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Indestructible Plant ID Tags

By ShadyGreenThumb
September 2, 2012

This idea is all over the gardening web, but here is my visual interpretation for tagging those tiny cuttings that all gardeners like to share.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Sep 1, 2012 6:03 PM CST
Thank you! Thumbs up
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Sep 1, 2012 6:12 PM CST
Love the step by step and precautions. Thanks!
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
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CDsSister
Sep 1, 2012 6:47 PM CST

ingenious I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Sep 1, 2012 8:05 PM CST
Great tip. I will be using this one. Thumbs up
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Sep 1, 2012 8:42 PM CST
Does it matter what surface is under the aluminum when you write on it? When I try this I'll try some old "anti-static mat" that the electronics assemblers discarded at work. It's medium-soft.

If I didn't have that, I can't think what would be a good yielding surface. A stack of newspapers?

Have you ever tried to fill the groove with ink or paint? I suppose it would flake of smooth metal pretty fast.

Usually I use a white plastic mini-blind slat and write on it with a 0.9 mm mechanical pencil. A mechanical pencil is always sharp! The wide lead makes a darker mark and doesn't break as often under my clumsy fingers.

I cut them 1/2-wide or 1/3rd wide when labelling 6-packs in a 72-tray, or rows in propagation trays with 50 or 128 cells. The narrow plastic slats stand up like tiny tent-poles and support Saran Wrap off the surface of the soiless mix. It's cheaper than humidity domes for me since I have a roll of 18" plastic food film (that's a lifetime supply!)
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 1, 2012 8:51 PM CST
A somewhat soft surface below the tag helps as you are actually indenting the lettering. Ink as shown in the last picture would eventually wear away, but it looks pretty nice if you can get it to stay. It takes some pressure so it would not be good to your expensive pen. I used an old Bic. Did you see the added hint I wrote in the comments section?

I can't get pencil, Sharpy, or pen to stay on through watering. But I have never written on blinds. I hear paint pens do a good job of staying on, too.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 2, 2012 10:00 PM CST
>> Did you see the added hint I wrote in the comments section?

Was that point #11, a little ballpoint ink stays in the indentation for a little while?

The only paint pens I found had much too wide a line for my taste, even the ones called "fine point". Also, when I tried using paint pens to re-mark keys on my PC keyboard, it flaked off in less than a day. But those are pretty glossy plastic and I do hammer on them pretty hard.

I always thought that the blinds I'm using now have a very slightly matte or roughened surface that takes pencil well, especially a wide lead. They were old and dirty when I got them. So I washed them with Comet cleanser (abrasive) and then put them through a dishwasher. That may have made the surface more receptive to penc il,l or the old plastic might have become porous with age. I found a spare set of b linds for when these run out, and it seems to have a very c lean glossy surface. Maybe I should test it out!

I think that embossed aluminium has to be the longest-lasting label. I think they've found undissolved aluminum cans that had been sitting outdoors ever since aluminum cans were invented! If acid rain attacks them at all, it sure doesn't do it fast enough to detect.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 2, 2012 10:14 PM CST
Rick here is the additional comment I wrote. If you do this, you don't have to worry about ink at all, just need a soft surface to imprint like the original way.

The thread "Cheryl Says: Another Hint for This Project" in Indestructible Plant ID Tags
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 2, 2012 11:56 PM CST
Thanks, I did read that thread.

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