Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 27, 2005

From: Weatherford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding
Title: Smarty Plants on seed balls
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do you have the recipe for Wildflower Seed Balls? It's where you mix dry wildflower seeds, compost, red clay, and water to form a seed ball and then you throw it. I think the ratio is 1 part seed, 3 parts compost, and 5 parts red clay. When do you throw them? I live in Parker County in Weatherford, TX....zone 7B.

ANSWER:

Seed balls are a great way to sow seeds in an arid area since the seeds are protected from predation by birds, insects, and rodents until the rains fall to melt the clay and allow the seeds to germinate. Your ratios are correct: 5 parts clay:3 parts compost:1part seeds. Late fall or early winter is the best time to sow the seed balls, but you might even be successful sowing them in early spring, as well. You can read "How to Make Seed Balls" by Jim Bones on the Wildflower Center webpage. Path to Freedom and Explore Seed Balls webpages have more information and detailed instructions on making seed balls.

 

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Standing Cypress Plants in San Antonio, TX
June 26, 2013 - I purchased seeds for standing cypress 2 years ago and this spring they look beautiful. What is the best way to harvest the seeds? Also, will the current plants come back next spring or will I have to...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
view the full question and answer

Sunlight needs for native wildflower seedlings from Double Oaks TX
January 27, 2014 - Last December I created a flower bed for my parents' backyard and sowed native wildflower seeds (obtained from Native American Seed). The bed is in full sun most of the day, and the seeds are alread...
view the full question and answer

Changing blooming patterns on sunflowers from Kimball NE
September 05, 2013 - The common sunflower seems to be very prolific some years, not so much others. Is this weather related or cyclical?
view the full question and answer

Storing Rudbeckia Hirta Seed
October 10, 2014 - I just bought and planted your Rudbeckia hirta seed. I have a lot leftover. Can I store it until spring or better yet, next fall? If so, how?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.