Introducing kids to gardening at an early age also sets them up with skills and insights that will be valuable throughout their lives.
There are many ways to get little ones involved, from helping to plant seedlings in the veggie patch to picking herbs for the dinner table.
Seed bombs have been popular with my kids and might tempt your own screen-addicts away from shoot ’em up games and into the garden.
Seed bombs takes a mud kitchen experience to a whole new level. Picture: Erinna Giblin
Make your own seed bombs
A seed bomb is basically a ball of soil containing seeds that you can throw into garden beds to create an explosion of colourful flowers and plants.
Seed bombs were originally developed as a way of revegetating a landscape by dropping them from a plane. Since then they have been adapted by the guerrilla garden movement as a way of awakening urban landscapes with surprising additions of colour and foliage.
What makes seed bombs particularly useful as an activity with kids is that they are (a) really easy to make and (b) a fun way to green up your space.
Here is a simple guide to making seed bombs at home.
What you will need:
- Clay – available from craft stores
- A large plastic bowl or bucket that you don’t mind getting dirty
- A mixture of seeds suited to your garden – I find easy-to-grow or native varieties work best
- A rack or space for air drying the seed bombs
Choose easy-to-grow seed varieties such as natives and chickpeas. Picture: Erinna Giblin
- Start by adding 5 parts of clay to 1 part of compost in a large bowl.
- Mix this together well using your hands.
- Add a small amount of water to combine. Aim to achieve a dough-like consistency, that is, not an overly wet soil mix but something that holds together.
- Now add the seeds and combine well.
- Take a small handful of the mixture and shape it into golf ball sized bombs. Repeat this process with the rest of the mixture.
The fun part. Picture: Erinna Giblin
- Place the seed bombs on a rack or surface and allow them to air dry. Normally this will take a week or so. However, should you wish you can use the bombs later the same day.
- Once dry, it is time to have a bit of fun. Assemble your gardening army and throw the seed bombs into a patch of the garden that could use an extra splash of colour and foliage.
- Now wait for the rain to do the hard work. It will break down the clay and release the seeds to start growing.
Ask your kids to keep an eye on the garden beds and water from time to time. Soon they will notice new growth popping up, courtesy of their seed bomb creations!