Fukuoka tried rice balls, barley balls, and balls with a mix of cover crops and vegetables. But we do not how it works. And how it works for each specific vegetable. Well, I guess it's part of the "do nothing" approach but still I am curious to know a bit more.
Some seeds might not like to sprout in clay. Some seeds might sprout better if we add some sand to the ball. Some seeds might prefer to be sown at the ball surface, while other well inside the ball. Some might germinate when the seedball is not yet dried.
No one has been reporting this. It would be useful to know.
To this purpose, I just started seedballs now for the first time! Yes, that's a very happy week. The balls are just beginning to sprout. (lentils, brassicas, mustards, the seeds at the surface of the balls)
I know it's already late in season and I am doing the experiments indoors. This year I only want to test whether the seedlings survive root rot and develop the roots from the seedball into the soil. Next year I will throw the balls in springtime. I am testing many seeds: flowers, cover crops, grains, pulses, squash, amaranth, brassicas, carrots, etc. I also threw a few balls outdoors but the weather here is already cold and frosty so I do not have hopes for those balls, but I will throw some balls with perennials and tree seeds.
Please feel free to share here your seedballs results
in Portugal, sheltered terraces facing eastwards, high water table, uphill original forest of pines, oaks and chestnuts. 2000m2
in Iceland: converted flat lawn, compacted poor soil, cold, windy, humid climate, cold, short summer. 50m2
I'd like to know where this experiment went for you.
I've been working on a seed ball maker and i'm hoping to experiment with planting over a couple acres of terraced beds. Any advice would be appreciated, as you said there isn't much discussion on the matter..
Im going to be trying this method with spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, and other herbs and all the regular vegetables. seems to me that if we can master this process of starting the vegetable seeds from clay balls this would highly increase our success rate with growing things in general. I will post my results on this page. Also message me if you are interested in discussing different methods and kicking around ideas. It would be cool to discuss these things with someone else who is also doing these things, we could meet up on skype i have someone else on there right now that i talk to maybe we could collaborate.
We've done mixed up balls with flowers as well as veggies with surprising success. All squash, greens, radishes, turnips, beets, annual flowers did very well. Happily we have plenty of clay in our soil, so they wasn't a disconnect between the balls' makeup and our soil.
Most green manures including clovers, alfalfa, rye, vetch, buckwheat seem to ball and germinate easily. As mentioned above beets, radish, carrots, leafy greens, tomatoes, squash, etc.. all seem to do well. The only plant that is giving me trouble seed balling and growing in such a method is beans or legumes. Cowpeas and bush beans have been all attempted thus far, but refuse to ball successfully, or germinate. Hope this helps!