Tired of tilling? Try seed balls

Ever thought of lobbing seeds into your field?  No tilling, just a good arm?  Seed balls – a combination of seeds, compost and clay – are used in no-tilling cultivation as a way to get seeds established in a given area.  They don’t actually have to be thrown (though many associate seed bombs/balls with guerrilla gardening).

Source: Dave Miller

This technique is inspired from the work of Fukuoka and generally involves a mixture of 1/3 seeds (seeds mixtures are fine as long as they are roughly the same size and germinate at the same rate), 1/3 compost and 1/3 clay (clay holds the ball together until the rain begins the germination process).

Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farm, Washington, demonstrates the process of making seed balls.

Here, as in much of the permaculture discussion on seed balls, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on making actual balls.  Whether by hand or by using the contraption, it seems like a lot of work.  I understand Fukuoka to have also experimented with pushing the seed ball glop through a mesh to end up with big square snakes which easily break up.  So instead of balls I guess you have “cubes”.  This method seemed about 10 times faster.

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