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Making Seed Balls
Many hands with seed balls

Amma encourages us to think not only about ourselves on our birthday, but to also think of others. She suggests that one way to do this is to give back to Mother Nature in gratitude for all that Nature provides for us. Seed balls is one way Amma suggests to increase the number of plants, flowers and trees in the world, bringing ourselves more in harmony with Nature.

She says, Take a seed and put it in some soil with some manure and wrap it up in a piece of paper. Drop those seed balls in a place where they can sprout—either around your house or in some wooded area. The more saplings you can plant, the better. This would be the greatest gift you can give to Amma.

Native seed balls are an effective way to sow many seeds in a manner which gives them a head start with nutrition and protection from birds and other animals. All without ever having to dig into the ground! There are many recipes for seed balls so these instructions are a general guideline.

This can be a fun activity for children that also teaches them about the importance of native plants in the environment. You can use this technique for trees, shrubs, wildflowers, perennials, annuals, etc. If you are not sure what seeds to use, check with your local botanical society to find out what native plants are easy to germinate and will thrive in your area.

Seed Ball Recipie

Recipes for seed balls, or seed bombs as they are sometimes called, usually call for potters clay. However, if you live in an area with natural clay soil you can dig up soil and run it through a sieve. Likewise, if you have your own homemade compost (good for you!) you can sieve it to make it easy to roll.

What you will need:

  • Equal parts clay* and compost
  • Native plant seeds
  • A little bit of water

(*If using your own clay soil you may adjust the recipe to 2 or even 3 parts clay to compost.)


In a large bowl or on a cookie sheet, mix equal parts clay and compost.

  • If you’re doing wildflower or cover crops, mix in seeds. If doing trees or food crops you will roll one seed into each ball as you make them.
  • Slowly mix in a little bit of water (a spray bottle works well for this) until it has the consistency of play dough
  • Roll the mix into little balls about the size of a large marble
  • If using tree seeds, roll one seed into each ball
  • Allow the balls to dry then take them where you want them to grow
  • Simply drop the balls on the ground. The seeds will be protected from the hot sun and from nibbling creatures. Dropping the balls on bare soil, or partially bare soil, will give the best results
  • When the rain comes, nature will take its course and the germinating plants will have a great head start

In theory, nothing needs to be done to care for native species when planted this way. However, if you give them a gentle watering if the rains are not steady during their first year it will help them become established and grow to a good size. Seed balls are an effective way to propagate native plants without the need to even be present when the plants sprout.

What a wonderful gift to Amma via Mother Nature for our birthday. And remember, every day it’s someone’s birthday, so any day is a great day to make seed balls!

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy

Abhay - San Ramon, CA
Making seed balls Making seed balls
San Ramon sevaites making California wildflower seed balls


Read Amma's message outlining three things we can do for Nature on our OWN birthdays from the Q4 2022 newsletter >>

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