make a Seed Bomb

Picture of How to Make a Seed Bomb

Do you hate those blank vacant lots on the side of road and city streets? Have you wanted to put a flower garden in one of those lots but have been afraid of being arrested? Do you not have the money to buy all those flower transplants? Is the lot just to hard to get into? And think of how many times you have seen a bare plot with nothing in it or a neglected flower bed that you just wished you could plant on? Well the seed bomb is just right for you. The seed bomb is cheap compared to buying transplants, is natural and organic, easy to make, pocket sized, and you can easily cover a large area with seed bombs in a very short time. The seed bomb is also a great weapon in the guerrilla gardeners arsenal when the guerrilla gardener needs to quickly get the job done.

Step 1: Materials

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All materials in this instructable are cheap or free, easy to find, and are natural and organic.

Clay from your area if available or if clay unavailable in your area you can use crayola air dry clay and is found in walmart for about $5.00 (used to protect the seeds from insects, birds, etc. that might eat them)
Water (For forming clay, do not water seed bomb when finished)
Seeds native to your area (Check with your local Nature Conservancy or your state's department of natural resources for which seeds/plants are native to your area)( buy seed mixtures of native flowers and plants. Not only will they grow well, they will not crowd out other plants, disrupt bird and insect populations, or do other environmental damage)
Compost or worm castings
Yogurt container top or any large flat surface

For the dried red clay mix 5 parts clay with 1 part compost and 1 part flower seeds, put some careful drops of water into the mixture(make sure not to make it into a goopy sloppy mess!), Knead with hands into a ball, flatten it out and cut to desired size. Now just make into a small ball and let it dry in the sun. Now you have a red clay seed bomb.

Step 2: Cutting

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Cut a very thin piece of the clay

Tip: (The thinner you make it the easier you can press it down and shape it into a ball)

Step 3: Cutting (Continued)

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Press down on a large flat surface (making it not paper thin but not as thick as a book)

Cut to about 2 and a half inches wide and 2 inches high

Step 4: Adding the Compost

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Sprinkle the finest compost onto the clay and the more compost you put on the better the chance the seeds will germinate)

Step 5: Adding Seeds

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Add about 2 seeds to the mixture (depending on the quality you think the seeds are)

Step 6: Adding the Water

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Add just a few drops or it will become a sloppy mess that's almost impossible to take off ! The water will also help the compost stay inside the seed bomb

Step 7: Making Into a Seed Bomb

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Scrape off with your fingers the clay and roll into a ball and make sure you don't let the seeds go out of the seed bomb!

Step 8: Adding More Compost

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To have a better chance of your plant in your seed bomb of growing put your seed bomb into a pot of compost and rub the compost in and take it out and rub it in again. You can keep repeating this process till about the 5th rubbing then you have most likely covered the seed bomb with the compost.

Step 9: Your Finished

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Now just let your seed bomb air dry and your finished. You can fit about 9 seed bombs or more in one pocket (estimated from size 12 boys blue jeans) and if you multiply that by how many pockets you have in your pants, jacket, and even hat plus the number of people you bring with you then you have a lot of area you can cover with your seed bombs! Now throw your seed bombs of change into any vacant lot, neglected flower bed, or bare lot and don't forget to water your new brand new guerrilla garden!


ShafiqA15 (author)2017-03-17

did we need to water the seed bomb after we throw 'em at the area??

RuthM52 (author)2016-05-02

Easy to make and they work great. I never attracted and critters from these .

austinwebdesign (author)2016-04-27

that's great - I love it.

Kennethhackneyr97 (author)2014-06-12

Even though it might add a little bit to the expense of making the
"bombs" couldn't you use catfish dough ball bait for the interior of the
"bombs", perhaps the stuff with blood mixed in.

I think that would attract critters who could eat them - and also it would not be as shelf-stable as the clay. You'd have a lot of happy mice and birds though.

crogshockey (author)2015-03-26

Thats spectacular...

davidbarcomb (author)2014-11-25

This is really great. Cool idea mate

gazumpglue (author)2014-02-02

Cool that's just epic

chimplost (author)2014-01-21

Cool that's just epic

clickworried (author)2013-08-27


My Diet Area (author)2013-08-03

Ok, I know this is a bit old, but I have a thought. Even though it might add a little bit to the expense of making the "bombs" couldn't you use catfish dough ball bait for the interior of the "bombs", perhaps the stuff with blood mixed in.

coco luva (author)2013-07-17

Cool that's just epic

Chloe8 (author)2013-06-26

I saw this at a shop yesterday and was wondering how to make it! great!

Phil 1315 (author)2013-05-20

if your "planting" at the right moment, and right away, I soak my seeds ahead of time. Seeds need to soak up moisture and if you soak them over night they will germinate in days.. The seed will grow right out of the small ball, roots will go down and the plant will grow up. What you are doing is hiding the seed from birds and allowing it to germinate.

You only dry them to keep your pocket clean, a damp ball tossed into the planting bed will sprout sooner. seeds need moisture and warmth, think spring! sunshine and rain

RN101 (author)2012-12-29

Amen, and Amen some more! Grammar aside, there is a fine line between giving enough instruction, and being too long-winded. Heaven forbid that the author of an "instructable" expects one of two things; that the reader has a certain level of intelligence and understanding to be able to complete the project, or that they will be able to simply ask the author a simple question to clarify things. Slamming someone never clears up confusion, and often adds to the problem.

mb inventor (author)2012-10-29

what do they do again?

SeaFire (author)2012-10-27

Ok, I know this is a bit old, but I have a thought. Even though it might add a little bit to the expense of making the "bombs" couldn't you use catfish dough ball bait for the interior of the "bombs", perhaps the stuff with blood mixed in. You could just stuff the seeds into the dough balls, then make little raviolis with them and the clay, and then coat the outside of those with compost? Another option would be to roll the dough bait in the seeds and then cover with clay. The dough bait would have moisture as well as a compost like composition ready to go.

karlchwe (author)2010-05-09

Going by the comments, a lot of people don't understand how these things work. Of course, the instructions don't explain it either. 

The clay is there to protect seeds from being eaten, especially by birds. Birds won't eat things covered with clay or clay dust. So alternatives like papier mache wouldn't work (and would possibly be more expensive.) 

The seed bombs shouldn't break open. In fact they should stay relatively intact even after they have been wet by rain a few times. That way the seeds stay protected and moist. When the seeds germinate, they will break through the clay. 

They seeds don't need water right away. They will stay dormant until rain comes. If the seeds are the right for the area, then they will do fine. Of course, not every single seed will sprout. 

But the comment about using plants that are native to the area is an important one. Buy seed mixtures of native flowers and plants. Not only will they grow well, they will not crowd out other plants, disrupt bird and insect populations, or do other environmental damage. 

c0ld3l3m3nt (author)karlchwe2012-06-25

Your comment sounds alittle more than what appreciation for this project.. more like youre are tryin to justify urself and overly gradify urself in somone elses moment.. you mad at this guys idea that you didnt do it first?

fmcavinchey (author)karlchwe2011-03-15

You’ve got to wonder about the wisdom of growing non-native vegetables as well. That thought never seems to come up, no matter where you look. If we stuck to those plants that grow here, in our own zones or areas, we would never infect an area with invaders. We would also, after awhile, not have to do much planting, as seeds would drop and spread by themselves. I am aware of horticulturists that are developing native plants (native to North America, since that is where I live), such as Apios americana, locust trees, and other food producing natives, to come up with varieties that produce more and better foodstuffs. That is a good idea.


will add to my instructable on this information

GreenTara (author)karlchwe2011-01-26

Thank you for your explainings. The thought of the reginal Biodiversity seems very important to me too.
And then, I would say, make a little prayr when you throw the bomb. The natural beeings will love it. They ll be gardening what they can!

Yes thats how the seed bomb works, instructable would be terribly long and boring if i included how it all worked

Skyriam (author)karlchwe2010-05-15

Thanks for the explanation, got one more question. Once the seed germinate... how would they attach to the earth? I'm having a hard time imagining how they could... Thanks!

When a seed germinates it usually sends roots into the ground and becomes a sapling. There are multiple seeds in a seed bomb so if one doesn't work then the others should

crocidile (author)2012-03-09

this is really nice and we should put it out somewhere.

Lucifeba (author)2012-02-14

I dont anderstand to much you putted in the ground and that just grow?

I am in the shed! (author)2011-11-15

OH GOD!!! Why do people have to spoil these usefull educational pieces with tedious niggling and bickering over rights and wrongs - I can make up my own mind thank you! and grammar??? JESUS! - does it really matter - thank you treesneedtobehugged, for giving me the info needed to be able to do this myself.

chemicalvamp (author)2011-03-13

"making it not paper thin but not as thick as a book" might need some elaboration. :)

epic#1 (author)chemicalvamp2011-11-11

a books made of paper isnt it... lol.

bomb fetish (author)2011-08-14

this is awesome, im gonna make my backyard a forest xP

bzenny (author)2010-10-04

What does Crayola Air-Dry Clay consist of?

i'm unsure really, all i know is that the clay is mined and if you cant find clay soil in your area its a good option to make seed bombs with. If there is clay in your areas soil then that clay is better

If you use clay soil that you dig up yourself you MUST sterilize it. There may be weed seeds in the soil that will make your bomb evil to the environment. Sterilizing your soil will kill off those seeds and then your bomb will be fighting for the side of good.

fmcavinchey (author)ratgurl2011-03-15

What, pray tell, really is a weed? Most “weeds” are just plants that we have silly prejudices against. Chickory is considered a weed here where I live, and yet it was growing here long before my kind arrived. Cattails are considered a nuisance weed here and yet there are NO plants that could prove more useful in an emergency situation than that one.

“Weeds” may well not actually exist, outside of our minds.

Just some food for thought.


Johenix (author)fmcavinchey2011-04-03

A weed is just a plant out of place.
Like volunteer corn in a soybeen field.
Remember the song "The Lonely Little Petunia in The Onion Patch"?

ratgurl (author)fmcavinchey2011-03-16


I define weeds as plants that are growing where they are not welcome. For me, a weed is a plant that is a non-native invasive species. In California, this means Oxalis pes-caprae, Scotch Broom, Pampas Grass, Dandelion, Raphanus raphanistrum, running bamboos, and Euphorbia lathyrus, among others. 'Weeds can be useful in emergency situations, but I consider the state of our fragile ecological system more important. If, in California, the non-native invasive Scotch Broom out-competes native Asclepias species, Monarch butterflies will be in grave danger. Ironically, Asclepias is known as Milkweed as it can spread aggressively; in western Europe where Scotch Broom originates, Asclepias spp. may be weeds.

So, I think weeds do exist outside of our minds, but our minds are subjective.

fmcavinchey (author)ratgurl2011-03-16

Dear Gurl of the rat,

Personally, I like rats, and have had friends that were rats.

Regarding weeds, a rather ubiquitous “weed”, a very invasive species, is the Dandelion. I’m in Ohio, and as far as I can tell, dandelions are EVERYWHERE. I am entirely unsure as to whether they have any detrimental effect on other plant, or animal, species. What I do know, is that in an emergency, dandelions are VERY good food, at least good for you. I don’t personally like their usual bitterness, but others do.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on your definition of the word “weed”. Invasive, destructive species are indeed weeds. So touche to you!



overblast (author)fmcavinchey2011-04-03

Some of my *best friends* are rats.

I had no money in college, so I made a meal of dandelion flower petals and clover heads. It actually was pretty good, filled me up, and cleaned me out, very beneficial.

can you explain how to sterilize soil?

Very simple. Preheat your oven to 180 - 200 degrees. Wrap your soil in a sheet of foil, large enough to wrap it completely and crimp the edges shut. Stick a heat thermometer in and put it in the oven for half an hour. Check the temperature on the thermometer every so often. If it is heated over 200 degrees the beneficial soil microbes will start to die.

almost seems like a little to much effort just to make some clay balls with seeds in them, unless you have a real bad invasive speices in the soil you collect

Johenix (author)2011-03-13

Ah, Yes, I can forsee Marijuana and Opium Poppies in full bloom on the roof of the Federal Building (right over the DEA office) and the Police Department, Sheriff's Office and Jail. (Snicker Snicker)

overblast (author)Johenix2011-04-03

Very funny!

fmcavinchey (author)2011-03-15

What you are calling seed bombs, and rightly so, a little Japanese man named Fukuoka called seed balls. He came up with the idea quite some time ago, and developed an entire system of agriculture, which he called the “no work” method. He was highly successful at growing crops that produced as well, or better than his neighbors, who farmed using chemicals, tractors, plows, etc. He didn’t use machinery, with the exception of a cement mixer for making his seed balls. Your idea is a really good one! I applaud you.


yes thank you for this, i later found this guy out about a year later when i made this. guess i made a modern version of his ideas =)

MY (author)2011-03-15

It's a very clever idea for difficult to seed areas, but I would caution against "guerrilla ecology" by intentionally seeding property that you do not own. Right is right and wrong is still wrong, even if your intentions are good.

Otherwise this is a very interesting Instructable. Thanks for posting!

Cristian Lavaque (author)2011-03-13

Bomb has a meaning and connotation that doesn't apply to these, in my opinion. Why didn't you use the original "seed balls" name, given to them by the creator of this technique: Fukuoka Masanobu?

Anyway, I think it's wonderful that you're teaching people how to make these. Thanks! :)

The only thing that Masanobu Fukuoka (many people attribute his name as Fukuoka Masanobu) CREATED was the term "seed balls"; he did not create this technique. Please don't confuse the readers of Instructables with your opinions, as this may sometimes slow or stop the transfer of ideas! If you had read a little more than Masanobu Fukuoka's treatise "The One-Straw Revolution", you might have gleaned that even as far back in antiquity, Pliny the Elder was using this technique in 1 AD. Proto-Native Americans (North & Central) used similar techniques for several thousand years. Many apologists (Jim Bones, in particular) for Masanobu Fukuoka, look too precisely for the proof that no other tribe, person or culture came up with an idea that may discredit, or at least disprove, the mythology of Masanobu Fukuoka. This is partially proved by the use of many of his acolytes and apostles who refer to him as Sensei. Yes, he was the first to write these ideas down on paper, but there are many others who went before that shall receive no credit. Rudy Steiner, J.I. Rodale, Hans Müller & the Lady Eve Balfour have had similar "epiphanies", yet they don't have quite the following of the Sensei.

Thank you for all that information! I wasn't aware of it. I mentioned Fukuoka because that's what I was aware of, not because I want to ignore others. I didn't mean to bother you with my comment and -again- thank you for sharing this knowledge. :)

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