With the popularity of growing your own herbs for tea, we researched our archives and discovered this great article about planting herbs using DIY “seed bomb” to give seeds a boost to germinate and bloom next spring. But one of the secrets is to get a head start by prepping and planting them this fall. What a great idea for launching your own herbal tea garden! Using seed bombs gives your seeds a much. better chance to thrive. And you can explore many different ays to use the technique. Of course, you can still grow a tea-herb garden in pots or in your regular garden beds. But this one – using guerrilla gardening techniques could be a fun one to try.
Growing Herbs for Tea Blends Using Tea Bombs. (DIY)
We all know that the world is not perfect. However, many of us are excited by the opportunity to change our communities for the better, but don’t always feel empowered. I have a simple idea that could be attractive if you like tea and have a green thumb. You may or may not have heard of them, but seed bombs are one way to transform a dull, unattractive, or non-functional slice of urban landscape. I first learned about seed bombs several years ago when I stumbled upon the glories of guerrilla gardening (which is gardening on someone else’s land).
What are Seed Bombs?
Seed bombs are essentially small balls of soil, seeds, and clay that can be used to expedite, or simplify, the process of guerrilla gardening. These little balls are meant to beautify, or functionally alter, non-used – or neglected – land. Consider a vacant field full of tall weeds and the occasional candy bar wrapper. While walking or driving down the street, you probably try to avoid visually engaging such a waste of precious space. It may look devoid of life, or just plain desolate. There is, however, something you can do about it – and yes, it involves seed bombs. The vacant lot is not your property, nor can you comfortably maneuver a shovel on it without attracting attention. However, you can engage in an abbreviated form of gardening, just by tossing a clod of fertile dirt.
This process, while seemingly idealistic and mysterious, is actually fairly practical. All you need to do is mix a combination of hibiscus seeds, red clay, and soil. Roll the mixture into small balls, and toss them anywhere you think they will have a chance to grow. While traditional seed bombs are often planted mainly for beautification, sometimes they can be grown and harvested for their edible attributes.
Flower & Herbs Seeds for Herbal Tea Seed Bombs
There are many different flowers that are beautiful for landscaping and flavorful for tea. After much deliberation, I decided to use catnip, chamomile, Echinacea, and hollyhock seeds for several reasons. (see more below)
All of these seeds are native to North America, and three of the four are commonly used in herbal tea. While hollyhock may not be a tea that one tends to order at a cafe, it offers several health benefits for those looking to try something new. In fact, hollyhock is a digestive aid that may help with inflammation. The flowers are beautiful AND functional, although that is beside the point.
Planning Your Herbal Tea Garden
Before you can drink any of these herbal teas, you must plant them. While most people may prefer to harvest these flowering herbs in their own gardens, that is not the point of this post. It is still possible to throw some seed bombs onto vacant land and harvest the end products later. That way they benefit not only your own land, but other land as well. In fact, in the book, On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries, the author explains that not all seed bombs need be for decorative purposes. It is possible to plant vegetables, herbs, and other edibles.
So how do you make a dirt clod that can become something you can drink later?
First, you will need:
- Five cups of red terracotta clay
- One pot of compost or soil
- One pot of seeds (or however many packets you can muster)
Next, follow the directions below:
- Mix seeds in a large mixing bowl.
- Add compost, and then carefully add clay, stirring it well. The clay is what binds the balls together.
- Add a little water (this is approximate, you can use your own judgment for all quantities — just avoid a sludgy texture).
- If it seems sludgy, add more soil or compost (which will counteract the water).
- Take your mixture and knead it with your hands into a ball.
- Flatten with a rolling pin.
- Slice into pieces large enough to make small balls.
- Wait a little bit to make sure they don’t fall apart before you are ready to toss them onto some vacant or neglected land.
One of the most important aspects of creating a guerrilla tea garden – finding a location.
This can be tricky. Not everyone spends their time really checking out the environment around them when they are stuck in street traffic (or riding home from a stressful day at work).
Perhaps you haven’t noticed any prime tea-bombing spots in the areas where you live, work, shop, and play. Some areas that look promising might not be particularly fertile for growing tea. They could be (1) weedy, (2) full of trash and glass, (3) uncomfortably placed near pedestrian traffic, (4) or vulnerable to lawn mowers or construction work. So what do you do?
How do you find the perfect place to grow your tea bombs?
The trick is not to be too picky. With guerrilla gardening, there is no way to ensure the health or growth of your plant – it requires a little luck and trial and error. Since it’s not your property, any number of factors may get in the way. Still, it’s worth a try. Guerrilla gardening is increasing in popularity around the world (especially in populated places in need of a little cheer or additional sustenance).
Essentially, you can throw your tea bombs wherever you want. This all depends on the situation, including (1) your need for expediency (you may not want to spend too long in one place), (2) the quantity of seed bombs, and (3) soil availability. If you decide to plant the seeds for aesthetic reasons, you should choose an area that is fairly visible. If you care more about producing and harvesting herbal tea from the flowers that will grow, you may opt for a spot that is hidden from the public eye.
and yAnother Important Aspect . . . Selecting What You Want to (Drink) Grow
Here are a few if the herbs that are flavorful and potentially beneficial to your health. Some of them, like Calendula, are fairly easy to grow and from which you can collect your own seeds for future “seed bombs” but can also become invasive. Dandelions are likely to be available in open areas and you can easily collect the flowers for your tea but also seeds for your bombs. Other herbs can be more of a challenge. But you’re more likely to be happy about your tea garden if you focus on the flavors you and your family most enjoy. Then . . . bombs away!
Herbs and Flowers for Your Tea Garden Seed Bombs
What an interesting idea. I love this concept of transforming ugly urban areas into herbal gardens. I look forward to part 2.
Hah!! Very cool idea indeed!! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of these before.
how do you keep the seeds from sprouting in the bombs before they dry?