The Q&A Archives: Idea for Permanent (or nearly so) Plant Markers

Question: What's the matter with using plastic knives and a permanent black "majic marker" for those markers that M A J from Lizella GA was looking for in this month's magazine? It's cheap and easy and if it doesn't stay legible, who cares?

Answer: Thanks for the suggestion! If you are using markers for just the current season, as many vegetable gardeners do, that is certainly one option. Cheap and/or free, recycled if possible, are always a good choice where practicable.

In my experience in a garden of perennials, trees, shrubs, and veggies, however, simple plastic markers tend to heave out of the soil during the winter, become brittle over time when exposed to the elements, and snap off when I step on them by accident. I also discovered that most markers do fade over the course of a year or two. Hence the long-running debate over the best markers and inks to use!

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