Dirt BallsPosted: October 2, 2013
It is that time of year when many plants are going to seed. What to do with all of those seeds? Even the Automatic Garden has only so much room. A great solution is to make Dirt Balls and give them away. This is a great project for kids as well as adults. Dirt Balls are even sold in some mail order catalogs. Think Christmas!
Here is what you will need:
3 parts fine-grained compost – if children are making them, use fine potting soil
1 part seed – a single kind or mix seeds that have the same growing conditions
5 parts powdered clay – it can be purchased at art or pottery supply stores (see photo above)
1-2 parts water
Combine compost (or soil) and seeds mixing well.
Add powdered clay continuing to mix
Slowly add water until a dough is formed
Roll balls about the size of a quarter and let them dry
This is very open-ended as to the amount you may want to make. Use a recycled plastic container as a mixing bowl.
We made these at Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center. It was a way to share and plant wildflowers. The balls are left or thrown into an area and the ball “melts” away with the rains and the seeds grow. The compost provides some nutrients. It is not a precise way to plant a garden. Dirt balls not something that you would fill a bed with. The balls need to dry first and could be put in a baggie or container until used. There are always hazards working with compost (bacteria) or dry clay (inhaling) and you will have to judge that.