ball seeds

Earthshed Solutions


Seed Balls

What is a Seed Ball?

A seed ball is a mixture of clay, seeds (we use CA native wildflower or grass seed), compost and water that is rolled into a ball, allowed to dry then broadcast into gardens, roadsides and vacant lots. The seeds are protected from animals by the dried clay but will germinate with annual rainfall (or can be irrigated) and will grow into gorgeous flowers. One seed ball can cover about 1 square foot with plant growth and flowers.

A whole habitat in a tiny clay ball.

Masanobu Fukuoka, father of natural farming

Where can I get Seed Balls?

Our seed balls are currently for sale at Chico Natural Foods Cooperative, Floral Native Nursery, Hodges Nursery and, soon, Magnolia Gift and Garden. You can also purchase them at community events we take part in as well as our own events like the PermaBlitz and CPG Gatherings. If you wish, you can purchase them online from our Square Store for pick up at a later date. Seed Ball packs ordered online or directly from us are $7.00 per pack of 15 seed balls -5 of each type wildflower, pollinator and native grass blend.

NOTE: Until we get shipping details worked out for online sales we need you to make arrangements with us to pick up your seed balls. Please contact us at [email protected] or call 530-321-9715.

How do Seed Balls work?

Seed balls are a quick and ingenious way of promoting plant life without having to do a ton of work. Seed balls are seed clusters, held together by a clay-compost soil medium that you can throw wherever you want plants to grow. The compost provides all the nutrients the seeds need to grow.

The clay in the seed balls protect the seed from the heat of the sun, they’re heavy enough to be unaffected by the wind or heavy rains and the hard clay casing deters animal from eating them as well.

Disperse seed balls well before rainfall stops; this is in late fall or early Spring in our Mediterranean climate. Simply throw into a spot where you want the seeds to grow; a vacant lot, community garden or, for restoration work, all over the area to be planted. They can be tossed onto any type of soil where they will wait until they have absorbed enough rainwater to germinate or can be watered by us to encourage their growth. Do not bury them. You’ve done your job now sit back and leave the rest to Nature.

We use Northern California native pollinators, wildflowers, and grass seed in these seed balls which are great for beautification of unused areas your property, vacant lots and roadsides. (Check out the bottom of this page for the newest wildflower seed types in 2018.)

When making Seed Balls we are honoring and taking part in the natural cycles of our world:

  • Compost in the Seed Balls hold beneficial microorganisms which comprise the soil food web and make necessary nutrients available for plants…
  • Wildflowers and grasses provide beneficial insects with their need of food and shelter…
  • Insects provide us with the pollination we need for our flowers and food crops…
  • We harvest the flowers, food and seed from our plants, share our surplus, eat our abundance, stay healthy and happy, and make more Seed Balls!
  • And so the cycle continues…

NEW 2018 Wildflower Seed Types

Wildflower Mix:

  • White Yarrow (Achillia miIlefolium)
  • Mountain Garland (Clarkia unguiculata)
  • Purple Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla)
  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
  • Globe Gilia (Gilia capitata)
  • Yellowray Goldfields (Lasthenia glabrata)
  • Common Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa)
  • Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)
  • Whitewhorl Lupine (Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus)
  • Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus)
  • Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii)
  • Desert Bluebells (Phacelia campanularia)
  • Western Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum)
  • Narrowleaf Mule Ears (Wyethia angustifolia)

Pollinator Mix:

  • Mountain Garland (Clarkia unguiculata)
  • Fort Miller Clarkia (Clarkia williamsonii)
  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
  • Gum Plant (Grindelia camporum)
  • Bolander’s Sunflower (Helianthus bolanderi )
  • Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus)
  • White Yarrow (Achillia miIlefolium)
  • California Phacelia (Phacelia californica)
  • Great Valley Phacelia (Phacelia ciliata)

Native Grass Mix: (this type is the same blend as before)

  • California Brome (Bromus carinatus)
  • Threeweek Fescue (Festuca microstachys)
  • Slender Wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus)
  • Blue Wildrye (Elymus glaucus)
  • California Onion Grass (Melica californica)

What is a Seed Ball? A seed ball is a mixture of clay, seeds (we use CA native wildflower or grass seed), compost and water that is rolled into a ball, allowed to dry then broadcast into gardens, roadsides and vacant lots. The seeds are protected from animals by the dried clay but will germinate…

Cornflower ‘Black Ball’ Centaurea cyanus Blue-Bottle, Bachelor’s Buttons

A rich milk-chocolate shade

Adds a touch of drama to summer borders

Makes an excellent cut flower

Don’t forget to check out ourEdible Flowers Guide

Plant Size Height Up to 75cm (29.5in)
Spread Up to 30cm (11.8in)

Hardiness & Longevity Hardy Annual

Ideal For cottage gardens wildlife gardens cut flower garden

Position In Full sun

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Culinary note: Add petals to salads as a colourful garnish or sprinkle over omelettes or even pasta. For more details about edible flowers click here .

1 packet (100 cornflower seeds + 25% EXTRA FREE) (23802)

Sow cornflower seeds outdoors where they are to grow from March to April. Choose a position in full sun on well drained soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Sow seeds thinly, at a depth of 3mm (1/8″) in drills spaced 30cm (12″) apart. Water the ground regularly, especially during dry periods. Germination usually takes 14-21days. When cornflower seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to 15cm (6″) apart.

Alternatively, grow cornflowers indoors from August to September for early summer flowering next year. Sow cornflowers on the surface of a good quality seed compost at a temperature of 18-23C (65-73F) and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Do not exclude light as this helps germination. When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to move outdoors. Overwinter cornflowers plants in cool, light, frost-free conditions before planting out the following spring, or growing on as greenhouse pot plants.

Seeds and garden supplies will normally be delivered within the time period stated against each product as detailed above. Plants, bulbs, corms, tubers, shrubs, trees, potatoes, etc. are delivered at the appropriate time for planting or potting on. Delivery times will be stated on the product page above, or in your order acknowledgement page and email.

Orders for packets of seed incur a delivery charge of £2.99.

Orders which include any other products will incur a delivery charge of £4.99.

Where an order includes both packets of seeds and other products, a maximum delivery charge of £6.99 will apply – regardless of the number of items ordered.

Large items may incur a higher delivery charge – this will be displayed in your shopping basket.

Please see our Delivery page for further details, and more information on different charges that may apply to certain destinations.

For more information on how we send your plants please visit our Helpful Guide on plant sizes.

Cornflower ‘Black Ball’ seeds from Thompson & Morgan – experts in the garden since 1855