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seed clay balls

Posted by ianna Z5b (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 5, 07 at 16:25


I was wondering if anyone here has tried the seed ball technique? If so what was your success rate? I was toying with the idea of winter sowing seeds in difficult areas in my yard (I'm redesigning my front yard) and to find ways to ensure it will be successful(plus that it will not require transplanting) I discovered this seed/clay ball technique but I couldn' find any info on how this works in a Canadian climate.

For the uninformed - here's a site that explains the process.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: seed clay balls

Very intersting reading, Ianna. Never heard of it, but I see no reason why it would not work if they were "sowed" in winter and left on the ground to sprout in spring. But if we have some good spring rains, the balls may disintegrate and get washed to areas you may not want them. Also, our spring thaw may produce the same result. You would have to be sure that you select the right seeds -seeds that need a cold period. I would be inclined to try with one type of seed though - unless you want a wildflower/meadow garden. Go for it - try it in a small restricted area and see what happens. BTW, have you read about direct winter sowing? It's used for poppies and such and you sow the seeds in the fall and make sure to protect them from birds and such and you don't have to do any transplanting. It may be described on

RE: seed clay balls

Hi Northern,

Thanks for the feedback. Direct wintersowing is probably not going to work out for me since my garden slopes and the elements will likely cause the seeds to travel far from their original location and this is the reason why I was attracted to the idea of the clayball method. However instead of ball shapes I intend irregular shapes to make it less susceptible to rolling out of place. You do raise some good question whether this clay ball would disintegrate under heavy rain, I haven't thought of that. I guess that all depends on the quality of the clay - and in looking into my backyard, I do have some pretty stubborn clay out there that has a slow rate of disintegration. However in thinking about it, perhaps slow disintegration is probably the very intention of this methodology and the reason why it's ball shaped since water will slide off easily. This was after all invented in areas that suffer harsh climates from severe droughts to heavy rains. It may well be that the moisture will eventually cause the seeds to be released and I will have to see how I can ensure it doesn't travel far from their original location. Ideally, by the time rains start, the seeds would have began germinating and so less travel.

I am also really curious to know if I can plant annuals seeds using the clay ball method. I noticed that several members in this forum have tried annuals in the bottle method and I am hopeful that I would get the same results. I'll give the method a try and get back to this forum.


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