Introduction: Seed Grenade

Picture of Seed Grenade

The seed grenade in this instructable is inspired by the Flower Grenade available from SUCK UK ( It doesn't look quite as polished but it does the job and costs much, much less.

The basic idea of the seed grenade is a clay container which contains seeds and a growing medium, that breaks on impact with the ground, allowing the seeds to grow. It's a fun project to do and the results can look pretty good after the plants or flowers have grown.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

You're going to need the following items in order to create your own seed grenade.

1) Clay working tools
2) A spoon
3) Gloves (optional but nice)

1) A ball of air hardening clay
2) A selection of seeds
3) Compost
4) Paint (optional)

Step 2: Making a Hollow Ball

Picture of Making a Hollow Ball

First off, rip off a section of your clay and start working it in to a ball. A ball will be the base shape for many of the things that you will make, as they're the easiest to hollow out for the compost and seed mixture.

When your ball is nice and round, start to work your thumbs into it from the top, hollowing it out as you push your fingers and thumbs in further. Squeeze the sides as you're doing this to make the walls thinner so it is easier to break after it dries.

If you find that it's too big after you've worked the clay for a while, just rip a bit off and work it again until you're satisfied.

Step 3: Filling Your Ball

Picture of Filling Your Ball

At this point you should have a hollow ball or jug shape, so it's time to fill it up with your compost and seeds.

Start by taking your spoon and loading up some compost on to it, in the picture below I used a small trowel as the cutlery drawer was too far away, so yours should end up a little less messy than mine did.

You should be alternating between compost and seeds in order to get a good spread in your grenade, though once it's smashed up it won't really matter that much.

When it's full, pinch the top together into a neck for your grenade.

Step 4: Decorating the Grenade

Picture of Decorating the Grenade

Now is the harder part, decorating the blob of clay to make it look more like a grenade. We used some clay tools in order to make markings and rolled up a little pin out of some scrapped clay from earlier.

Start off with the pin, roll it up into a small sausage shape on a flat surface, then attach it to the main body of the grenade as shown in the second picture. Feel free to take some artistic license on the grenade pin.

After it's attached, start to score the grenade to give it a more recognised grenade look, keep decorating until you're happy with how it looks and then put it to one side to dry.

Step 5: Finishing Off

Picture of Finishing Off

When your grenade has dried, it is time to add the finishing touches. We decided to leave the grenade plain rather than painting it, but as you can see we also made a green chilli and a strawberry (I got bored making the dimples after a while) with poster paints, which dry very quickly. All that's left to do now is use the grenades, either by giving them as gifts to green fingered friends or using them yourself to make flowers bloom almost anywhere.

Step 6: Final Product and Thoughts

Picture of Final Product and Thoughts

After all the hard work involved in making your seed grenade, it almost seems a shame to use it for it's intended purpose, which is to be smashed and give the seeds inside a chance to grow.

Thoughts on this instructable are that we made the grenade too small, as when broken it was clear that there wasn't enough compost in relation to clay, and also that the clay was a bit too thick to be broken properly when thrown.

A further idea on the clay would be to substitute the air hardening clay with a salt dough recipe, as this would be more biodegradable than the clay itself. However, the recipe for the dough would not be able to contain salt, as this would stop the seeds from germinating properly.

Another thought would be to incorporate a water balloon into the finished, larger recepticle in order to water the plants when the grenade is smashed and the balloon is burst. However, this would have to be a biodegradable balloon in order to minimise litter.

Any thoughts or comments on this or any other matter are welcomed, as input from other people can only make a project better, and no project is perfect on the first try. Thank you.


shilohjim (author)2010-06-23

How about paper mache? The rain should disolve them and water the seeds at the same time. Just a thought.

kgaite (author)shilohjim2011-11-02

You have a point. And there is a clay paper mache recipe out there.

TarScrap (author)2010-06-22

Just a suggestion... don't make it look like a real grenade, despite how poetically appropriate it may be. People are so jumpy these days it's only a matter of time 'fore somebody calls the cops, and then you've got a whole huge mess of inconvenience when all you were really trying to do is spread some goodness.

garywpalmer (author)TarScrap2011-07-12

TarScrap, You must not have read the whole instructable. The last step shows a strawberry and chili seed bomb. I agree with the author, no one is going to think it's real.

TarScrap (author)garywpalmer2011-07-19

The one that looks like a grenade looks like a grenade.

Vonna513 (author)TarScrap2010-07-01

Don't allow someone else's possible overreaction to hinder you! No one (sane) is going to think it is real.

minime12358 (author)Vonna5132010-07-02

Yah, I'd simply laugh if that happened

TarScrap (author)minime123582010-07-05

Don't you guys read the news?

Nachoman (author)TarScrap2010-09-04

TarScrap: You are right. We are talking about Americans, who accepted Bush to be designated president without actually winning the elections, then actually elected him four years later.

minime12358 (author)TarScrap2010-07-06


SeanIsSuperCool (author)TarScrap2010-06-23

You make a valid point, I much prefer the way the strawberry turned out anyway. Thank you for your feedback!

garywpalmer (author)2011-07-12

I would love to make several of these and be a seed grenadier. Unfortunately I live in Phoenix Arizona where the temperature climbs to 115˚ F (or more) and rain is scarce. Thanks for the Instructable just the same.

hypermodern (author)2010-06-22

Maybe we can change the title for the project to "How to Make a Greenade"... :-D

slaked (author)hypermodern2010-12-01

or even better a Green-Aide? :P

madhops0620 (author)hypermodern2010-06-22

haha wow, I thought that was a typo at first

ironsmiter (author)2010-06-22

paper mache! especially with the water balloon inside. With the water inside, the shell wouldn't even need to break. It would severely soften the bottom, allowing the seeds an easy "out" for the roots. The intact shell top would also protect from random birds. And at the first rain, it would dissolve into mulch. :-)

ironsmiter (author)ironsmiter2010-08-24

well, here's the commercial version, in paper-mache if anyone's interested.

I can't believe we didn't even consider using papier maché. That solves a lot of problems and makes it easier, too. Thanks!

mbudde (author)ironsmiter2010-06-22

That's a really good idea! So I used it and the shell is drying right now. :-)

Nenona (author)2010-08-20

Suggestion: Instead of a balloon, how about a very thin-walled paper mache glob or such? by making it thin enough to shatter against a wall, also, if it gets wet, it can automatically fall apart and allow the seeds to grow.

worldgnat (author)2010-07-01

Clay dug directly from the ground would be cheaper and possibly more environmentally friendly. Also, if you made the scores in the sides deeper, then the seed grenade would break at those points more easily than the rest, and hopefully shatter more evenly. Very nice instructable, though. I've been meaning to get into gorilla gardening for a while now.

worldgnat (author)worldgnat2010-07-01

And by "gorilla," of course I meant guerilla. That's embarrassing...

amoliski (author)worldgnat2010-07-02

I am actually a big fan of gorilla gardening. The trick is to teach them to plant the seeds, not eat them. Once you teach them, though, they will blanket the city, and plant seeds in every single crack. Their climbing ability helps them get to crevices in buildings!

worldgnat (author)amoliski2010-07-05

My trials with gorillas were pretty good, but I found the flying squirrels to be quicker and more versatile, not to mention the natural storage capacity in their cheeks and seed-burying instinct.

amoliski (author)worldgnat2010-07-06

The problem is teaching them not to eat the seed bombs. They are far to energetic to have them sit still long enough.

worldgnat (author)amoliski2010-07-06

Perhaps, but if you can get them to plant seeds on the move, they'll cover a great area in a small time. And seed eating can be kept to a minimum if the squirrels are well fed, though a day of running around planting seeds in the cracks of small buildings will certainly run them out by the end of the day.

w0ot! (author)2010-07-02

Oh That's the ticket!

tattfoo (author)2010-07-02

This is my molded GREENade.

the_kcar (author)2010-07-02

Something I've heard of, performed up north [I live in Florida...everywhere is "up north" to me] : during spring, kids packed rolled balls of mud with "compost mud", seeds, and bits of clay, then sort of jammed them into a sort of fist-sized shell of clay that was very thin on one side, but weighted with a ball of non-hardened clay at the thinnest part. This made for something of a "controlled break". The interior would then have water added to it [damp, not dripping], with the top placed on [soft clay], then sun-baked. On the night of the launch, timing a sort of pre-soak, the kids would have the exterior of the "grenades" damp by putting them briefly into a rainwater -filled bucket, then launching them [always being mindful of local laws, I hope...] The big thing is the follow-up...if there's no water provided somehow, or occasional care...there's no growth. I've still no idea how to translate all that into something cheap to do down here in [it's all sand down here] Florida...

92033 (author)2010-07-01

Jest a whimsical thought. Make a mudball with worms in it and throw them into the Lake. Fish like to eat too y'know. :-) Or shoot them high and far into the Lake with a slingshot.

Fill hollowed out egg shells with bird seed and shoot them into the air...f/seed the birds while you're at it.

Second thought...WHY go through all this work? Just scatter a handfull of seed from a bag in your pocket wherever you go . Be a "Johnny Appleseed".

katzenmoon (author)2010-07-01

You can use egg shells also. Just tap the top or use an soft boiled egg cutter, once empty fill with seeds/ compost, and add a fun sticker for closure. Kids should love these. They also make great little peat pots for starting seeds indoors. And they come with their own handy-dandy container/tray for the window sill.

reedz (author)2010-06-22

Why not a hardened mud/thatch compound for the outside. A bit messier in the making of but it provides good soil for the seeds from the very start and when dry it can be very hard, they build houses out of the stuff... Also, just like you said, a water-balloon would help also. I would consider a separate volley of biodegradable water-balloons to wet the soil and push the seeds slightly further down than they would have been to begin with.

Maxxron (author)reedz2010-06-22

How about thinking smaller? Seeds and compost/fertilizer in a gelatin capsule which would dissolve with the first rain, and you could carry a whole bunch of them in your pocket. Lots of health food stores carry capsules and filling machines.

reedz (author)Maxxron2010-06-23

That's pretty interesting. Especially if you are willing to pay for something like that, I was trying to keep with the cheap/almost free idea of it. But really the capsules would be great for other things too, such as a slow release agent in water or for children to grow their own plants. These giant "seeds" would be much easier for them to handle and would have spectacular results if it was filled with some fertilizer along with the actual seeds.

balloondoggle (author)reedz2010-06-29

I really like this idea. My kids love to plant flowers all over the yard, but it's always sunflowers because those are the biggest seeds and the easiest for their little hands to manage. I have a bout 5 other 'ibles waiting to be written so I'll add this to the ol' to-do list.

darkclaw42 (author)2010-06-24

You could also use those new sunchip bags. Their said to decompose 100% as well as be a compost kinda replacement. Cut the bag up into little squares, and wrap it up after you add the seeds and compost.. Then just scatter it all over the place. Problem would be people mistaking it for trash.

brkingsbury (author)2010-06-22

Seed bombs are meant to be thrown before or during rain in order to give it the water it needs so a balloon really isn't necessary.

Jezter Long (author)2010-06-22

Another point to think on, Don't throw it where people mow regularly. I think seed bombs/grenades are great ideas. I used to be a landscaper 10+ years ago and one yard that was next a job we did every week never mowed their lawn. We didn't make the bomb we just threw seeds and got lucky. Gorgeous outcome.

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