Tag Archives: gardening

SeedBombs

Seed Bombs – Do It Yourself Planting

Submitted By Andrea Austin

Do you have a green thumb or a black thumb? If you’re like me, you can take one look at a plant and next thing you know the poor plant is sucking in the last breath of carbon monoxide just to live another day. I know plenty of gardeners that are leaders in their talent. I’ve often been envious of the beautiful gardens that grace the property of many of my friends. Oh, how I’ve longed for the ability to envision and bring such beauty to life.

One summer day, my daughter and I were riding along in the car and she looked out the window and gasped. There was a beautiful garden that was so vibrant in its colors that it was honestly breathtaking. I could see the amazement on her face. Knowing that she wasn’t accustomed to such a color palette in our own yard, I could see inspiration strike her immediately.

“Mom, did you see that pretty yard?” was the next thing out of her. “Yes, I sure did. It was so pretty,” I replied. “Mom, why can’t our yard look like that?” she asked.

Now, the maternal side of my body halted and took a huge gulp as I knew this was something I wouldn’t be able to do for my daughter without paying someone to make our yard a masterpiece. “Well, honey how about we get some seeds and try and plant some flowers of our own?” I asked, knowing deep down inside I had zero ability to make that happen and even if I knew what I was talking about, surely I would kill whatever I touched.

I rushed home and started thinking of ideas on how I could give my daughter the most beautiful yard with vibrant and pastel colors. Soon I realized that it just wasn’t in me until I came across an article online about local elementary students who were giving back to the earth by making a bed of flowers that would attract beautiful butterflies.

That was it! I could help my daughter plant her own little garden, a garden that she could be proud of because she was the one who put in the hard work. But somehow I wanted to make it more special than just tossing some seeds into some dirt. After doing a little more research about plants that are butterfly friendly, I was prepared with a new idea. The following weekend we hopped in the car and headed out to buy seed packets of the plants necessary to attract butterflies.

Then we bought some air dry clay and potting soil. We headed back home with a unique idea that wouldn’t require dredging an entire garden, but would still give her the pretty plants she so wanted. With all the supplies ready to go, we started making seed bombs.

We took the clay and pounded it out just like play dough, making a ball and then flattening it like a pancake. We put in a little bit of moisture-rich potting soil and a pinch of the special seeds. We wrapped the pancake of clay around the soil and seeds and then gently pressed it flat until it looked like a smushed ball. Then we used a rubber stamp that we had around the house and stamped the clay.

The clay took a few days to cure, but when it was hard and all the moisture was gone, we took several of the seed bombs outside. With a small shovel and potting soil in hand I let her pick the perfect place she wanted to put her garden in the yard and we started digging small holes. My daughter was only 4 or 5 at the time so a small hole worked just fine. We dropped the seed bombs into the ground, covered them with soil and added a little water.

Each day we would visit the garden and add “liquid grow” — water as the rest of us call it — to the seed bombs. She would pick weeds that would start growing around the small freshly covered holes. She tended the garden with the same care someone would tend a community size vegetable garden. After about a week or two the small covered holes started to sprout. You have never seen a little girl so excited. We continued to water the baby sprouts each day until they developed into newly budding flowers. The young flowers were starting to mature and they would soon show us their gorgeous faces.

Soon they opened, and lo and behold it surprised even me. In our big yard we had made our own little piece of heaven. It wasn’t much larger than a 3-foot by 3-foot area, but to the two of us it was a 100 acre field. As the flowers started to bloom, the butterflies started visiting and my daughter would go and visit the garden on her own every evening.

I always heard that famers talk to their crops. As the summer went on and more of the seed bombs grew I would have told you she was a flower whisperer. The flowers were so beautiful, and the winged friends that would come and sip the sweet nectar were vibrant as well.

Who would have thought an afternoon drive would have turned into such a remarkable memory for both me and my daughter? Seeds bombs showed me that regardless of the color of my thumb, it is possible to grow your own piece of heaven in your own backyard.

 

To make your own seed bombs you’ll need:
4oz Air Dry Clay
1oz Potting Soil
1oz Flower Seeds

Directions:
Spread out the clay to be large enough to pour the dirt on it.
Pour the dirt on the clay and then pour the seeds on top of it.
Fold together and then knead until the mixture is thoroughly mixed together.
Roll out into a 3/4 inch log and make a cut every 1/2 inch. Roll each section into a ball.
Let sit in the sun to dry out if necessary and then toss where you’d like the flowers to bloom. You don’t have to bury
in the ground like we did. You can simply toss and go with this recipe.

 

Painted Pot Birdbath

Jazzing up the Garden

Most of us are already well on our way to our summer vegetable gardens and flower beds. Just because we’ve reached the summer months doesn’t mean that the fun and joy of getting out in the dirt is over — and we’re not talking about weeding the garden. Enjoying your outdoor area can mean adding some extra decorations and creative flare to any outdoor space.

hammockThe Hammock Oasis
Some gardens or outdoor areas are accompanied by a hammock. Hammocks come in all different types, but instead of just hanging a hammock to the nearest tree, try making the hanging hammock an oasis retreat. All you need is a hammock and mosquito net. Simply attach the mosquito net to a center support above the hammock. Then drape the netting around the hammock. Accessorize with updated decorative pillows and you have transitioned your basic hammock to a serene oasis where you can kick back and relax!

 

Tomato Cage Plant Standsplant-stand
Many of us have potted plants lining our patios, decks and porches. To add some height and take them to a new level, all you need are a few tomato cages. That’s right! The basic tomato cage that you can purchase at any local home goods store is perfect. If you want to keep the cost down, purchase the basic metal stand which is very inexpensive. Pick out your favorite spray paint color at the store while you’re there. You’ll also need a sturdy pair of wire cutters. With the wire cutters, remove the spikes of wire at the smallest portion of the cage. This will make your stand shorter, but will provide necessary stability. If you want to keep the height, you can always roll the wire spikes down to create a rounded end as well. Spray paint the cage your favorite color and don’t be scared to add a pop of color as these are great accent pieces for any outdoor space. Then flip the cage upside down (wide circle on the bottom) and place your potted plant inside the smaller circle at the top.

Mailbox Planters
Metal mailboxes are unique items that can create a decorative touch to your outdoor area. If you have a few lying around the garage or find some cheap at a local store, they can be painted to match your personal decorative touch. Before you fill the mailboxes, paint them any color you wish. Make sure they are fully dry before moving to the next step. Flip the mailbox on its end (opening door on the top) and fill with potting soil. If you want to use less soil, fill the bottom with scrap cardboard or plastic bottles to fill in more space. Then plant your favorite annuals, herbs or greenery. If you’re mounting these mailboxes on a fence or vertical wall, make sure to drill the holes and mount the mailboxes before filling them.

Birdbath Trifecta
Giving Nature a reason to visit your garden is a wonderful way to enjoy your outdoor space. Birdbaths can be an expensive accessory, but with a few simple steps you can have a unique and colorful birdbath without a lot of work. To begin, buy three large plant pots and a large flat pan. Terracotta works great, but if you have others lying around, feel free to use whatever you might already have on hand. For the pan, you can purchase a large plant pot base that is used to collect water. Make sure this base/pan does not have a hole in the middle. The key to making this birdbath is the size of the pots. You’ll need three different sizes ranging from large to small. You’ll be stacking these pots on top of each other to form the base, so make sure they are able to fit securely on top of each other without falling down. Once you’ve collected or purchased your pots, you’ll want to select a color or several colors of paint that you want to use on the pots. Make sure you paint each pot separately and wait until each is fully dry before stacking the pots on top of each other. For the final touch, add the pan/tray to the top of the base. For a more secure birdbath you might want to glue the pots together to ensure they don’t separate and come apart. The other thing to remember is it’s best to assemble the birdbath in the location where you want it to remain. With all the moving parts, it could be difficult to move as one piece after it’s assembled. Once it’s in the perfect spot, fill the top pan/tray with water and wait for a fluttering friend to come visit.

Bottle Cap Wind Chime
The sound of a wind chime can be very soothing as the summer breeze blows. Here’s an inexpensive way to make your own at home. You’ll need a good collection of bottle caps, so as you are enjoying your summer beverages, hold on to the bottle caps for this nifty project. You’ll also need an empty aluminum can. Depending on the size you want the wind chime to be, select the size of the can accordingly. For small wind chimes use a 16 oz. can and go larger from there. Remember, the larger the aluminum can, the more bottle caps you’ll need. As you collect your bottle caps, you’ll need to create a small hole in each one. You can affix jewelry connectors to join the caps together, or even tie each one to the next with fishing line. The more metal you use on the chime, the more sound it will produce, so, it’s recommended to use jewelry connectors as seen in the photo below. Punch holes around the edge of the top (open part) of the can. Flip the can upside down (holes towards the ground) and attach strings of bottle caps to the can. Hang the can nearby and enjoy the sounds of the wind.