Rockaway Beach Needs Garden Zhooj-ing

It’s mid-April: the time to slip out after dusk with your trowels, rakes, plants and seeds. If heavy rain is in the forcast, get prepared to launch your green grenades over your shoulder on the way to work. What? I’m talking about guerrilla gardening, planting in places that need a little love and wouldn’t otherwise get it– abandoned lots, under the el, unkempt street medians, every tree pit on the blvd. past 90th st. Rockaway Beach is the perfect target, and the result is aesthetically pleasing, enhanced public spaces, not to mention the benefits for birds and insects!

If there’s a location that isn’t accessible that needs some flower zhooj – e.g. a vacant lot behind a fence – guerilla gardeners use green grenades or seed bombs as they’re called. These organic mixtures are about the size of golfballs and can be thrown as far as your strength allows, to reach difficult locations. Seed bombing is easier than guerrilla gardening in that it requires no digging and less planning. There’s also no need to tow your arsenal of garden tools along.

If you’re tired of passing by that patch of dirt filled with empty nip bottles and cigarette butts, here’s your chance to transform it. On your way to the train, just toss a few seed bombs in there!


making seed bombs

Seed Bomb Recipe

Takes about 30 minutes, makes 10 seed bombs

What you need:

  • 1 handful of flower seed – for our coastal environment, I recommend using Sweet William, Alyssum, Walker’s Low, Cornflower, Black Eyed Susan, Poppies or Cosmos. Northeastern wildflower mixes are often used as well.

  • 3 handfuls of Potter’s Clay powder (provides structural integrity for the bomb)

  • 5 handfuls of compost (provides moisture retention and nutrients for the seeds)

  • Water

  • Wooden spoon

  • A bowl

  • A baking tray

Instructions: Playing with mud is something the kiddos love, so get the whole family involved! Combine the clay, compost and seeds together in a bowl. Slowly add water, gradually mixing it together with a wooden spoon until you get a consistency that you can form into one inch balls.  Roll the mixture in the palm of your hand (just like making meatballs) and place it on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of your mixture. Place the seed bombs in a sunny location for at least 3 hours to dry. Time your attack to coincide with heavy rainfall. Then, drop the bomb!


My-Friends-Kieth-and-Naomi-Vittore-are-interested-in-becoming-guerrilla-gardeners.-They-were-on-board-to-help-and-get-their-hands-dirty! The formed seed bombs

tagged in diy, garden, gardening, rockaway