The Garden Nerd series will look at gardening issues in New Westminster. Suggestions for topics, guest submissions, and questions are all welcome. We’ll try and address it all! You can find other posts, as they are added, by clicking here.
This past week I popped out to my favourite seed store, West Coast Seeds, and picked up 225,000 mixed seeds in a blend called “Pacific Northwest”. It contains a mix of 17 different annuals and perennials, and all of the plants are indigenious to BC and our zone. They are also low-to-no care once sprouted. I like saying I picked up 225,000 seeds, but really, it’s a teeny paper bag with 225 grams of seeds, about the size of a healthy Rice Krispie treat. I bought this wee little bag of gold in preparation of making seed bombs.
Seeds bombs are a little act of green terrorism, also known as “Guerrilla Gardening”. The idea is that you make this little packet (recipe below) and you toss them into empty lots or in little green spaces not being tended to increase the green in your community. Great targets are those closed down gas stations with horrifically boring fences around them for years at a time, or perhaps property being held for future development by offshore owners. I also like traffic circles not being looked after, orphaned pieces of civic property… the possibilities are endless.
Here’s my disclaimer: guerrilla gardening is technically illegal. But you don’t need to trespass to plant a seed bomb – you just chuck them over a fence. But if you decide to make some bombs, and for whatever reason you get arrested, you did so on your own accord. But as I said to one friend, what are they going to do? Charge me with selflessly beautifying my community? The act is not one of defiance, rather, it is one of beautification.
There are lots of recipes out there, and lots of activists out there, too. This is the one I am going to use:
- 1 part seeds
- 1 part really good high quality compost
- 5 parts clay – some use terra cotta, some use the grey stuff. You can use premade or powdered.
- Mix your seeds and compost together.
- In a separate bowl/box/container, mix your clay up, if using powdered.
- Pinch off a piece of clay, form a ball about the size of a big walnut, or perhaps a smallish fig.
- Using your finger, make a cavity in the ball, and fill with the seed/compost mix.
- Pat the clay together, so that basically, you have a seed/compost filled clay Timbit. Mmmm…. delicious!
- Let the balls air dry for a few days.
- Drop the bombs in your targeted area. A good time is just as its starting to rain. The balls will likely crack, but not totally burst when you toss them, and the rain will weave its way into the seed/compost mixture, providing a nice little semi-together environment for the seeds to germinate and do their thing.
- Secretly enjoy the site when you pass in the future, knowing you are a little green terrorist and you contributed to make your community a nicer place.