In March I was facilitating a twilight workshop about gardening in the Early Years. Here in Aberdeen City, many practitioners work in settings where vandalism happens if anything is left outside, including children’s gardening efforts. So one of the things we do is to share advice and tips around gardening. For example, during this workshop, one participant recommended planting heather in that it survives being uprooted and once established is very hard to pull out. Other advice included planting bulbs such as daffodils which pop up and out and seem to be enjoyed by everyone. Continuous experimentation is needed here so any further advice and thoughts are welcomed.
One of the things I introduced was the concept of guerrilla gardening. It’s a surreptitious approach to planting which I reckon is worth a try in any setting. There is an element of excitement and anticipation around whether one’s efforts will be noticed by others and will vandals realise what is going on?
As part of the workshop we made seed bombs. These are great fun in that it is very much like following a recipe and is very doable with children of all ages. It works particularly well in a mud kitchen where you may have all of the utensils and materials you need, except for the seeds.
What you need to make seed bombs
1/2 egg cup of seed
This amounts to about 5 packets of seed. This is not cheap! So it is much better if you know a friendly gardener who collects and stores seeds from plants in their garden or you have been organised enough to do this with your class. Think about which seeds will work together. For example, cut-and-come-again varieties of lettuce in a bomb, or a wildflower seed mix. It is helpful to read the instructions on the packet and ensure that you seed bomb at the right time of year – usually after the frost has passed.
2 egg cups of clay
Try not to let this get too gooey. We made this mistake on the course.
2 egg cups of top soil
Some recipes recommend compost but I try and avoid shop bought varieties unless they are peat free. Also I had no compost, just wet top soil
You mix all the above together. You will not need any water if your soil is damp and your clay the normal school clay. It’s quite a nice feeling mixing the seed, clay and soil together. You need to make sure it’s thoroughly blended.
Leave to dry for a couple of days. A muffin tray works well for this purpose as it will gently heat up if left on a sunny window sill.
Then those seed bombs can be thrown anywhere. And this is what I like. Children can have a think about where might be good to aim a seed bomb. If it is in the outdoor space, school grounds or nearby then you can see how effective the technique is. I’m throwing some bombs around my garden and then a couple in some interesting places locally. I can’t wait to see what happens!