Seedballs along ditch

  • 5 replies
Seedballs along ditch
« on: March 12, 2010, 06:34:16 PM »
OK so this will be a crapshoot at presenting a little field practice ;)
I won't reveal the location, but let me describe it's characteristics:
The area is somewhere along the wasatch front mountains, where a ditch had been dug into an excellent burm and swale.  Those of you who know much about swales will know what a powerful source of residual water they can be.  If you want to maximize your efforts, look for areas that have the highest potential in terms of rehabilitation.  This swale I am hoping will be just that, by providing all the necessary water...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 12:21:07 AM by 601vigilante »

Re: Seedballs along ditch
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 06:54:42 PM »
Now on to the ammo:
Big Bluestem, Blue Grama, Palmer's Penstemon, Rocky Mountain Beeplant, Rocky Mountain Columbine, Butterfly Weed, Arrorleaf Balsamroot, White Prairie Clover, Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Eaton's Penstemon, Western Larkspur.
This is only 11 species which I believe Fukuoka Masanuba encouraged having 20 or more species present.
2/3 cup seeds, 1 TB chili powder, 6 cup worm compost, 1 cup potting soil(ran out of compost), 6 cup Red Clay(redart), 2 TB powdered kelp, 1 TB greensand, and water.
Mixed seeds with chili powder, added greensand and kelp, mix as homogenously as possible, add compost, add potting soil, mix for as long as you are patient,  add clay, mix and spray with h20, mix and spray until lightly sticky.  Roll into marble sized balls (about 3 seeds per ball),  make that the outside forms a smooth layer which will later dry into a protective crust.  I dry mine in pizza boxes in the sun/oven/heater vent, whatever you can get to keep your seeds from molding and/or germinating before you disperse them.
The chili powder is used to deter insects from eating your precious seeds, the kelp is for healthy root development, and the greensand for needed potassium and micronutrients.

Re: Seedballs along ditch
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 06:58:54 PM »
So I only used 175 of my 425 seed balls I made. 
I then simply walked along the ditch scattering them here and there.  There were a lot of deer tracks and deer shhh which I was sure to drop my seedballs into.  I hope the deer enjoy all that clover and grass I planted for them.  There is a lot of cheat grass around which is unpalatable for them.
I'll take some more shots this summer, but it will be a while.
Please feel free to ask questions or add comments, this is a public forum ya know!

Re: Seedballs along ditch
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 05:26:42 AM »
where did you purchase the worm compost, clay, powdered kelp, greensand?

Re: Seedballs along ditch
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 06:55:48 AM »
A little update:
Only a few grasses(blue gamma) have grown this first season from what I can see.  There was probably not enough stratification and rainfall to allow the seeds to germinate good enough. However, I seedballed around my house and I have wildflowers all over the place, from rocky mountain columbine to mints to rocky mountain bee plants to  mexican hats. Many penstemons are growing, but they won't flower till next year.  I can say that if seedballs aren't exposed to enough water and time, they will not retain enough moisture or dissolve and disperse.  Maybe the most crucial part of the process is good water and soil contact.   Caste seedballs very early in arid regions.
I got the greensand from planetnatural and the powdered kelp is real hard to find nowadays. Most businesses sale granulated kelp which doesn't dissolve and sucks for cooking too(real gritty).  I bought a bag of redart clay from clayworld.  Shipping was real steep, so I went and harvested some of my own from a place I played as a child.  When you use local soil it has the affect of having good local microbes that should work well with the local climate and flora.  Castings I now get locally from a guy a few blocks away from my home.

Re: Seedballs along ditch
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 07:07:35 AM »
I wouldn't bother with all those ingredients to be honest.  That money is better spent on more varieties of seeds.  Diversity is the spice of the seedball, and you want one-a-spicey seed-a-balla.  Straight worm CASTINGS make a great BINDING force to unite the media and will NOT BURN the plants, while offering all necessary NUTRIENTS most plants require... that's three in one.  Check your local classifieds and craigslist for people advertising castings.  A 5 gallon bucket should cost at most $20.  Then all you need is the red clay.