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Make a Native Plant Seed Ball

Seed balls are a fun, easy way to add some native plants to your garden!

The Importance of Native Plant Species

Native plants are plants, flowers, and trees that are from the New Mexico region. When we choose native plant species over non-native plant species, we reduce our water use and increase native pollinators. We also learn more about the plants in our area! Native plants have adapted to the hot, dry New Mexican climate. This means they use less water than non-native plants from other climates. Not to mention that when we use native plants we attract more native pollinators like bees to our garden! And helping pollinators helps food production: native bees and honeybees pollinate 75 percent of the fruits and vegetables grown in the United States.

Seed Ball Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 parts potting soil
  • 3-5 parts pottery clay mix 
  • 1-2 parts water
  • 1-2 parts seeds of your choice – your local extension office or Master Gardener program can suggest native seeds to use
  • Large tub to mix ingredients
  • Large box to dry and store seed balls

1 part = ¼ cup and yields approximately six seed balls

Directions

  • Mix the soil, clay and 1 part water thoroughly. There should be no lumps.
  • Slowly add more water until the mixture is the consistency of the toy store molding clay that comes in a can.
  • Add seeds.
  • Keep kneading the dough until the seeds are well mixed in.
  • Add more water if necessary.
  • Take small bits of the clay mixture and roll into ball about one inch in diameter. The balls should hold together easily. If they are crumbly, add more water.
  • Dry seed balls for 24-48 hours in a shady place before sowing or storing. They store best in a cardboard box. Do not use plastic bags.

The last step is sowing the seed balls. You can place them carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time, which is a lot more fun. Do not bury them and do not water them!

Read more at Gardening Know How: Seed Ball Recipe – How To Make Seed Balls With Kids.