I have moved multiple times and added and split perennials to each flower garden. Sadly, after tending to a variety of gardens, I have had trouble keeping track of what's been planted and where.
My solution? When plants are at their peak, I write with a sharpie on white plastic knives, the name of the plant and when it blooms. I stick the labeled knife in the center of the plant so I can easily locate my investment each spring and summer. I have used this trick for over 18 years and haven't lost a plant yet!
Our kids each planted a garden this year and I thought it would be helpful if they had plant markers. I had some oversized craft Popsicle sticks and thought they would make good markers.
Approximate Time: 15 minutes
large Popsicle sticks (for crafts)
clear nail polish
Find the letter stamps that you need to spell out your plant or vegetable name. Stamp the name onto the craft stick. Allow ink to dry for a few minutes. To protect them from the rain, I coated the stamped area with clear nail polish. This was a perfect solution and it was easy for them to do on their own.
Tip: I couldn't find a stamp pad, so I had them use washable markers and color on the stamps instead. It works great!
There must be hundreds of things you can use for seedling and plant labels. Here is yet another. I save all plastic labels that come with bedding plants. I clean them a bit and store them in a baggie along with a roll of good masking tape (Suretape is one), and a permanent marker.
When I need a label, I just wrap a double layer of tape around the top of the old marker (pressing firmly) and write the seed name and planting date on the tape with the permanent marker. The labels hold up well for the whole season.
Natural looking yet practical plant identifiers, easy to make and waterproof to boot!
Materials and Equipment:
a large, relatively flat smooth stone, at least 3 or more inches in diameter
a Sharpie waterproof marker
Before you start, clean and dry your stone completely.
In attractive script (you may want to practice first on a piece of paper) write the common name or the scientific name of the plant you want the marker to identify.
Allow the ink to dry completely before placing it in the garden. The marker is waterproof, but if it is placed in a sunny location, you may want to redo your marker after a year of two. Fortunately they are quick and cheap to make!
Save those plastic knives from your picnic to make durable row markers. Mark plant variety and planting date with permanent marker. Push knife with handle side in the ground. These can be used year after year.
One of the most difficult things to find for the garden is plant markers that hold up to the seasons. After experimenting for decades, I have many suggestions.
Use the professional Sharpie marker (not the standard) and write on rocks. It doesn't interupt the serenity of the garden, like sharp pointed metal stakes which break as well as have labels fall off. The rocks supply the Feng Shui movement and balance to the garden. The marker will hold up for 1 full year, then you need to rewrite the plant names.
I got tired of rewriting plant names and started using acrylic paints on the rocks. I would use the colors of the flowers and eventually painted the flowers on the rocks as well. This works great for the seasonal color themes in the gardens.
When I swap plants with friends and organizations, I use Venetian blinds cut to 3" length and write the name and description of the plant.
Out of used Venetian blinds? Use plastic silverware or slice up disposable parishable food lids. A sharpie works fine on these types of plastic.
If choice 3 and 4 are not tasteful enough for the function (rarely the case, most true gardeners are into recycling and saving the planet) take a photo of the flower when it is in bloom and attach to the pot. I do this one when it is a token gift for a lovely luncheon or garden tour.
If you do not have photos of the plants in bloom, cut a photo out from a flower catalog and attach to the pot. Happy Gardening!
Instead of buying plant markers go to your hardware store and ask for a bundle of shims. These are very inexpensive wooden slats and have plenty of room to use a permanent marker to write the name of the plant.
Use old forks as garden markers. Simply "weave" your seed packets through the tines on forks you no longer use. Stick them in the garden to mark your rows. Even plastic forks could be used, but be sure they are firmly pushed in the ground.
If you take a short length of 1/2 inch water pipe and cut it lengthwise about 1/4 inch with a hack saw and then cut one side in to your cut, it gives you a curved embossing tool. Making a straight embossing tool is easy. Any piece of metal with the same thickness as your curved tool will do.
Then you can lay the aluminum or galvanized flashing that you will be using onto a few layers of leather and punch in whatever names you need. A sharp rap with a small hammer is enough to produce a precise indentation.
It is a good idea to write the word onto the tin with blackboard chalk or pencil beforehand. You don't need a complete letter set. All letters are built from straight or curved sections. You can use the tags with the writing just indented, or fill the indented areas with a contrasting color.
Exterior lacquer is good for many years, foundation tar is good for 50 years.
I have already submitted a couple of ideas for plant labels. This is my absolute favorite.
Cut old, one inch mini blinds into five inch strips. Taper one end. Just write the plant name and plant date on them with a pencil or marker.
If you want protection from the elements for a while, you can do as I've done here. Place a strip of opaque cello tape at the top of the marker. Write on that. Then cover that with a strip of clear tape.
The tape (and writing) can be removed and the label can be reused for several years.
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Here are questions related to Homemade Plant Markers.
I could kick myself. My neighbor just threw out a set of the thin plastic blinds. The bulk trash was a week late picking up trash. In my heart I knew that there was something about those blinds that I could use. never the less I do have several milk jugs that I did some failed experiments (cut holes in them) and I still have them. Thanks