Temporary Markers: Nice Idea

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Temporary Markers

By Bonehead
November 5, 2013

Until a plant becomes firmly established, it is often good to mark where it is. I use flat river rocks to mark my newly planted mints, with a piece of driftwood in front of the rock so I know where to look for new growth in the spring.

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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Nov 5, 2013 6:18 AM CST
I like the river rock and driftwood idea. A very natural looking solution. I use small wood stakes that my husband made and stick them in the ground.
Vickie
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Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
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Skiekitty
Nov 5, 2013 9:06 AM CST
What I use are the little marker flags from Home Depot. Otherwise, I would just toss the rock or the stick outta the way! Have had to do this with little itty bitty roses in the past & they work great!
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Nov 5, 2013 9:09 AM CST
The rock and driftwood idea is good to jog the memory so we can check up on the progress of a new addition.

Vickie - my husband cut 8 to 10" lengths of cedar and that worked for markers for many years. They far outperformed the metal stakes with sharp edges that always managed to slash my ankles. The metal ones with rounded tops were better but still resulted in the dreaded "graveyard" look. Many years ago I decided on beach stones and a Sharpie. Even though they fade out and need a touch-up every few years, they look nicer than any other markers I've ever seen.

1. Japanese iris 'Japanese Pinwheel'

2. Japanese iris 'Innocence' will need doing over by next year - that will be four years from the original Sharpie writing.

3. Japanese iris 'Variegata' - the photo at the left was taken four years ago when I had just done the writing again, but at the right you can see how it has faded and could use rewriting. I carry the Sharpie in my tool basket so as I cut back the plants I use it.

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 5, 2013 9:41 AM CST
Pirl, your handwriting is beautiful on your beach stones, that looks very elegant but subdued. I use my stone/driftwood markers primarily for immature plants for their first season or two so I don't overlook them in the spring when they first emerge - the driftwood serves as a bit of a traffic cone (here I am) and the stone reminds me what to look for. In the case of the mints, I will likely keep them longer because I have planted several different varieties along the side of our barn and it is easy to mix them up.

I only use metal stake labels in my herb garden, primarily for visitors who want to know what all the different herbs are. I agree that they lend a bit of a graveyard look, especially over winter when things have died down. They also tend to get tangled in the weed-wacker when edging. Perhaps I'll redo the herbs with stones as well. Hmmm - winter project?

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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Nov 5, 2013 10:45 AM CST
Thanks, Deb. Glad I took the class in calligraphy at Adult Education 40 years ago! Writing on smooth stones is much easier than any other stones I've tried.

I really like your reasoning behind the use of the driftwood. Anything that helps jog our memories is good. I take photos as I divide plants and mark them with the date.

It really is a good winter hobby and only requires the stones and the pen! On some I added the year I bought them and a code for the company. Once the plants are well established I did not continue with that aspect.

How coincidental! I just found another Japanese iris photo, 'Greywoods Social Butterfly', and I did put a piece of driftwood next to it so I'd remember to check it.


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