GNC Nature Blog

Seed Balls and Guerrilla Gardening

Have you ever walked by a parking lot, paved in concrete, and thought to yourself, “that it is u-g-l-y”? If your answer is yes, then you have something in common with Liz Christy and the Green Guerrillas, an early 1970’s movement of people who sowed seeds to reclaim derelict spaces.
Some of these places that they envisioned green growth were locked up behind fences. So out of necessity, and a statement of peace in response to the U.S. bombing of Vietnam, they created seed bombs, otherwise known as seed balls. By molding the seeds in soil, compost, and clay, the guerrilla gardeners were able to grow plants well beyond the borders of vacant lots with a simple toss. One such lot was on Houston between Bowery and Second Avenue, in the East Village, NYC. Today, that lot is known as Liz Christy Community Garden and is home to over sixty community garden beds as well as wildflowers, fruit trees, and a dawn redwood tree.













– seeds (your choice! kale, collards, arugula, or a native wildflower mix)
– a medium bowl of compost and soil mix
– a small bowl of dry, powdered clay (unscented kitty litter works)
– an empty large bowl to combine the above
– water
– tray, egg cartons, or pantyhose
1. Mix together dry materials, and slowly add water to create a moldable clay.
2. Form solid quarter-sized balls, place on tray, in egg cartons or in pantyhose.
3. Place in a cool, dry place for three to five days to allow your seed balls to harden.
4. Go on out there, find a vacant lot, or a corner of your yard/school/work/etc, and toss your seed balls!
5. They make a great gift for friends and family. If stored in a cool, dry place, they can last for up to one year.
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