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Throw and Grow: What do you think of seeding wild flowers where they were not growing before?

Recently I read online an interesting article about so called “throw and grow” movement. Basically it’s about making little soil balls filled with wild flowers seeds and throw them where you normally can’t just get to and so naturalise empty areas and propagate and spread wild flowers. 
This year I have a lot of wild foxgloves growing and producing seeds, so I thought of making a few ball and spread those seeds. Not quite sure though, if it is not too much meddling into the nature. What do you think? Spread wild flowers seeds: yay or nay?


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    edited July 2019
    I read that seed bombs generally don't work. The seeds need to stay damp, they need to be in good contact with the earth and they need to land somewhere appropriate. There was a env guerilla movement about 20 years ago that decided to throw bombs from trains across the country but it had very little effect. Bombs land on gravel or sand or in the dark or in bushes and the seeds just die.

    Even just planting wild seed in community meadows and street beds I have found to be tough. The take level is very low as the seed just dries out or swamp by grass. They need nurturance.

    But more ideas here - good to choose native plants if you are going to do it. They are fun to make and are nice presents to give - if only to bomb your own garden with.

    Personally, I prefer to commit long term to a community are of planting close by and stick to it through thick and thin. Steward it (its water courses, boundaries, litter, council relations) and help it be a stable, successful pocket of good ecology.

    I feel that gardening / success isn't really to do with planting or sowing. It's the long arc that counts.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,175
    I think it’s a great idea. Just don’t buy those dinky packets of wild flower mixture at £4 for about one gramme of seed that turns out to be poppies and cornflowers and daisies like I did.🙄

    I thought that it would be nice to reseed a verge that the council had dug up for roadworks. Ended up spending about eight quid, only to have some tosser drive over the verge with his “Look at meeeee mum” 4x4 and churn it all up.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    It is a lovely idea.
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,761
    I have used the seed-bombs and they were unsuccessful. I have a small patch of Aliums which I tried to underplant with some wildflower/flower patch mixed seeds last year but only the Nigella came up there, but where I put them in the front garden all sorts appeared this year. 
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,004
    I think you need to know what you're  doing. Random seed chucking  can destroy the natural balance. Someone might be partial to an inappropriate plant that could spread and smother a more diverse population of wildflowers.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited July 2019
    i've planted up ledges in recently abandoned quarries using wildflower seed bombs and a fishing bait catapult, worked fairly well, although we did have to go back the year after to add a few more species, we even got some rowan and silver birch to start growing!
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I'm glad it worked.
  • Big Blue SkyBig Blue Sky Posts: 678
    i've planted up ledges in recently abandoned quarries using wildflower seed bombs and a fishing bait catapult, worked fairly well, although we did have to go back the year after to add a few more species, we even got some rowan and silver birch to start growing!
    I was wondering where you got your wildflower seeds from? I’m thinking of turning my front lawn into a wildflower meadow. 
  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 556
    edited July 2019
    I've just bought 1/4 lb. blue borage seeds to broadcast on our rural property pastures in front of the cabin this spring.  Can't wait.  I'd try some now, but am afraid to let them winter over before they have a chance to germinate.  Even Texas gets the ocasional hard freeze.  Broadcasting is the best way to really get them going in the country.  I wanted to plant some bluebonnets (small lupines) but those are somewhat toxic to cattle (though most cows ignore them).  But since the cows aren't ours (we lease the pasture) I figure I shouldn't plant any KNOWN toxic plants.  There are just 12 cows grazing on the property (reduces our annual property taxes) so we don't mow it, therefore the seeds will struggle to get down to the dirt and germinate unless I sew them right before a heavy rain is predicted.  I'm hoping it will work, as I love the look of borage.  Most existing wildflowers on the property are yellow or white and yellow daisy-like plants, with a few wild purple spiderworts here and there. 
    My low-carb recipe site:
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,961
    It might be okay on urban sites but I would avoid it in the countryside. Risk of inappropriate species that could disrupt the natural balance. You're also introducing strains of a plant that might be slightly genetically different to local ones, from another part of the UK or abroad.

    A few years ago there was a push to use local collected seed on new wildflower meadow sites for that reason. 
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