Daylilies forum: Dug up plants and misplaced plant labels

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 16, 2018 5:20 PM CST
I was just complaining that many of my seedlings will not have known parentage because the raccoons have dug up the plants and the labels and scattered them all over the garden this year.
So I am trying to come up with suggestions on how to solve the problem for next year. A few others were having the same problem, but with different causes.
I came up with this:
I just drew up a small tag: CDxBW This top line would have the cross info.
1-2-3 Example: Bed 1, row 2, and position in row 3


I think that would do it. I could put it on a small vinyl blind tag and wire it to the plant, not stick the tag in a row in the dirt. Then if the plant is dug up the tag (the majority of the time) would still be attached to it and could be put pack in place.
We would love to get some feedback, and know how others are handling the problems like this.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jun 16, 2018 5:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Spiders! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Jun 16, 2018 6:30 PM CST
Sounds like a good idea but wouldn't work for me. My seedlings can be quite small when I plant them. If the tag was tied to them it would either strangle the fan as it grew or would be too loose & fall off when the plant was dug up.

I'm guessing your seedlings grow much faster than mine so it might not be an issue for you.

I have a few seedlings that have lost tags but since I only plant 20-30 seedlings a year I can typically figure out the cross when they bloom. I have 3 now in a pot & am pretty sure I know the parentage of 2 since there was the only one tet cross. The other crosses were small dips & the fans are huge so I'm going with the tet. If the flowers are red (the tet cross was 2 reds) I'll be positive!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 16, 2018 8:26 PM CST
Yes securing the tag, so that it is tight enough to stay with the plant if dug up, yet loose enough to let it grow could be a problem. I'll have to think on that.
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Jun 16, 2018 10:40 PM CST
Would elasticized thread work? It would have some stretch to allow for growth, and should be tight enough to hold onto the plant... Tag each fan as a precaution?
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 17, 2018 8:57 AM CST
Good suggestion, the only way I know to find out is to try. I may be experimenting with several things next season(heck I have some very small seedlings started in the garden I can start experimenting with now). Would WalMart have elasticized thread? Does it come on a spool like regular thread?
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
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ShakespearesGarden
Jun 17, 2018 12:43 PM CST
Larry, thanks for the acorn!

Wal-Mart might have elasticized thread. If you have a Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann Fabric or Hancock Fabric store, you'd have a greater range of options, maybe different sized threads. I have seen elasticized yarns that would be thick enough.

I have no idea if it would come on a spool. I'd google it, but then I'd lose this whole post- dumb tablet...
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
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touchofsky
Jun 17, 2018 12:53 PM CST
I have bought this type of thing at Wal-Mart in the hobby/craft section. I used it to tie tags on items for a craft sale. It was gold, so it looked nice. It was heavier than thread. It came wrapped around a small piece of cardboard.
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Jun 17, 2018 2:15 PM CST
Yes, try the hobby/craft/sewing or beading section of WM, Micheals or any other craft store. I think that's a great idea--I'll have to incorporate that in my gardening. I have birds that frequently take off with my labels. Grumbling
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jun 17, 2018 4:06 PM CST
To accommodate growth, a 'wrap-around-the-plant' seedling tag could be a 3" or 4" diameter loop, and stuck to the ground with a twig at planting time. By the time the twig rots, the plant is large enough to hold the tag. I don't make a tag for every plant in a seedling bed.

My seedling beds are arranged with a "head end", I use one plant tag per cross, and the seedlings in that cross run from the tag until you come to the next cross tag, and so on. Pretty basic. A map is essential though - I've been saved so many times by a good bed map.

The markers I use are weatherproof, and depending on the stake material used, are about as critter-resistant as it gets. The tags are cut from aluminum soft drink cans, affixed to a metal stake made from 5/32" stainless steel or brass rod. In the absence of severe critter problems such as feral hogs, armadillos and other earth-movers, I use old bicycle spokes as stakes; they're almost all made from stainless steel, available free from bike shops. For something heavier, with more durability, search a scrap metal yard for 3/16" steel rod. Thick rods or stakes can have the tags attached by wire through a drilled hole, or just wrapped around and twisted. A 16-18" steel rod hammered into the earth isn't likely to go anywhere. If you have to buy stake material, steel rod is cheaper, and works fine, but will eventually rust. Surveyor's flag stakes are a good source of 'spring-steel' wire.

The soft, thin aluminum of soft drink cans allows the plant ID to be embossed into them using a cheap ball-point pen. I write on them using firm pressure, with a piece of cardboard underneath in order to allow the pen tip to emboss the metal deeply. The tags are disposable, but the stakes can be re-used indefinitely.

I got this idea from Curt Hanson, and it's what he uses for his acres of seedlings.
Thumb of 2018-06-17/CaliFlowers/3f2643

[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Jun 17, 2018 4:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 17, 2018 4:22 PM CST
My system was very similar, One marker at the front of a cross one starting at the next cross with a few shorter ones spaced in between. I did have a complete list of the locations in my plant list for them all. My flimsy little (6 inch and 4 inch) vinyl markers were easily dug up. That was not too much of a problem because I could tell pretty much by my list where to put the markers back. But with the plants dug up and scattered all over there was no way to know which marker went with which plant. So even with a map even if none of the markers has been disturbed, once the plants are dislocated and spread around matching them without an attached tag is impossible.
A three or four inch loop staked to the ground would have been of no use, being the loop and tag might still be there, but the plant would not be. I need a way to attach the tag firmly to seedlings when they are small and stay with them (preferably at least till they bloom and a photo can be made.) After they reach that size the bloom could, in most cases, ID the plant and it would not be so important to have the label attached to the plant itself.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jun 17, 2018 5:05 PM CST
I see what you mean now.

I had a dog that became infatuated with cross tags and would trash scapes while I was away. I eventually went with 4' cattle fence around some of my daylilies, a single electrified wire strung around the seedlings kept things fairly secure.

Is pest abatement an option? Seems as that might be the best long-term solution.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Jun 17, 2018 5:22 PM CST
BIRDS?! Blinking

Squirrels do it here. I map...

You can also put the name on one of those impressionable wire tags, wire it to the roots, and bury it with the plant. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L8R44H8/
It's daylily season!
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 17, 2018 5:39 PM CST
Marilyn ~ Those are nice tags. I was wondering next about labels for seedlings, as I don't want to use the permanent nice markers that I have for the other plants.

In the past, I have lost many daylily markers as they do not stay in place during the winter. This year I am going to try and identify as many as I can and give them "proper labels".

Thank You!
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 17, 2018 5:41 PM CST
Larry ~ I agree Once the plants are out of the ground...how can you tell which is which? The "stretchy-string" sounds like a good idea.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 17, 2018 5:48 PM CST
@Polymerous,
Now tying a tag to the roots may be a good idea. Something to try and experiment with. I think my small vinyl tag idea would still work for that also. I think my grease marker would stay on fine if the tags were underground, not sure. But as I stated before mapping in my situation and others, where the plants themselves are thrown around is of no help without a tag being on the plant itself.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 17, 2018 6:00 PM CST
@CaliFlowers
When I "Abate" one pest, he is replaced by another. I have only done the seedling thing really just this year. I suspected I might have a problem, just did not anticipate the extent of it. It seems the critters are not really after the plants, they are after the earth worms and grubs I suppose. I guess that becomes obvious when the plants are all found lying there on the ground. I did manage to save most of the plants, but it did cause a major culling much earlier than I was prepared for.
Name: Tabitha
Spring, TX (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Daylilies Amaryllis Hybridizer Butterflies
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madrid2000
Jun 17, 2018 7:51 PM CST
Most of my daylilies have come from a guy who used plastic tags tied around the base of the fan for all the DL he sold once a year. The kind he used are similar to the tags you find on fruit trees that are soft plastic "hang tree tags" and can stretch a little as the plant grows. They are long rectangles with a hole in one end so you can loop it around the plant and through the hole like a zip tie (but wider and softer plastic). It looks like on Amazon you can get 250 tags in different colors for $12. The sharpie writing did fade over time, but it should last long enough to evaluate your seedlings. When the fans started to multiply I would cut off the tag with a knife or scissors.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jun 17, 2018 8:17 PM CST
Of course, most of the new plants I get come with that ribbon like tag tied to them. I always remove it because I know the plants are going to out grow it. But, as you said it would not have to last till the plant was huge, just till it bloomed I think. That is a very good suggestion also. Very simple! I know it stays on the plants very well, because I have at times missed removing one and found it later still firmly attached. Don't remember how the writing looked however.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Image
Seedfork
Jun 19, 2018 12:48 PM CST
Today I cut up some vinyl blinds and made two inch long by one inch wide tags. I had a bunch of removed paper tags I had already collected (mostly where pods had not formed) and I will use those stings.
Thumb of 2018-06-19/Seedfork/84bce5
I drilled holes though the short tags (10 at time) and attached the string.Just looped it through the hole. The string will be attached to the plant by the other end, another loop just snugged a bit. The idea being that as the plant grows the loop will expand.
Thumb of 2018-06-19/Seedfork/7dc64f
Here is the tag attached to a small seedling: You can tell how small the seedling is compared to the two inch x 1 inch tag. Very unsightly looking.
Thumb of 2018-06-19/Seedfork/e0c3fc
So being the tag only needs to be seen if the plant is actually dug up and displaced, I just pushed it into the soil. This looks much better and the string loop should still expand as the plant grows.
Thumb of 2018-06-19/Seedfork/6bbb2d
I removed the tag and went to a seedling bed with larger seedlings to see how that would work. It went around the larger seedling with ease. So I think this might work, it will just depend on if the loop will actually expand as the seedling grows and if the string will not rot still the seedling is large enough not to need the tag anymore.
Thumb of 2018-06-19/Seedfork/51be21
So I found out it would work best for me to write the seedling number on the top of the tag, then turn the tag lengthwise and add the Bed, the Row, and the Placement in the row in a vertical row. Edited: See second photo.
Obvious already that this particular seedling has no resistance to leaf miner.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jun 20, 2018 7:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 19, 2018 1:46 PM CST
Seedfork said:.............if the string will not rot still the seedling is large enough not to need the tag anymore.


If you have access to the cotton string they use to sew up feed sacks, it will last for multiple years. I learned that by using the sacks under areas and then laying mulch over the layers of sacks. The sacks are mostly completely gone after one growing season, but years later those strings are still showing up undamaged. I thought that since they were cotton they'd rot quickly. Not so. Now when I use layers of sacks, I go to the trouble to remove the strings.
Donald

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