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Old Mini Blinds Make Great Plant Markers

By Horntoad
August 16, 2011

Old mini blinds make great plant markers. "Permanent" markers tend to fade in the weather, so use a pencil; it will last much longer and can be erased to reuse.

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Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
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Ridesredmule
Aug 15, 2011 6:13 PM CST
Thanks that was a great tip.....
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Aug 15, 2011 6:36 PM CST
This IS an excellent tip, and so much cheaper than the plant tags they sell at the store!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 15, 2011 6:38 PM CST
Ditto & AMEN!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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
Aug 15, 2011 8:02 PM CST
I agree. Pencil-on-plastic lasts longer than anything else. And you can erase and re-use them! Free to start with, and re-usable! The Price Is Right!

My handwriting is so terrible that I appreciate the fine line of a pencil as opposed to the wide smear of a Sharpie. I can print several lines of text on a mini-blind, even if I cut it in half first.

Sometimes I even cut a mini-blind slat into thirds lengthwise, so I can label single cells in a 128-cell plug tray. Not often - thirds are very skinny.

In fact, even a wooden pencil has a wider line than I like, so I use a mechanical pencil - it's always sharp. I have some "HB" lead, which is very slightly softer and maybe slightly blacker. I usually use a 0.7 mm mechanical pencil, though the finer 0.5 mm works too.

When I remember, I even mark the date I sowed, or the date I transplanted something.

Next time I see a custom blind shop, I'm going to ask for a bucketfull of their cut ends.

One thing that I think is overkill, though I do it anyway: I clean the slats with abrasive cleanser like Comet or Bon-Ami. I imagine that it gives them a slightly rougher surface, to take the pencil lead better. Silly! But clean.

However, don't make this mistake: washing mini-blind slats in a dishwasher can make them curl or bend permanently if the water is too hot or you enable the "heated drying" feature. Maybe that was because I wound them through the prongs in the rack to get more in and keep them from being thrown around by the spray, but never again!
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
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Christine27360
Aug 15, 2011 8:20 PM CST
I love this idea!! I heard this awhile ago and had a bunch of mini blinds I was throwing out -- well instead of throwing I was cutting cutting cutting!!! I have a bazillion markers!!! Thumbs up
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
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Samigal
Aug 15, 2011 8:34 PM CST
I've been using mini blinds for a while, great tip. I even found 2 mini blinds in the dumpster, nothing wrong with them, so I made a lot of markers for friends. Always on the lookout for more. Thumbs up
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 15, 2011 10:41 PM CST
Great tip, I love these too.
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
Aug 16, 2011 1:15 AM CST
P.S.

It goes without saying that the marker you used in a seedling tray can be re-used when you pot up, or transplant out.

But if you grow densely, lower branches may hide even a large marker in the ground. It will be more visible (some would say "ugly") if you punch a hole in that slat, thread some twine, and tie it around the stem or a branch of the mature plant.

If your soil is too stony or clay-ey to easily push mini-blind slats into it, hold the slat just 1/2" or 1" from the bottom and push slowly. Slide your grip up another tiny bit, and push that down.

When that isn't enough, grab 3-4 slats at once and push those in 1/2" to 1" at a time, maybe wiggling side to side, then pull out all but one. They keep each other from buckling.

When that isn't enough, get a long used knife from Goodwill, with a big fat handle. Shove that in the ground, wiggle slightly back and forth, and you've made a big opening for the plastic slat. Insert it, and press the soil back around it. The longer the knife, the less you have to bend over.

Corey
[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 15, 2011 8:20 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #131478 (8)
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
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gwhizz
Aug 16, 2011 2:57 AM CST
They are brilliant, but make sure you trim off the sharp corners 1st,.,.especially if you garden in a g-string, [as i somehow have been linked to] is'nt that right charlene,.,.,.,.No seriously, they can make a nasty wound,.,.anthony Smiling
lily freaks are not geeks!
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
Aug 16, 2011 3:01 AM CST
I LOVE this tip Thumbs up
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 16, 2011 4:29 AM CST
Sooooo, let's see, if you use a long machete then you won't hardly have to bend over at all. And you can trim up plants as you go! Sticking tongue out
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Dahlianut
Calgary, AB Zone 3a
NE Alumni
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dahlianut
Aug 16, 2011 5:51 AM CST
Fabby tip Thumbs up
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Aug 16, 2011 7:03 AM CST
Well Anthony, it has been a while since I wore a "string" in the garden but You can punch a hole in the mini blind label and hang it to the plant with a string... Sticking tongue out Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 16, 2011 7:24 AM CST
Hmmmm.... mini blind G-strings..... Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
Image
Ridesredmule
Aug 16, 2011 7:56 AM CST
Leave it to Anthony. That's why we love him.
Name: Jo-Ann
Zone 9a, New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member
JoAnn
Aug 16, 2011 8:00 AM CST
I finally used this tip this year to mark some varieties of adeniums. It worked wonderfully! It's one of those tips that have been around for a while & when I finally get around to using it I wonder why it took me so long.

I actually had to buy a small mini-blind from the dollar store. The recycle store didn't have any, nor the 2 "goodwill" type stores I went to. But for about $5, I have enough plant markers to last for years!!
Jo-Ann - Gardening in New Orleans
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Sheila_FW
Aug 16, 2011 9:15 AM CST
As we replace mini-blinds or I see them being trashed; I grab and cut them for plant markers. I bag them 250-300 and trade them for plants at the round-ups! Never seem to take enough.

In my yard I also can testify to the pencil being the last man standing too Horntoad!! One problem I have is one of my dogs made it her job to pull up all those little white things out of mama's flower beds Glare Thumbs down Now I have to bury them, so the string idea will work great in the future Rick. Thumbs up
[Last edited by Sheila_FW - Aug 16, 2011 4:16 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #131623 (17)
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Aug 16, 2011 10:12 AM CST
Ditto on the great idea! I've been doing this more years than I can count, mainly becus I'm such a miser. I get blinds from Wally-world for $3.95 each and can make quite a few hundred, usually cutting them up while watching a movie or something. Since I sell plants commercially you'll also find me sitting and hand-writing on them plant names/dates, etc.

One year I was lucky enough to get some blue colored ones in addition to the normal white ones. It was great because I could easily tell customers the ones with blue markers were $xx.00 and it kept me from having to price them all. Color coded! Yay!

And yep, pencil lasts much longer than most sharpie pens. If you use a sharpie (or even the "nursery markers" which also eventually fade) in your garden it helps to face the written side towards the plant so the sun won't hit it directly and fade the words.

Shoe (happily free of making markers and writing on them till next year!)
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
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Aug 16, 2011 10:55 AM CST
Same here Shoe...I go to Fred's (do you have those over your way?) and can get mini-blinds for a couple bucks, sometimes less. Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
Image
Horseshoe
Aug 16, 2011 11:32 AM CST
Nope, no Fred's here. (Well, except for Bert's brother, Fred, and those two I keep catching coming over here after the bars close, bringing straws and sip all the beer out of my slug bait saucers!)

But we have dollar stores so I should check there sometime.

Shoe (off on the hunt for the illusive whistlepig, daily!)

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