Seeds forum: Don't use wooden popsicle sticks for labels

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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 24, 2010 6:43 PM CST
I thought I had a bright idea and tried this last year. Easy to write on, come in different colors, easy to cut in 1/2 for small size and cheap from the dollar store.

Don't Do It!! They mold from the dampness, especially if you have the under the dome during germination

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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
Seed Starter Herbs Vegetable Grower Cut Flowers Butterflies Birds
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mom2goldens
Feb 24, 2010 6:48 PM CST

Moderator

I tried it too--the ink smeared and ran once the wood got damp. Plastic is now the way to go.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 24, 2010 6:50 PM CST
What DOES work great and are reusable are the white plastic plant labels. I use an extra fine opaque paint pen by DecoColor from Michael's Crafts (they usually have a coupon for 45% one item)

It is a Glossy Oil Base Paint Marker. Does not fade or peel off. Works great on labeling milk jugs for winter sowing too.

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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 24, 2010 6:52 PM CST
For bigger stuff that you want the label to be there the entire season for stuff like tomatoes, I use a labeling machine Brother P-touch

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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Feb 24, 2010 6:55 PM CST

Moderator

I tried wooden markers once years ago- never again, for the same reason Joanne mantioned. I use the Deco paint pens and plastic labels, too.

Karen
Name: Barbara
North Pole, Alaska
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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chocolatemoose
Feb 24, 2010 7:26 PM CST
I can recommend this vendor. Have ordered from them three times. The third time I ordered enough that I s/b good to go this year....Don't know how they compare price-wise, but they were good when I started ordering from them, so I never bothered to comparison shop again. They also sent a little pack of several different labels with each order which let me try some options I was not familiar with and liked.

http://woodlandcreeklabels.com/index.html
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
Seed Starter Herbs Vegetable Grower Cut Flowers Butterflies Birds
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mom2goldens
Feb 24, 2010 7:40 PM CST

Moderator

Our Master Gardener's group uses 1" wide labels, so you can fit lots of info on there. Last year, for one of our demonstration beds, I used ink-jet address labels to print my plant information on. I affixed each address label to one of the plastic labels, and covered them with clear packing/mailing tape. The labels held up all summer, even through all of the rain we had. I was able to save virtually all of them for reuse this year.

I also like the P-touch labels, and just used them for the first time in my garden last year. I affixed the P-touch labels to the metal garden stakes. So far they look great. I was able to find the industrial-strength P-touch cartridges, so they should hold up better against fading and weather. For my seedlings, I use 4" plastic labels marked with a Sharpie--inexpensive and quick. Will have to look at the paint-pens at Michaels.
Name: Teri
Mount Bethel, PA
Charter ATP Member Region: Pennsylvania Hibiscus Container Gardener Clematis Region: Northeast US
Annuals Echinacea Winter Sowing Seed Starter Lilies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Roses_R_Red
Feb 25, 2010 6:24 AM CST
I bought 2 sets of white mini blinds at a flea market. They are easy to cut to any size and the paint pens work great on them. Now I've got hundreds of plant markers (blinds cost $2.00).

Does anyone know a down side to using these?

They are all under the cups where I start them on windowsills. We have some shelves and lights downstairs in the basement. I just shove them at the end of the area where the seeds might be sharing a domed starter or in a general area if I'm using roasting pans.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Feb 25, 2010 9:04 AM CST
Coloured plastic toothpicks can be used to differentiate the plants in a tray.
I record in a journal what each colour stands for.

Outdoors the clear plastic knives for picnics can be used and they are not as obtrusive as white ones.
Name: Teri
Mount Bethel, PA
Charter ATP Member Region: Pennsylvania Hibiscus Container Gardener Clematis Region: Northeast US
Annuals Echinacea Winter Sowing Seed Starter Lilies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Roses_R_Red
Feb 25, 2010 9:18 AM CST
Karen,

great site for seed info!!! Thanks so much.

Teri
Name: Chris
NW Pa, Near Lake Erie
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Ladygardener1
Feb 25, 2010 3:50 PM CST
Teri, I also use the mini blinds. There is talk that imported mini blinds from Asia or Mexico, contained lead. The lead would leach out over time with sun exposure and appear as a dust. I remember that on the old larger blinds that mom had in her home. When you dusted them there was a lot of white powder on the dust rag.

Anyways, I use the mini as plant markers and just write on them with a pencil. I discovered that the writing, if not rubbed will stay on. I pull out the tags at the end of the season and just make new ones each year.
Name: Emily
Mid-Cape Cod, MA. zone 7a
Charter ATP Member
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CapeCodGardener
Feb 26, 2010 9:19 PM CST
Teri, I have also used the miniblinds for plant markers, after I took down a bunch of old blinds ifrom my windlws and wanted to recycle them in some way. Like Chris, I read that they may contain lead if imported from Asia or Mexico. I would not have used these for herbs or veggies, but for other annual and perennial seeds they didn't seem to cause any trouble.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
Seed Starter Herbs Vegetable Grower Cut Flowers Butterflies Birds
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mom2goldens
Feb 26, 2010 9:29 PM CST

Moderator

What great ideas from everyone. I never thought of things like the colored plastic toothpicks or plastic knives. And what a great way to recycle mini-blinds. Excellent ideas!
Name: Veronica
zone 5b
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Art Cut Flowers Butterflies Bulbs
Region: Indiana Irises Hummingbirder Clematis Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover
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indygardengal
Feb 26, 2010 9:47 PM CST
Cut yogurt cups into strips and write on with a pencil. For some reason pencil works and lasts all season.
Veronica
My attitude determines my altitude
A truly wise person uses few words; a person of understanding is even- tempered. Proverbs 17:27
Name: Emily
Mid-Cape Cod, MA. zone 7a
Charter ATP Member
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CapeCodGardener
Mar 1, 2010 2:03 PM CST
Wow, I never thought of using yogurt cups cut into strips. My main problem with using cut-up parts of white plastic milk jugs is that they are kinda curled up and somewhat hard to read. Wouldn't the yogurt cup strips be even more curly? Or should I just grin and bear it? LOL
Name: Donna
Running Springs, CA
Zone 7
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mtngirl
Mar 1, 2010 3:50 PM CST
Last year, I bought a miniblind and cut it into strips. I didn't have an old one and it was very inexpensive at Lowes. Then, like MOM2, I printed the info on Avery labels and put them on the strips. I covered them with an all purpose Scotch tape. At the end of the summer, they looked brand new. And it was easy and quick.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Mar 1, 2010 4:16 PM CST

Moderator

Yogurt cups don't really curl. But they do kind of look like little gravestones in a cemetery.

Karen

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Name: Emily
Mid-Cape Cod, MA. zone 7a
Charter ATP Member
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CapeCodGardener
Mar 1, 2010 7:52 PM CST
LOL, Karen. I wish I could show you how much of MY garden looks like a small-scale graveyard covered with little white gravestones (white plant markers.) I know about other, more elegant ways to mark my various seedlings, but I never really get around to trying them. Though this year I HAVE ordered some aluminum markers that I have to figure out how to write on, for a special garden I put in last fall in honor of my father. The "gravestones"I used so far have lasted over the winter, but I'd like to have something a bit better, since it's a garden of specially named seedlings and I'd like to have the markers stay for a while!
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
Seed Starter Herbs Vegetable Grower Cut Flowers Butterflies Birds
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mom2goldens
Mar 1, 2010 8:22 PM CST

Moderator

Emily, last year I ordered the aluminum markers and used my p-touch label maker to put labels on the markers. They actually make an industrial-strength p-touch tape; so far, they've made it though a summer and winter with no peeling or fading. My aluminum markers are the long, vertical ones; somehow the horizontal ones get dislodged too easily by the dogs.

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Mar 1, 2010 8:32 PM CST

Moderator

Emily, those yogurt cups actually last longer than you think. I was very sick most of the summer of 2006, the first year I wintersowed. I had sown all of these seeds and cut up the stupid yogurt cups, then I got sick after having planted out very few. I had 3 major abdominal surgeries in 3 months. My husband felt bad that I had started all these plants then couldn't plant them. He planted almost all of them. He make some plant markers and left them in the flower bed for me to find later. I've left them there ever since. This past summer, 3 years after having them placed there, they looked liked this. This is black paint pen on cut up yogurt cups 3 years later.

This is what happens when husbands help.

Karen

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