What are seed bombs?
Seed bombs? That sounds kind of dangerous, however they are so safe a three year old can make them. If Mom is a gardener, she will love the idea of guerrilla gardening with wildflower seeds nestled in a handy, tossable package. She can lighten up her own garden or take a family walk to an outdoor area where everyone can have fun tossing the seed bombs in places that can use a bit of brightening up. The materials are inexpensive and easy to buy just about anywhere. Even city dwellers can get in on the action. Toss these little pollinator-friendly bombs into neglected lots and abandoned or forgotten city planters to light up up the area. It will also be fun to check on the flowers as the season progresses.
Wildflowers and many annuals are great for seed bombs
The first thing that you'll need are wildflower seeds. Most big box stores and garden centers have a good selection. There are many choices, however your own climate will determine which species will grow best in your area. Buy three or four different kinds, however make sure that they have the same sun and moisture requirements. Wildflowers are tough little guys that survive in a wide range of conditions, however making sure they all like to live in similar areas gives them the best chance of a great show. This is a wonderful place to personalize the seed bombs just for your mom too. If she loves daisies, make sure to get daisy seed. If she loves pink, cosmos are a great choice. Cornflowers are a good choice if Mom's favorite color is blue. You can mix the species in each bomb, or make the bombs with only one kind of seed. That's up to you.
Proper soil is important
Proper soil is the next thing you need and a small bag of organic compost (sold near the potting mixes) is an excellent choice. You can also use your own compost if you have a pile. Peat-based potting mix does not hold together well, so try not to use that. You'll also need some clay. That isn't an issue for me, as the soil on my property is mostly clay. All I'll have to do, is scoop up a shovel full. If you do not have a clay-based soil, powdered clay from a craft store will work just fine. The clay is important, as it helps the whole bomb stay together until the rains soften it.
Making the seed bombs
Now comes the fun part and everyone gets a chance to get their hands dirty! It is just like making mud pies like you did as a child, although we're going to keep these a bit drier than the ones I remember making. My childhood mud pies were decidedly goopy. The proper ratio of compost and clay is five parts compost and three parts clay. If you are using a one cup measure, this will make quite a few bombs, so if you want to halve the recipe, that's ok too. Put everything in a large bowl (preferably something unbreakable if kids are helping) and mix well with your hands before getting it wet. I donned gloves for this part, although you don't have to. Add water a little at a time until the mixture holds together well when a handful is squeezed. Now, add the seeds. Many recipes on the internet call for many more seeds than is necessary. You don't want the seed ball looking like a chia pet when it starts to germinate. The little plants would be spaced too close together to properly grow, so I like to add my seeds as I am forming each bomb with about 10 to 12 seeds inside. Not all of them will germinate, however enough will, to make a nice little patch of flowers. Form into round balls about the size of a golf ball and set on a tray to dry. If you place them in sunny area, they should be dry enough in about an afternoon.
Tossing seed bombs is good family fun
After the seed bombs are dry enough to handle you can get them ready to give Mom. Presentation is part of the fun too, so make the container something Mom will love to keep. A pretty basket or an unusual flowerpot would be nice. I picked up this pretty little wire basket at the local thrift store for fifty cents, so you don't have to spend much to make the gift beautiful. Hand-make a card telling her 'Mom's the Bomb' and surprise her with an outing to toss the seed bombs either in her garden or in another place that could use some happy color. This craft is suitable for even the smallest hands to do and that will make Mom happy as well.