paper mache', sawdust: dis. 0r advantage? molds for forming seedballs?

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another approach for my quest to produce desert specific seedballs as written about here:http://guerrillagardening.org/community/index.php?topic=2950.0,
is the use of paper mache' or ultra fine sawdust more specifically what is produced by a
belt sander in a woodshop.

has anyone considered using either of these materials, if so are there any disadvantages?

secondly has anyone developed molds for quickly forming exact and repeatable seedballs?
a quick and dirty method would be boring a half circle into 2 pieces of wood with a vent hole
in one side to expel excess material...

any input, ideas?

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cannonsblazing

The problem with a two-part mold is to get the two pieces of seed bomb to stick together!

There are plastic and rubber molds for soap and plaster at craft and hobby stores, they could work nicely if you don't need to make round bombs. Flower shaped seed bombs could be pretty!  ::)

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willie wit

  • /soil is analog/
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I always make mine penny shaped as i think seeds can be too close together when a round bomb breaks down.
An easy way to make very large volumes would be to roll out a slab of clayseed mix with a rolling pin and then cut into shape when a little dry. Square or triangular would be easiest by this method.I think the possibility of them breaking up on impact can be a bonus as it distributes the seed over a small area.
Nice to hear from you yowzer - i thought you had run away to the circus to be fired out of a cannon! ;D

cannonsblazing:  the clay, coffee and wood dust should have sufficient cohesiveness to stay together once dried
some of the formulae i have tried were almost as hard as pottery and therefore would easily survive getting shot out of a
paintball like device - however the ultra hard balls that were attained with 1/2 coffee and 1/2 clay would take considerable moisture to soften and disintegrate. above ground moisture, a rare thing in the desert except for this year which is an el nino in our area...
if a 2 piece mold wont release the balls without damage i will employ a much more difficult to use 3 piece mold, imagine a
wooden log split into 3,  120 degee slivers, but we will see.

your flower once spinning looks like a ninja star, would not want to shoot any animals with that or i will have the Sierra Club (our local green nazis) on MY tail   ::)

buddliabill: penny shaped? do you have a picture with a ruler in it?
these babies cannot break apart they will be shot out of an air cannon but before that go through a hopper therefore they have to be true to size round and industrial. and therein lies the challenge the hard balls are unsuitable for wicking up moisture. additionally some of the seeds i plan to use have to be kept as dry as possible to maximize an already short shelf life they may be on standby for long periods until sufficient moisture is present. therefore a minimum amount of water will be used in the mix. the wooden moulds will be dried prior to use to extract as much water from the seeballs as quickly as possible.
I am the circus  ;D
Whatchuupto?

 

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cannonsblazing

Shuriken shaped seed bombs! Now THAT'S more like it!   8)

Didn't know you were going to fire them with a weapon... but if they break when taken out of the two piece mold, try lining it whith plastic wrap, like you do when making frozen cheesecake!

Penny shaped sounds good, actually, never thought of that. But I've yet to find clay for my seedbombs, so shape is a secondary problem for me at the moment  ::)

Silicon baking molds that you can get at Bed, Bath & Beyond would work well for seed bombs. Kind of expensive though.
Since you live in the desert it's getting a bit late in our rainy season to successfully seed bomb. In So Cal it's best to start in December and end in March.
I tried making seed bombs with clay and found that they were way too hard for the little amount of rain we get. They just don't get broken down. Now I just mix dirt, compost, seeds and water. They don't look pretty, but they break down easier.  The vast majority of your seed bombs won't produce anything. Vacant lots get mowed or developed into a parking lot and parking strips and road shoulders get sprayed with Roundup. That's just some of the things that happened to my seed bombs. 

Zombie:

silicone will likely not allow for the precision needed. these babies will be going through an exact bore...
yeah i missed the boat. too many projects and too bad we had an ideal el nino year - to boot!
by fall i will be ready for "war".    what do you think of adding fluffy materials like papermache (pureeed newspaper, eggcartons, wooddust) can you conduct some independant experiments?
also soaking these materials in compost tea for a few days prior to forming the balls may introduce a few nutrients
which are missing in desert seedball formulas ?!? all my compost is used in growing food so i am forced to look for other materials, ideally trash.
thank you for the urban feedback. i am doing my work as far away form "civilization" as possible :))
are you in LA?


Silicon baking molds that you can get at Bed, Bath & Beyond would work well for seed bombs. Kind of expensive though.
Since you live in the desert it's getting a bit late in our rainy season to successfully seed bomb. In So Cal it's best to start in December and end in March.
I tried making seed bombs with clay and found that they were way too hard for the little amount of rain we get. They just don't get broken down. Now I just mix dirt, compost, seeds and water. They don't look pretty, but they break down easier.  The vast majority of your seed bombs won't produce anything. Vacant lots get mowed or developed into a parking lot and parking strips and road shoulders get sprayed with Roundup. That's just some of the things that happened to my seed bombs.

 
cannonsblazing:
   
what is Shuriken?
yes, origianlly i was thinking of  a mechanical launcher like a skeet trap shooter. but many "rounds" will need to be fired therefore an adaptation of a paintball marker, longer barrel larger dia bullets a hopper for reloading and an diesel engine run on UFO with a compressor fitted which will provide the propulsion for the bulllets.
yes, thought of the plastic wrap, here in the USA we get free shopping bags with our purchases which are thinner than condoms sometimes made of polyethelene and nothing sticks to them... 
never made frozen cheesecaske, sorry cannot comment. email me for an address and i will gladly evaluate it for you :~>
have you looked in rivers or creeks? in germany where i grew up it was usually grey
where i am now it is all red or yellow...


Shuriken shaped seed bombs! Now THAT'S more like it!   
Didn't know you were going to fire them with a weapon... but if they break when taken out of the two piece mold, try lining it whith plastic wrap, like you do when making frozen cheesecake!

Penny shaped sounds good, actually, never thought of that. But I've yet to find clay for my seedbombs, so shape is a secondary problem for me at the moment 

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cannonsblazing

yowser: A shuriken is just the name of a ninja star :) And I'm looking for dried clay, for more long term storage... But apparently there is some kind of cat sand made of 100% clay, will ask the girl at my pet shop about that.

I'm in Long Beach although I've seed bombed all the way from San Diego to Santa Barbara. My best results have come from a hill close to Dodgers Stadium that has a great view of downtown LA. The sketchy neighborhoods seem to have less upkeep and mowing so the seedbombs have done best in the 'hood. I always bring someone with me!
Maybe a melon baller to shape them?  Wildflower seeds don't like fertilizer so the compost tea and papermache should be good. Don't use cedar wood dust, plants don't like it. I gave up trying to find red clay powder.

Would a paste of flour and water work?  They'd be small but should break down quickly with a little bit of moisture.

Re: paper mache', sawdust: dis. 0r advantage? molds for forming seedballs?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2013, 07:29:42 PM »
https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoSeedBombers what materials have worked best ?