How to Make Seedballs

Want to make your own seedballs? GREAT! Here’s how we make ours:

Supplies Needed:

  • 5 gallon bucket in which to mix soil and clay
  • Smaller buckets for distributing soil/clay
  • Trowel for mixing soil/clay
  • Mixture of 1/2 soil and 1/2 clay, best if gathered from the same area where the seedballs will be tossed.  A 5-gallon bucket of the mix can make around 1,000 seedballs. The more clay in the mixture, the harder the seedballs will be.
  • Milkweed seeds, separated thoroughly from fluff
  • Long trays for finished balls, on which they will dry
  • Dixie cups for the kids to take some home!
  • Water source
  • Table cloths/newspapers to cover tables and floors, if indoors
  • Handwashing supplies

Step 1: Mix 1/2 soil and 1/2 clay together in large 5-gallon bucket.

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Step 2: Pour mixture into smaller buckets, and then add water to create a play-dough consistency.  You don’t want the mixture too wet, or else the seedballs will be hard to roll. You don’t want the mixture too dry, either, or else the seedballs will crumble.  You should use your hands to thoroughly distribute the water throughout the mixture.

Step 3: Your volunteers can then begin rolling! Take a cherry tomato or grape-sized dollop of the mixture into your hands and roll it into a ball like you did as a kid.  With one finger, poke a small hole into the seedball; this is the home for the seeds.

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Step 4: If rolling solo, carefully pick up about 4 seeds with your finger and place them in the hole you just created. If rolling with a partner who has clean hands, have them place the seeds in the hole!

Step 5: Re-roll to cover the seeds!

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Step 6: Place in a flat layer on the long trays to dry for at least 48 hours, depending on the humidity in the air and sunlight/temperature.  When dry, the seedballs should be hardened from the clay.

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