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Cheap and Plentiful Plant Markers

By Tom
April 7, 2013

I needed plant markers to keep track of all the new seedlings I started this year. I was tired of my old method using popsicle sticks. They tend to mold, and when they get moist the words run together and blur. So, I had the idea of using an old rinsed out milk jug. I cut it up into small strips, and now my words will stay clear and no more moldy popsicle sticks!

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 7, 2013 6:23 AM CST
That is a good idea.
You can cut up any plastic cups etc. and get colored ones too.
I still like the old popsicle sticks too, but I soak them in diluted peroxide solution first.
Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Canning and food preservation Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Roses Region: Michigan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Composter I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Apr 7, 2013 6:29 AM CST
Slats from old mini blinds
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Bromeliad Butterflies Canning and food preservation Bulbs Birds Vermiculture
Dog Lover Cat Lover Winter Sowing Bookworm Ponds Vegetable Grower
Apr 7, 2013 6:38 AM CST
I also do the same but use a large white margarine tub and write on what would be the inside which is solid white.

The lettering doesn't fade or smear when I use a #2 pencil. This year I am using one of those heavy carpenter pencils and it works even better.

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Heucheras Winter Sowing Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
Ferns Bee Lover Cottage Gardener Garden Procrastinator Clematis Birds
Apr 7, 2013 9:09 AM CST
The good thing about these is some light can get through to the plants since they are somewhat transparent. That won't happen with the mini blinds. That would be really helpful especially with smaller plants or plants that need lots of light.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
Apr 8, 2013 7:43 PM CST
Someone mentioned on a forum of a couple of years ago that the white plastic picnic knives work well as temporary markers.
Name: crystal lupton
north wilkesboro ,nc (Zone 7a)
Garden Art
Apr 9, 2013 11:55 AM CST
my mom uses clorox jugs cut into strips . i don't have the patience to do that so for now i am using popsicle sticks .
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Apr 10, 2013 11:56 AM CST
Recycle, recycle, recycle! Great idea! I also liked the one utilizing soda cans, but I'm a bit afraid of cutting myself on the edges. Here in Arizona anything plastic dries up and either disintegrates or shatters, usually within a year or two.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.

Name: crystal lupton
north wilkesboro ,nc (Zone 7a)
Garden Art
Apr 10, 2013 9:30 PM CST
for those of you that use popcicle sticks they make an indoor / outdoor spray varnish . just a light coating will keep your plant name from fading off . comes in a can like spray paint . a little goes a long way .
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 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.
Sep 30, 2013 11:50 AM CST
I also use the plastic mini-blind slats and mark them with pencil. I like mechanical pencils because they are always sharp. I have pencils for 0.7 mm wide lead, and a few for 0.9 mm wide lead. I see that there are even some 1.3 mm mechanical pencils made!

When I use them in insert rays or propagation trays with small cells, I cut them in half lengthwise. I like the way the curved slats lay flat against the walls of circular cells.

When labeling a 128-cell tray (8x16 cells, with "ribs" in the small square cells), I cut the slats into thirds so they fit more neatly into the cells.

I also plan the heights of the mini-slat labels to be uniform, about 2" taller than the depth of the cells. That way, I can drape Saran Wrap over the tray instead of a clear humidity dome. That way I can uncover half the tray while keeping the other half at 100% humidity.

I have a roll of 18" Saran Wrap that I hope lasts the rest of my gardening career!
[Last edited by RickCorey - Mar 7, 2014 6:09 PM (+)]
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