On sidewalks all across town, new green-painted vending machines have us excited in a way we haven’t been since getting gumballs as kids. But instead of candy, these vending machines turn out non-edible seed bombs, little seed-and-soil nuggets designed to beautify barren patches of soil.

Greenaid Vending Machines sell inch-and-a-half spheres of semi-hardened soil, clay and wildflower seeds for 50 cents. As for how to use them—simply toss the pods into any outdoor space that is likely to get a bit of moisture and behold as the plants take root and sprout greenery in as little as a week.

Created by Culver City-based Commonstudio design group, the seed bombs add green to urban landscapes. Plus, they’re made by economically disadvantaged workers who benefit from their sale. 

There are a few dozen of the Greenaid machines at locations across our city (from the Whole Foods in Venice to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA), but home gardeners can also shop the online store, which sells seed-bomb ten-packs ($12) of salsa ingredients (tomato, cilantro and jalapeño) and plants known to attract birds, butterflies and bees (white yarrow, black-eyed Susan and forget-me-not). 

Mid-October is an ideal time for planting in our area, with summer heat abating and winter rains approaching. 

Why not try your hand at gardening with a no fuss, no muss toss of the wrist?

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