I've got the same problem. I know put markers at the base of the plants and then photograph the flower beds labeling the photos by date. Still not fool proof, but I haven't gotten anything to last our weather, winter, etc.
On the other hand at a recent wine and cheese party, I learned that the best cheese identifiers are the metal flower markers.
Yes I take pictures regularly and take notes. But I confess I sometimes don't do that. Embossed metal should last forever!! If I could find something like that. It just never occured to me before. :) I wonder if there is a neat little device that embosses metal easily. Good idea to investigage this. Thanks
Well I just ordered some copper plant tags. The metal is soft enough that you can write on it with any blunt object such a a ball point pen - this will emboss it. Strong enough so it will, or at least should, hold up through the winter here (Chicago) Thank you to gasrocks for the suggestion. It was about $3.69 for twenty of them and it is a tag rather than a marker. It has a hole in one end so I can use a twist tie to fasten it on the plant. Not too tight and not too loose. This will be great. I have several plants that I planted last year or the year before and I do not have any idea what it is because the marker is faded out or simply destroyed. For some, plants that start anew every year, I will use the stake markers and they are $9.95 for ten. Oh, almost forgot to tell you where !! I ordered it from Home Harvest Garden Supply. They do take PayPal.
I have bought some metal aluminum two prong tags that you stick in the ground. I find them more of an issue than help.
In the fall when I have to rake the leaves off my beds I get the rake catching them all the time. In my "no man's land" garden where snow and salt are dumped all winter they got so bent that I could not see what I wrote on them.
This year I am thinking that I try replacing them with long plastic sticks and use just pencil or permanent marker I used on the metal ones.
Would love to know if any one is happy with what they do.
It is not a permanent solution but I use heavy duty, white plastic knives to mark my plants, I write the name on the bottom half of the knive so it is not exposed to the elements. They last for 3-4 years by which time many perennials need to be divided or I decide to move the plant(s) to a different location.
My main problem is not so much fading, because I think I use paint pen (tt's kind of like permanent marker but smells a bit more and lasts a lot longer outside), but the markers being bend over winter or lost in the fall when I am raking.
I've started replacing metal markers with plastic ones. Next spring I'll have something to report on.
Somewhere I've seen an idea for painting the names on rocks -- pretty natural looking, and should stay in place better than the typical marker (especially if you use a BIG rock, lol !) Mind you, I haven't actually tried this myself, but perhaps I will one of these days...
Digital pictures of the plant itself and also where it was put? Last place I lived I made up a map of the property. Took pix of each new plant (before planting,) another as planted and marked it on the map. Even took GPS coord of major items. New pix of items every season of each year. Notes on any deaths, major weather events. OK, overkill I suppose but I do not trust my brain to remember - the years do blend together.
These are the plant markers that I made. Next month I will start producing them in quantity. The tops are at a 45 degree angle. The short one is 6" tall and goes into the ground 6". The others are 12" and 18" and go into the ground 6". There is a spade at the bottom that helps push them inthe ground and keeps them from turning. They are 100% clear acrylic and solvent welded together.
Once the patent process is complete I will be offering them for sale on a website I am creating for them. They will be relatively inexpensive compared to anything else in size and quality. I will be designing other styles as well for people that prefer something a little fancier as well as a lower line which will make them cost even less.
They pretty much disappear in the plants while still allowing you to easily read the label. The way the sun catches them is nice too.
Franknjim..since the markers are acrylic, how will they stand up to the harsh winters we love so much in our part of the world? :)
I love the way they look and will be watching for them to come up for sale!
Acrylic is used in outdoors signs, windows, doors and many other things. It will not degrade. Freezing and thawing will not harm it. It is basically the same material as plexiglass. When pieces are solvent welded together, they become one because the acrylic liquifies at the joint then hardens once the solvent dries. Abrasives can scratch it just like a plexiglass window and some acylic can haze over a long period which is microscopic cracks that do not effect the structural integrity of it.
I've saw on another forum that the lady uses bright yellow laminated tape with her P-touch labeler. Easy to see on metal plant stakes. I would imagine it could also be used on that acrylic marker. Has anybody ever used the colored marker paint to mark your flowerbeds off before planting? I've been tempted to try that as a guideline, where to plant what plant. I don't know what it cost. Just a thought! Do you think I'll remember it come planting time? LOL! Too much clouding this noggin!
I've been using a the P-Touch label maker with the laminated tape on metal markers, and they have been holding up very well over the winters. I'm interested in these new acrylic markers that you are going to sell franknjim. The metal markers rust over time. I hate the ones that you slide the metal plate on to wires. They completely bend over and are ruined after one winter. The snow is too heavy for them. A question for enya_34 and duck_toller. Do you think we are zone 4 or 5. I live on the west side of Madison, close to Middleton. I look at maps, and they say that we are zone 5. I have lost some plants that were zone 5. I usually stick to plants that are zone 4. I think we are really zone 4.