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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.

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

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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.

 

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