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No More Fading Labels in Your Garden

By critterologist
April 27, 2012

For no-fade labels, use an Industrial Sharpie Marker (more UV resistant than a standard Sharpie, which will fade in the sun). An oil based paint pen also works. This is especially important on those winter sowing jugs, so you don't end up with thousands of mystery seedlings!

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Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
[url=www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.co
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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LabourofLove
Apr 27, 2012 2:08 PM CST
I've had longer-term use out of artist's pencils. They're very dark and don't fade at all.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche
Name: Laura Eiras
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Cat Lover Ferns Hostas Lilies
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Alabama
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Ditchlily
Apr 27, 2012 2:16 PM CST
One nice thing about the oil based pens (AKA China marker) is that they clean right up with a bit of oil and you can re-use a label.

Just realized that you may have meant the oil based Paint pens like the Sharpie Paint or the DecoColor pens. They last a long time too.

Even pencil will work better that the regular Sharpie.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Apr 27, 2012 2:30 PM CST
Oil based paint pens work, but I find them to be a bit of a bother to use in terms of getting the paint flowing well, and pencil just doesn't write dark enough to be easy to read on many surfaces.

I really did mean Sharpie marker -- but look for INDUSTRIAL Sharpie, not regular black "permanent" sharpie. I have some milk jugs that were labeled 2 or 3 years ago and are still perfectly readable. Rubbing alcohol cleans most Sharpie marks off most surfaces.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
[url=www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.co
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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LabourofLove
Apr 28, 2012 7:34 AM CST
Yes, regular pencil is hard to read. Artist's pencils are MUCH darker.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche
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
Apr 28, 2012 8:10 PM CST
I use the sharpies.Thanks for the alcohol tip!
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Apr 29, 2012 9:37 AM CST
Anna, if you use "regular" sharpies, be sure to get your hands on one of the "industrial" ones. You'll be amazed.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Maxine
Cumming, GA (Zone 7a)
Lilies Garden Photography Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Amaryllis
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maxxtenn
Apr 30, 2012 6:53 AM CST
Thanks for the tip about INDUSTRIAL markers. I have never seen them for sale. Please give me a clue where I might find these to purchase them.
Maxxtenn
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Apr 30, 2012 9:30 AM CST
I first found them at Office Depot... so try an office supply store, and if that doesn't pan out, try Amazon. I've been buying them by the dozen from there for the past several years (I give them away, or I lose them, at any rate it seems I need a new box each spring LOL).

http://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Industrial-Permanent-Markers-1...

Amazon has a pretty good price on them right now (both the fine and extra-fine point ones (less than $1 each if you get a dozen)... especially good if you're on Amazon Prime for free shipping... not sure if they're still doing free ship on orders over $25, but if so, get some silver metallic sharpies too. :-)
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.

georgegobble
Apr 30, 2012 4:10 PM CST
I learn the hard way NOT to use a regular permanent??? marker. I marked some winter sow milk jugs with them now I don't know what tomato plants are which. I will get the Industrial markers next time. Thanks for the tip!!!
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
Feb 26, 2014 4:34 PM CST
I've seen several people suggest double-labeling WS jugs. Put one label INSIDE the jug so the sun doesn't fade it.

I agree that normal 0.5 mm mechanical pencils make a faint mark, but the wide-lead ones make a darker mark (like 0.7 mm or 0.9 mm).

The mark is still nowhere near as dark as any Sharpie, but I have bring the label close to my glasses anyway to read it.

I've tried HB and B lead, but the softer lead smears a little if I rub it.

Oh! Oh! I just found a cheap 1.3 mm pencil!! $4 for 8 mechanical pencils!

http://www.officemax.com/office-supplies/pens-pencils-marker...
"Paper Mate Mates 1.3MM Mechanical Pencils"

Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
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critterologist
Feb 26, 2014 9:57 PM CST
Thanks! I think those wider pencils will be great for any number of things... main issue I have with most mechanical pencils is that the point is just too fine.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
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
Image
RickCorey
Mar 3, 2014 12:44 AM CST
>> main issue I have with most mechanical pencils is that the point is just too fine.

Many MANY years ago I treasured my 0.5 mm and 0.3 mm mechanical pencils (can you tell I was always a nerd?

Now the 0.3 mm lead snaps when I get NEAR the paper, and I use 0.7 most of the time because I snap 0.5 mm so often. I use the 0.9 mm pencils for plant labels unless I have a lot of info for a small label.

Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
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critterologist
Mar 3, 2014 8:40 AM CST
I'm going to look for those wide mechanical pencils... Amazon, maybe? When I sharpen a "regular" pencil, I try not to get the point too fine... or I look in the drawer for one worn halfway down. :-)

I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
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
Image
RickCorey
Mar 4, 2014 12:22 AM CST
I did some online searching and found several specialty sites with matching "special" prices. But nice, steel-and-plastic drafts-person mechanical pencils that would last for decades.

Then I was in some "everything" drug store and found 0.9 mm plastic pencils - a bag of 10 for less than $10 if I recall.

(But one bag of cheapies like that was around 30% defective: the lead-gripping mechanism slipped if you pressed hard. I forget whether the "bad bag" was 0.7 mm or 0.9 mm.)

It wouldn't surprise me if some office supply stores had the 0.9 mm size at a reasonable price and quality point. They do make even thicker leads "for children". But my bad handwriting already fills up a mini-blind slat without 1.2 or 1.3 mm lead.

Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
Mar 5, 2014 11:10 PM CST
I just got the ones I ordered from amazon -- Paper Mate "Mates" 1.3 mm mechanical pencils, a pack of 8 with brightly colored barrels, $5, ships free as an add-on item.

I didn't realize when I ordered them (although it's in the description) that the slightly plump barrels are also triangular... very comfortable to hold and less likely to roll off the table.

I haven't done much with them yet but really do love the way they write. Can't comment on durability, but they feel solid, and all of their mechanisms worked fine out of the box.

I'm really pleased to have a mechanical pencil I actually like!!

Thank You!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
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
Image
RickCorey
Mar 5, 2014 11:33 PM CST
Great!

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