A couple of weeks ago, something caught my eye on Twitter. An account called @seed_ball. I needed to know what they were all about! It turns out that Seedball are a really new company, specialising in providing a ‘simpler way to grow from seed’ and one look at their site told me they were a company I could relate to.
Seedballs are not a new inventions (read more here) but they aren’t commonly used in the UK and Seedball want to change that. Each 1cm diameter seedball contains 100 wildflower seeds which, when scattered, aim to grow lots of lovely flowers with the minimum of effort. You simply scatter, and let nature take it’s course!
Each seed ball contains a mini ecosystem: wildflower seeds are mixed with clay, peat-free compost and a smidgen of chili powder, and rolled into a small ball. Each ball is approximately 1cm in diameter, making them super easy to scatter.
We were in the midst of our gardening week and the preschooler was really starting to develop some little green fingers of his own, so it was a delight to agree to review Seedballs. We were sent a tin of ready made Wild flower ‘Bee Mix’, containing 20 seedballs of mixed wildflowers, carefully selected with bees in mind. The mix used contains only species recommended by the Bumblebee conservation Trust. The Big One has always been afraid of bees but she understands the importance of protecting them, so it was nice to be able to say we are doing something to help.
We were also sent a ‘make your own’ kit, which was a fantastic activity for the preschooler. We:
- talked about the things that we need to do to help seeds grow
- what kinds of plants we can grow with seeds
- what different seeds look like
- the tools we need for the job
We were also sent a preschooler gardening kit from Seedlets, which meant that the preschooler had everything he needed to make his Seedballs! The kit contained a bag of mixed wildflower seeds, a bag of compost and a bag of clay and chilli powder. The last bag is to protect the seedballs once they have been scattered.
This is how we made them:
- following the intructions, we mixed the three ingredients together in a large plastic tub. It’s recommended that you use something to cover your eyes and mouth.
- the preschooler used his spade to mix the ingredients with a little water.
- we talked about stirring the mixture round until it was thick, sticky and resembling mud.
- next came the fun, messy part- we took small amounts of the mixure in our hands and rolled them into balls.
- we left the balls on the Tuff Spot to dry- this took about two days.
This was great fun! We got messy and we loved it! The preschooler wasn’t too keen at first and kept worrying about getting his fingers muddy, but he soon warmed up and between the three of us we managed to make 70 seedballs! They aren’t all the same size and I have a strong suspicion that some of them contain more than the usual 100 seeds, but we enjoyed it none the less!
The make your own kits are a great idea, and an ideal opportunity for kids to get stuck in and really take ownership of a gardening project. It’s also a fantastic way of incorporating sensory play into gardening, something we are big fans of in this house!
Seedballs themselves are a superb idea. For busy families who don’t have time to tend to seedlings, and for children who don’t yet understand how to properly care for seeds and plants; they’re also a great way to conserve our precious environment and to encourage wildlife to visit your garden. It’s lovely to see the whole process too- from making the seedball, to scattering them in the garden, to finally seeing the flowers grow. We scattered our ready made seedballs in the raised bed at the back of the garden about three weeks ago now and so we’re still waiting for the seeds to germinate. I know that the preschooler is going to be so pleased when they do! As for the Seedballs we made- we plan to give those as gifts (Father’s day is not far off and Grandad loves gardening as much as we do), and save some for us to plant too.
We were sent the Seedballs for review purposes only. All views are my own!