Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Cosmic, Jul 26, 2007.
Where can I get some ground clay?
When I made seed balls I used compost and clay soil. Do you have clay soil onsite?
The dark soil/clay stuff? Yes, heaps. The whole yard. It's extremely hard. Did you make it pyable some how?
Making ‘seed balls’ is time-consuming but can be made at a time when you are waiting for seedlings to grow. The technology was trialled by the Australian Asociation of Bush Regenerators in 2002, it is not expensive.
Seed balls are made from native seeds mixed with red clay (not white or bentonitic grey clay) and humus (including mycelium filaments from the site) with a small amount of water to make 50 cent sized balls. This can be done in a cement mixer drum. These are allowed to dry for later use. This technique will reduce the cost and time involved in planting and tending seedlings and is a natural choice for added regeneration by filling in the spaces particularly with shrub and ground layer. The clay covering gives protection from the sun and predation by insects. When a rain event occurs the clay breaks down and the seeds have a guild of micro-organisms from the moist humus to germinate in. The more diverse the seeds in the mixture the more chance that the plants produced will be in the correct niche and will be stronger than other types of plantings and should be therefore more reliable that direct seeding.
C R Jensen suggests 24-36kg of seed is needed to revegetate 1 barren hectare- with only 0.02 seeds per ball , I'm afraid I'm not sur how clay that equates to...
Hope this helps though
How do you do that with a cement mixer drum?
Sorry, I guess I did miss that bit out. Throw the humus clay with enough water to soften the clay add the seed to the cement mixer and mix well. Then you hand make the balls and allow them to dry, prior to use.
There is info on the web.
You really don't need a cement mixer. You can do it by hand.
Go here and they will give step-by-step instructions: https://www.pathtofreedom.com/pathprojec ... alls.shtml
The red clay you want is also called 'terra cotta clay', and you can find some at shops that sell clay for making pottery. But its very common, found all over the world. If you have local red clay, its probably the right kind.
If you have to use a pick to dig it up, put a reasonable amount in a bucket and add some water, then let it absorb the water. Add more water if you need to. You don't want a really wet clay.
Red clay... does that include yellow?
I have never tried yellow clay for this, and all the literature I have read recommends red clay. Whilst I have done some work as a Geological Assistant I am no expert but generally speaking
yellow soil has low Oxygen with high Aluminium and high Iron;
red soil has high Oxygen with high Iron.
Oxygen is all important at the microbial level with gas exchanges and nutrient availability
I live on sand so I haven't experimented, but I guess if that's all you've got why not try it out.
Ok, thanks. I'll do some research locally too and see if people here are using the yellow.
I am working asa a bush regenerator in Brisbane. I have been using seedballs for quite a while (California, USA).
I am putting together a website on seedballs.
Who is C R Jensen ?
Do you have any data regarding the 2002 AABR trial. I'd be very interested.
Thanks a lot
Separate names with a comma.