Seed Ball Test Results

Why Seed Balls?

This question was asked of me and I’ll give a few reasons that Seed Balls might be useful.

  1. Fun to make with kids. It gets kids involved and interested in gardening. The kids can then take them home to plant outside.
  2. Easy to plant. Some people can’t be bothered to plant a seed, but might be convinced to drop a seed ball into a garden area. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
  3. Seed balls protect the seeds from birds and keeps the seeds from blowing away.
  4. Guerrilla Gardening – sometimes there may be an area that needs some flowers, but you don’t legally and technically own the property. Just throw a few seed balls into the area and see what happens. I of course, can’t condone this activity, but I’ve heard that some people do this.


I tested three different seed ball combinations and found that probably all three would work. I used a combination of compost and clay on the top two trials and a combination of ProMix and clay in the lower picture.


The Promix is lighter and definitely falls apart better than the compost. The picture below is how it falls apart after about a month. We had a lot of rain over that period, so in colder temperatures, it would hold together longer.


Compost and Clay – for some reason the 10 to 1 ratio seems to be falling apart better than the 15 to one ratio. This is just the opposite of what I’d expect.

Red Clay – this is a dry clay that I bought at a local pottery store.

Water – just add enough so that you can roll the ball.

Seeds – after you make a ball, I add three seeds and roll again into a ball. You can be as creative as you’d like, but realize that most of the seeds will germinate with an inch or so of each other.

Results – I’d use the ten 10 to one ratio. You can use either compost or ProMix or whatever artificial potting mix you have. The Potting Mix will fall apart quicker. If you are putting out your seeds balls in the fall, it probably won’t matter, but if you are planting them in the spring, I’d use the ProMix and clay combination.



Filed under Seed Balls

2 responses to “Seed Ball Test Results

  1. Judy

    Hi, Thanks for the report on the seed ball experiment. But I don’t really understand the point of making the balls. What purpose do they serve? Why not just plant the zinnia seeds in the tray with planting mix and/or use the ‘Deno’ method to germinate by putting the seeds in a wet paper towel or some wet sand and into a zip lock bag? Then check seven days later and plant the seedlings in the garden or pot? Thank you for your thoughts. J.

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