Seed ball technique – 1 lakh seed balls were prepared by 600 Bangaloreans to Green Western Ghats. Most environmentalists have termed this innovation as seeds of success due to its rapid growth rate.
Seed Ball is a unique and interesting method in today’s age where the greenery is becoming a silent victim of modernization. Seed balls work as a great idea for a sustainable environment in our concrete jungles.
Seed balls are an ancient technique for propagating plants from seeds without opening up soil with cultivation tools such as a plow.
Victim of urbanization :
Trees are often the first victim’s of Bengaluru’s march towards increased urbanization. To encourage to grow trees and to reduce their rate of depletion, Seed Balls creations helps growing trees in the city.
SayTrees – Organizer of Seed ball :
SayTrees is a professionally run group of ordinary people extraordinarily determined to protect the environment not just by themselves, but also by sensitizing others towards the importance of environment conservation and goading them on to participate in tree-plantation campaigns.
The group consists of passionate nature lovers, who juggle corporate jobs during the week with their love for trees over the weekends. Though it started off as a weekend pursuit in 2007 now it does more than 50 tree plantation drives in 4 months of monsoon.
Last year, SayTrees had made thousands of seed balls and were sown in Chintamani and Bagepalli.
Volunteers at Seed Ball project:
600 Bengalureans came together in Krishnarajapuram on weekend and made more than 100,000 seed balls. Within three hours they prepared around one lakh seed balls, which will go on to increase the green cover in Western Ghats.
All age groups came together for the seed ball making.
Objective of the project:
The members of the organisation SayTrees will take the seed balls to the forests of Kodagu in Karnataka and plant them next week with the help of the forest department. The group wants to re-green the area as thousands of trees were lost during the floods last year.
The aim of the campaign is to build urban forestry and provide greenery in barren lands by using the seed ball technique.
How to make a seed ball?
Take some clay, pure some water it, roll it into a little ball, make a little hole in it, pop the seed into it and roll it up again. Leave it to dry for 24 hours. The seed ball is ready.
Contents of Seed Ball :
For the seed balls, a mixture of soil and manure is used and each seed ball contains one or more seeds inside. The group which cut across all age groups, made many varieties of seed balls.
The seed balls project had made eight varieties of seed balls including banyan, peepal and tamarind.
Why seed ball?
Among different initiatives to improve green cover, making and distributing seed balls in a quick and cost effective method to reclaim the lost green cover of environment. It is an emerging afforestation technique.
With knowledge, skill, and patience, seed balls can be as effective a way of establishing plants as plow-seeding or drilling, and they can be made by anyone anywhere in the world that has access to clay, soil, and seed — for no money.
How it works?
The composition of seed balls makes it self-sustainable and favorable for germination in most environments. Making seed balls are fund and easy.
The concept seed balls was started by Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese man famous for popularizing Natural farming, the concept has been adopted worldwide.
Seed balls can also be used to “over seed” existing ecosystems, without damaging the soil structure — or to seed productive plants into forested areas and steep hillsides where tillage is not possible. Seed balls can also be used in combination with animals such as pigs who will do the work of shuffling the mulch around providing seed balls extra cover.
Development of technique :
The technique for creating seed balls was rediscovered by Japanese natural farming pioneer Masanobu Fukuoka. The technique was also used, in ancient Egypt to repair farms after the annual spring flooding of the Nile.
In modern times, during the period of the Second World War, the Japanese government plant scientist working in a government lab, Fukuoka, who lived on the mountainous island of Shikoku, wanted to find a technique that would increase food production without taking away from the land already allocated for traditional rice production, which thrived in the volcanic rich soils of Japan.
Advantages of using seed ball :
There are some advantages of using seed ball instead of using seeds directly:
- Because there are nutrients in the seed ball in the form of compost or potting mix or cow dung, it gives a leg up to germinating seeds – gives them nutrition in the early days when the young plant needs a little help to survive in harsh conditions.
- The balls prevents animals or birds from eating up the seeds.
- It takes less time to cover a large area – since one can simply throw the seed ball – so one could, for example, drive around in a car with thousands of seed bombs and a slingshot, and disperse the seed bombs all around while cruising in vehicle. In fact, there have been scenarios where seed bombs have been used for aerial reforestation by dispersing hundreds of thousands of seed bombs using a low flying aero-plane !
Seed Balls protect seeds from :
Winds – which blow them away
Birds and Rodents – which eat them
Hot Sun – which bakes their vitality and
Excessive rain – Which carries them off.
Results of using Seed Ball :
With the rainfall, the clay coating melts and the seeds germinate where the ball has landed. The seed balls will stay put until the seedlings have a chance to put down roots. The seed balls will absorb moisture from the ground, the dew and the rain and will sprout when conditions are right.
Many seeds will grow from a single seed ball and the plant most suited to the micro conditions of that site will prevail. perties