Yes, you read it right! We are planning and promoting a particular kind of bombing in the forest areas. It’s called seed bombing. This is an old invention that is gaining popularity recently, all for the right reasons. Today, the rate of deforestation is higher than imagination, and the need to grow trees to keep livelihood intact has become a necessity. If we do not take steps towards bulk tree plantation, this world will become a toxic place to live in.
So, seed bombs are basically small balls of a mixture, consisting of seeds, clay, compost and water. They are sometimes mixed with cotton fibres or liquefied paper to add strength. These balls, also known as earth bombs are added to the soil to grow trees.
How does it work?
Seed bombs ensure that the saplings remain alive until two months of age. Thus, it is preferred over planting trees. Once the bombs are made, they are shot into the ground halfway, making sure they are not buried deep. This step is usually done just after the monsoon being so that the seeds get proper water and sunlight at regular intervals.
Generally, the seeds used are Neem, Gulmohar, Peepal, Mango, Watermelon, Lemon, etc. These plants have strong roots that go deep enough not to get washed away.
Why seed bombs?
Seed bombs can be made up of fruit-bearing as well as non-fruit bearing plants. These chosen plants are genetically stronger and grow faster than others. They need very less water and sunlight and can grow in harsh conditions as well. What is looked into is that they not only cater to humans but also to cattle, birds and tiny animals for building their habitat and balance livelihood.
How to make seed bombs?
- Start with selecting the seeds. Understand your location and climate and the needs of a plant. Eucalyptus and Acacia’s plants are not recommended for regions other than semi-deserted or deserted patches. These plants soak up a lot of water and do not let any other trees grow beside them except for grass. These are oily in nature and do not decompose fast and provide no ecological benefit.
- Mix the seeds with 3/4th mud and 1/4th cow dung and roll them into small yet firm balls. You can replace cow dung with other forms of organic compost.
- Start at the correct time. Let the monsoon begin and then make the seed bombs. They need some moisture to germinate.
- Bomb the earth! Contrary to the belief, seed bombs are not supposed to be buried deep in the soil, but they need to be partially embedded in the ground.
- This process is a trial-and-error kind of a method where not all the bombs work in growing trees. You need to see how your first plantation goes. Identify the pros and cons and go ahead with the second drive where you might have to change the plants, alter the composition of the bomb or choose a different location.
If you feel your initial steps are failing, speak with organisations who work towards going green. You can discuss the same with us and gather all the information about seed bombing and tree plantation!