We chose these seeds because they are already on-site or because they are found naturally on similar sites:

Broom Dalea (Psorothamnus scoparius)
Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)
Bush Morning Glory (Ipomoea leptophylla)
Chocolate Flower (Berlandiera lyrata)
Desert Four O’Clock (Mirabilis multiflora)
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
Indian Ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides)
Jimsonweed (Datura wrighti)
Phlox, Sand Penstemon (Penstemon ambiguus)
Three-Leaf Sumac (Rhus trilobata)
Wine Cup (Callirhoe involucrata)

How to Make a Seed Ball

5 parts dry red clay (dry clay powder, not pre-mixed, found at NM Clay in Albuquerque, NM)
3 parts dry organic compost
1 part seed mixture
1 – 2 parts water

We used 16 ounces of the seed mixture for our one-unit measure.  When combined with the clay, compost, and water this made approximately 72 seed balls.  First mix together all the dry ingredients and then add enough water to form a mix that holds together without crumbling and allows the rolling of the seed balls (not too wet!).  Pinch off small bits, roll into ¾-inch-diameter balls, and set into trays or egg cartons to let them completely dry (3 – 4 days).   

We placed each seed ball on the ground (not buried) in a bowl-shaped hollow in the center of each “patch” of the quilt.  We made this hollow to capture the run-off from the fabric funnels.  Seed balls are especially useful on dry, thin, compacted soils, in arid climates, and to reclaim damaged ground.  The clay and compost prevent the seeds from drying out, from blowing away, and from being eaten by predators.  Once rain permeates the clay, the seeds sprout within and are protected by the nutrient-filled ball.  

This simple and affordable method has been used by some Native American tribes and by the late natural farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. 


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