Seed bombing inspires those looking for a passive means of repopulating plants with a easy solution, or those who dabble in occasional Guerilla gardening. In truth, for true Guerilla gardeners, ensuring that a plant grows to maturity against the challenges that face a young seed such as drought, rot, predators, mould, and competition from other plants, is a tall order and difficult to guarantee. Add to that obstacles of seed bomb packaging, and a young seed may deplete it’s energy in the early struggle for survival before it has the opportunity to bloom and, hopefully, propagate itself.
For seed savers like us, we often have an excess of seed that we test for viability all winter long, we celebrate the small victories of seeing little green leaves pop up above the soil, but then end up with millions of viable seeds that we will never be able to germinate and plant on our own, let alone maintain the daily rigours of tending to once they grow. Spreading seed around via seed bombs is a great idea because it combines the idea of a rebellious gesture with one of natural beauty, however, many seed bombs end up just littering public or private property with pretty, but unviable balls of pulpy waste if the maker does not understand the requirements of seeds and the conditions which make plants grow.
There are many recipes for seed bombs and seed paper littering the internet calling for the use of clay, paper pulp and baking ingredients and should be taken as ‘rainy day” activities to do with children or as novelty favours for eco-conscious wedding gifts. But like paper dolls or homemade plasticine, after producing the items and the skies have cleared, one can end up thinking more about when there will be appropriate time to toss them out without anyone noticing than enjoying them for their decorative purpose. The main challenge of most seed bomb recipes is to avoid placing or packing the seeds so densely that they refuse to grow, or that they are hardy enough to resist prematurely germinating within the initial damp conditions within a ball of wet paper or moistened soil and peat medium and then die as they harden and dehydrate into a compact mass for commercial consumption. Any recipe using over-generous amounts of clay is akin to encasing a person’s feet in cement boots and asking them to run a marathon. For a tiny seed, even being planted unimpeded in naturally occurring clay soil can be an insurmountable obstacle.
For us, the challenge of making a seed bomb was to create one that incorporated a loose medium and did not use water. As we like paper craft and using recycled material it seemed most likely that we would find a solution using origami. The only problem is that most origami constructions are designed with the intention of preserving their physical integrity. Finding a structure that could both be made from paper with weakly bonded fibres and would not present an impossible barrier for a tiny seed led us to choose the origami water bomb, or balloon. Since origami was a childhood hobby on long trips, this structure was familiar.
Our origami seed bombs are 100% handmade and moisture free at the time of packaging. We can guarantee the viability of the seed mix as we have tested them and watched them grow under the weak winter sun from our indoor window boxes or under our grow lights. We are proud to have created something pretty that has minimal waste, and actually works.