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Frequently Asked Questions
get the most from your seedballs

Our seed balls have been created by Conservation Scientists to make growing wildflowers from seed simpler. Seed balls are their own mini ecosystem, protecting seed from birds, ants and slugs and giving them the nutrition they need to have a head start. With Seed balls you dont have to have any gardening expertise. There is no need to propagate the seed, or even plant it! Just pop on top of soil, water and watch grow! Each seed ball has up to 100 seeds, a mixture of species suited to different conditions. Seed balls are made from a unique blend of seed, clay (to protect the seed from ants, mice, birds etc.) peat free compost (to give seeds a boost) and chilli powder (an extra predator deterrent). This ancient technique of seed propagation provides all the nutrition and protection that a seed requires for its early growth – which is particularly useful for growing wildflowers, as their seeds often takes longer to germinate and grow than other garden plants. 

Seed balls don’t need planting or complex propagation – just scatter them where you want them to grow (preferably on top of soil or compost), and let nature take over! It really is that simple! Seed balls will also grow equally well in pots or other planters.

Seed balls can be scattered at any time of the year, although spring and autumn is usually an optimal time to start wildflowers growing, while our Herb Mix and Salad Mix will grow well throughout the spring and summer. Wildflower seed balls can be scattered in the summer with success, although flowers are unlikely to be seen until the following spring/summer, once they get going though they will improve their display with each year! When exactly the seed ball grows and flowers will depend on the type of seed ball bought. Our wildflower mixes include a variety of seed species in one ball – some of these are annuals (the plant survives for one growing season) and some are perennials (plant survives for more than two growing seasons).

Seed balls can be scattered on top of soil or compost in your garden, and ideally in a nicely sunny spot. For grassy areas it’s best to remove a layer of top-soil before scattering seed balls. See here for more information on how to create a garden meadow. Seed balls can also be grown with some soil or compost in pots (or other planters) in your garden, balcony and window boxes (see our identification gallery for help in spotting which species are growing from your seed balls).

It depends on how dense you’d like your wildflower garden to be. As a guide we recommend that you’ll need at least twenty seed balls per square meter (one tin). If growing in a small pot, 3 – 5 seed balls will probably be enough. For larger pots or window boxes, 8 – 12 seed balls should do the trick. The more accustomed you become with growing seed balls, the better you’ll be at gauging the perfect quantities to use! Remember your wildflowers will get more abundant with each year. If you’d like to plant a meadow of wildflowers, we also sell seed balls in bulk quantities (see ‘500g Bulk Bags’ under the product listings).

No. The seed balls should be left intact. Once water has permeated the clay, the seeds will slowly begin to germinate inside the ball. Scattered seed balls should not be picked up once it’s rained, as this could damage any growing roots.

If you scatter your seed balls outside there should be no need to water them. Just let nature take over! Saying that, watering will certainly speed up germination and early growth. If your seed balls are inside or under cover then you will need to water them every 1-2 days.

On average you can hope to see around 10 sprouts per seed ball.

Seed balls are a simple and effective way to garden, as the balls protect the seeds until conditions are right for germination. However, patience is key! The seeds within the balls will not begin to germinate until they have received a good amount of rain to fully soak the clay and seeds. Additionally, the temperature needs to be suitable and not too cold. When growing wildflowers it’s worth noting that we are used to buying cultivated flower seeds that have been bred so that all the seeds germinate at the same time, grow at the same rate and flower at the same time.  Wildflower seed doesn’t work like that at all. Each of the different species will germinate when the conditions are right for them.

Planting Tips for Best Results:

  1. Timing:

    • For optimal results, scatter your seed balls in the spring or autumn. These seasons typically provide the best conditions for germination with moderate temperatures and adequate rainfall.

    • If you’re scattering outside of this time, placing your seed balls in the freezer for a couple of days can speed germination as this mimics winter and helps the seed casing to loosen.

  2. Location:

    • Ensure that your seed balls are placed on top of the soil. Avoid burying them, as the seeds need exposure to sunlight to germinate effectively.

    • Choose a location that receives ample sunlight. Seed balls placed in fully shaded areas, underneath plants, or in full grass may struggle to germinate.

  3. Watering:

    • While natural rainfall is usually sufficient, in periods of dry weather, help by watering them regularly to keep the clay moist and support the germination process.

    • If scattering in the summer months it’s important to keep the balls well watered and moist durning any periods of extreme heat, as young growth can be damaged by the balls fully drying out.

You can generally expect to see sprouts from our Edible Range within 2-6 weeks, provided there has been sufficient rainfall or you have helped by watering them regularly. For the Wildflower Range, sprouts typically appear within 4-6 weeks if scattered during the optimal time of year for those specific seeds.

Growing wildflowers is a long-term project. While it may take some time to see the first signs of growth, your patience will be rewarded with beautiful blooms that support local biodiversity. Remember, the initial stages require the right conditions, but once established, wildflowers will continue to flourish each year with minimal maintenance.

Native UK wildflowers are slow growers compared to many of the exotic plants commonly found in gardens. This means patience is essential when growing wildflowers from seed balls. They are a long term investment for nature in your garden and they’re not able to produce quick results in a few months. Here’s what to expect:

Spring Scattering (First Year)

  • Wildflowers scattered in the spring may not flower in the first year. Annuals are the most likely to bloom, and this may not be until the end of Summer. Wildflowers are not like garden centre-bought and bred seeds which have been designed and bred to produce reliable quick results; they follow a natural growth cycle that requires time and patience.

  • It’s important to manage expectations. You will see some initial growth and perhaps a few flowers, but the full display typically won’t appear until the following spring and summer.

  • It is worth noting that our salad and herb mixes create beautiful flowers too which are great for pollinators, these grow and flower more quickly – much like seeds you may be used to – so for a quick display consider letting these mixes flower.

Autumn Scattering (Spring Blooms)

  • If you scatter your seed balls in the autumn, you are more likely to see flowers the following spring and summer. The seeds will have had time to establish roots and will be more ready to bloom as the weather warms up.

Long-Term Benefits (Year-on-Year Improvement)

  • The display of wildflowers will get better and more abundant each year. Once established, wildflowers will continue to flourish with minimal maintenance, providing an ongoing benefit to your garden and local wildlife. Different species will establish and come into their own with each year.

  • As the seasons change, you don’t need to do anything. Wildflower gardens offer continuous support to wildlife. Different species of wildflowers bloom at various times, ensuring a consistent food supply. This is particularly vital for species that have specific blooming periods and for those that depend on diverse sources of nectar and pollen throughout the year. Additionally, leave those wildflowers alone over autumn and winter and the seeds from the flowers provide a food source for birds and small mammals during the colder months, and great hibernating spots for insects.

Growing Tips:

  • Timing:

    • Scatter in spring or autumn for the best results.

  • Location:

    • Place seed balls on top of the soil in sunny locations. Avoid fully shaded areas, underneath plants, or in full grass.

  • Watering:

    • Ensure adequate moisture, either through natural rainfall or regular watering, especially during dry periods.

Growing wildflowers is a beautiful and rewarding experience for both you and local wildlife. While it may take some time to see the full benefits, the effort is well worth it. For help identifying wildflowers before they’re in bloom, visit our identification gallery https://seedball.co.uk/guide/. Patience is key, but the rewards are great!

As not all seed is likely to germinate in the same year (or sometimes at all), we include a lot of seed to try and ensure that at least 10 sprouts will grow from each of your seed balls in the first year, even for the novice gardeners among us! This ‘survival of the fittest’ approach also means that for the mixed species seed balls, those species most suited to the conditions in which they’re scattered will be the ones to thrive. It’s also likely that you’ll have fresh sprouts emerge over the next few years from the area where the seed ball was first scattered.

No, you don’t need to do anything! The seed ball will begin to grow as a cluster of plants, but will later disperse as the clay itself disintegrates and disperses.

They will keep well for planting the next few years if they are stored in a cool and dry place.

Our seed balls are made us at our Seedball HQ in North London.

Seed balls are generally safe to use and grow, although they are not for consumption. Our Bee Mix and Beetle Mix both contain Foxglove which is toxic to eat (both the seeds and the plant). If there is a chance of children or pets eating the balls or plants we recommend not to choose these mixes.

Using seed balls is not only beneficial above ground; they also enhance soil health. By not digging your garden you’ve already helped nature – by not disturbing the soil and the microbes and mycelium and fungal hyphae that are needed for your garden to truly thrive. They are delicate and exposure to light kills them, meaning dug soil can take a long time to return to a healthy state.

Wildflowers themselves also help the soil. Their deep roots help prevent soil erosion, improve soil structure, and promote water infiltration and give more space for soil biodiversity to grow and further help your garden. Replace your lawn (or much of it) with a wildflower lawn to avoid brown patches in drought! Over time, this leads to healthier soil that can support a variety of plants and reduce the need for watering, thereby conserving water. The improved soil quality also supports the growth of native plants, further enhancing the local ecosystem.

more information.

How It Works

Four simple steps to a beautiful wildflower garden.

What To Expect From Growing Wildflowers

In a natural setting wildflower seeds can stay viable for many years…

How To Look After Your Wildflowers

Wildflowers can be cut back at the end of their season in September…

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