- Mix the seeds and powder clay (in proportions of one to seven)
- Add a little water, mix thoroughly, knead
- Top view of the picture # 2
- Spread over a metal mesh and apply pressure from above.
- Use your palms to roll the balls on the mat, giving them a round shape. Place the seedballs to dry in the shade, in a well-ventilated place for 2-3 days.
This alternative seed pelleting method, part of the Natueco Farming Method that proposes alternative ingredients such as termitarial as binding agent, cow urine as a predator repellent and ash as a source of minerals.
1. Determine the crop variety and volume of its seed needed for the area.
2. Collect equal volume of the following
a. Soil from the field you are sowing – surface 10-15 cm, 4-5 spots.
This will help to identify the Ph and the nutrition available from the Soil to the life when seed going to germinate life enter in the seed and this life after analyzing asked to the microbes to provide deficiency at the root zone area.
b. Ash (a source of 100 elements).
Will provide potash and help in germinating the root zone as it is attached to the seed and also provide nutrition in available form to the roots when they do not get from soil. Also help from attack of virus and insect as it work as vital force.
It is known as antibiotic by organic farmers.
c. Fresh cow-dung (a source of anaerobic and microaerophilic micro-organisms)
d. Termitaria soil (a binding agent, and source of nutrients and agriculturally beneficial micro-organisms)
3. Mix all the three material and make into dough using cow-urine.
Note: urine is a source of salts and also perhaps a repellent of insect-pests
Present of this will help in growing of microbes, which will help in Photosynthesis.
4. Make small pellets of the whole dough, depending on the size of the seed.
For pigeon pea for example, pellets of about 1cm diameter may be enough.
For other way of sowing the seeds other then the research farmers can mix seed which will provide in-situ(their only) nitrogen and other nutrition like Mug, Tur (which take care of N) Safed till provide energy and nutrition as well as repellent to insect like this Chana, Kothmir (Dhania), Muster, Methi etc all this mixture will be one forth of the main seeds by volume.
5. Push one seed per pellet and shade dry them
6. Sow the pellets while following other requirements
Important: to make the method workable in field conditions on large area, one would need to mechanize/semi-mechanize the pellet-making. A machine used for making tablets at a village level enterprise may be explored. If making seed pellets is cumbersome for some, a thin layer of diluted dough can be coated on to seeds.Seeds can then be air-dried and sown by machine or bullock-drawn seed-drill.
Although this seed pelleting technique is not strictly a 'seedball'( seedballs are, to my understanding scattered on the ground not planted or drilled in the soil), the alternative ingredients recommended here : the termitaria soil, which reinforces my intuition, the urine, the fresh cow dung similar to the goat dung reported by Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia, the ash that was proscribed by Masanobu Fukuoka only when spread on fields, are very interesting.
Thanks a lot, Deepak for sharing it.
Modular task drums are available for making seed balls, compost, soil mix, and building materials. Drive options include gasoline, electric, steam, wind, water, pedal and animal power to name just a few. Desktop models made to order". (seedball.com archives)
Alfred von Bachmayr firstname.lastname@example.org
The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia Forum has a post detailing th ebuilding of an electrical rolling drum.
He thought farming might not excite him as much as other pursuits so he decided to try farming in another country to spice it up. David farms in Wakayama, Japan since June 2008. He uses organic methods, works for someone else at the moment but plan to farm for himself in the future, using methods similar to Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming.
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DALMACIO, M.V. (1976): Coating ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) seeds with Arasan-75. Sylvatrop 1, 2: 148–149.
DERR, H.J. and MANN, W.F. (1971): Direct-seeding pines in the south. Agriculture Handbook No. 391, For. Service, USDA, Washington D.C.
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ROBBINS, A.M.J. (1983 a): DANIDA Forest Seed Centre, seed leaflet No. 2, Pinus caribaea Morelet (mimeo).
ROBBINS, A.M.J. (1983 b): DANIDA Forest Seed Centre, seed leaflet No. 3, Pinus oocarpa Schiede (mimeo).
WAKEMAN, D.C. (1975): Colouring tree seed before sowing and for long term storage using waxoline dyes. Res. Inf. Note No. 6/75, For. Com. Res. and Dev. Division, Alice Holt, U.K.
But generally one 1 volume of seeds, 3 volumes of soil (if compost/worm-castings), 5 volumes of clay, water as needed will do.
A remark on the size & shape a seedball
In a sphere, the surface area to volume ratio is inversely proportional to the size of a sphere (size determined by its radius)
The constant curvature of the sphere (the seedball) and gravity allow for all water to be directed towards the south pole of the sphere . It happens that it is at this very pole that the seedball is most likely to be in contact with the soil. That's were the water will enter the seedball by capillary action and humidify it from the inside out.
Therefore I do not think that the clay has to dissolve first, but that the strength of sprouting seed(s) will likely destructure the seedball, again "from the inside out".
Hand propagation is probably the most widely used mean of propagating seedballs.But in Maara Roa, New Zealand, kids have propagated seedballs with slingshots and tennis rackets to reach inaccessible gullies covered with very thorny gorse (Ulex europaeus).