Here are a couple of ideas I'm using for plant markers. I have bent a piece of wire and preserved the original label inside the small zip-lock cover (upside down). It withstood one season to my full satisfaction - but alas! the seeds did not do well! :(
I went to the local party store & got pkgs of plastic knives in light colors (pink and white) you can write on them & stick them in the ground easily. Hope this helps.
Very nice. I have heard people using plastic spoons as well. But the important thing is the writing. It has to be weatherproof.
I ordered a bunch of wooden plant id spikes (shaped just like the plastic ones) and used my son's woodburning tool to burn the names onto them. Also have poured cement into small molds (e.g. old butter containers) and stamped the names in with letters I got at, I think, Hobby Lobby. You could also just write them in with a toothpick. Only for the ones I actually believe I'll have forever, of course! I've just done both of these, and don't know how long the wooden ones will last. I had originally used popsicle sticks and they didn't last a whole year.
I have used the plastic utensils ( prefer knives ) but the cheapest was old used vinyl blinds ( white or beige) cut into lengths and marked with a Sharpie.
I have been using a paint marker and they seem to last longer than sharpie.
I am not sure what a paint marker is. Can you please describe it and tell me where I can find one?!!! Also how long does paint marker last on plastic knives outside? Thanks!!!!!
A paint marker looks like a sharpie. You have to shake it to mix the paint and depress the point to get it to flow. I purchased mine at JoAnnes, I would guess that Michaels have them as well. The brand I have is "Painters". I can't tell you how long it will last on a plastic knife because I use venetian blinds cut up. I made some of each this spring and the paint ones look just like they did when they were new, the sharpie ones have faded. I also write on the back with pencil. Pencil seems to work the best, but I just can't believe it so I use one on each side. Some of the sharpie ones have faded beyond being able to read and the pencil on the back is fine.
They were used for identifying the winter sowing and then I used them in the garden so they have gone through one Minnesota winter.
As to how much paint is in one I can only guess I haven't run out yet.
Thank you so much Zenpotter! It sounds like the "painter" pen is the way to go. And I love that you are recycling old venetian blinds. I know that it won't be hard to find an old pair. It seems like every house has an old broken pair hanging out in the basement!!
Yes and it is hard to get rid of them. Before I found out about using them for plant markers I tried to give them to two different thrift stores and they wouldn't take them. I hate to just throw good stuff away.
The Sharpie does not last long enough. The paint pen is a great idea Thanks! A friend has picked up something very similar at the auto parts store, in colors. I may check that out instead.
Now I'm able to take a better picture. Here is what I made today - old one - cleaned and reused! I have been gifted a few bulbs from Birmingham, England, by my DD's friend who had returned home for vacation. She is aware of my gardening interests and she also presented me with a pair of gloves that has rubberized palms! I planted the bulbs today. Let me see if they come up.
I make labels on a label maker, as neither the garden pen, pencil or sharpies stayed legible after a rainy winter. The label maker labels have been excellent and are clear and have not faded after three years.
Could you please show us, sloldiersong? Sound nice, though we may not get them here in India.
I use a labelmaker too. Here's one of my old plant markers with a label made on my Brother Ptouch labeler. I use different markers now. I discovered that with this particular type, my dogs will kick the plates off and I may never find them. The markers I use now have holes in the plates and they slip onto the wire stakes. My dogs have yet to destroy them.
This is neat. I guess a cello tape protects the printed matter from weather.
While I use mini blind labels inside my WS milk jugs for ID..I would like to know if anybody is so organized that they might use labels made by a labeling machine on their plant markers? When I first started WS in 2009, I saw somebody's photos posted where they used yellow laminated labels with black ink and what a difference reading the labels. I'd like to get some of that laminated yellow tape and use it on my metal plant markers in my flowerbeds as well.
Can I see a show of hands of gardeners who have used their label maker to this purpose and if so, can you post a picture for us?
I use a labeling machine, but I use the clear labels. I don't have a picture but the labeling makes everything look so neat and organized. I use a Brother Ptouch labelmaker and I can set the font to different sizes. I like the bigger font so I can read it while standing up rather than having to kneel to see it. Visitors to my gardens love the markers because they see the name of the plants. Of course, in the winter, it looks like a plant cemetary with all the markers sticking up. LOL
That's what I want to do..The P-Touch that I am using is #1950..and I don't have the instruction manuel to it. My son has misplaced it in his house. I've told him where I think his partner would have kept it but I doubt if he's ever looked there..what does Mama know? I see the word font on the machine, but how do I get it to change fonts? I would like a larger print too. I use the metal plant markers outdoors but I noticed the garden marker pen that I use to write the name of the plant seems to fade after a few years. It says fine point but it surely isn't. I'd like to be able to write the date I planted the plants underneath the name of the plant. I only know flowers by common names, not botanical names. I recognize them sometimes but am not interested in learning the botanical names.
Thanks for your response. Haven't seen any pictures of your gardens in a while. Am anxious to learn what all you've done since last year. You were working on so many outdoor projects there for a while.
I tried writing with Crayons but it failed, with marker pens it failed. Paint-writing with a thin brush [it is art!] will work beautifully and it lasts long in all weather [here]. I did some last week when I repotted a few. Will take pictures and post here.
Finally, I made more of these painted labels and I've just posted a blog entry.
I also found a couple of my older pictures in this thread which I added.
That is a really great article, the pictures really show how much effort you put into this. I also have been frustrated with markers that fade away, the I forget what the plant is. going to try it this way.
Thanks risingcreek. As I have written in the post, it is really worth the effort.
I use mechanical pencils to mark vinyl mini-blind slats.
Big 0.07 mm lead or 0.9 mm lead for full-width slats.
Thin 0,5 mm leads when I cut the slats in halves or thirds so I can label rows in a plug tray, like a 128-cell plug tray.
Sometimes in the trays I abbreviate down to just a letter and a number, like "P 3" for the third petunia variety that year.
Haven't tried lead pencils. How well do they withstand the weather?
I used the think they lasted "forever", but then I saw that they did fade after 2-3 years.
I have a cloudy, overcast climate. If it is UV from the sun that makes them fade, they might not last as long in India. For me, they last longer than Magic Marke4rs or Sharpies. And they have a fine line that I think is easier to write legibly with.
Or should I say they make a finer line, with which it's easier to write legibly?
Ya, I understood what you wrote first, the 'fine tip' pen. I'll try the pencil thing - thanks, why I hadn't got that idea?! I tried the embossing on a thin aluminum foil. But we don't buy tins with that seal inside the lid. So they are not easy to find for me. This is the best method I guess as there is no danger of fading.
I didn't think of it either, until I read someone else's suggestion.
After trying many other items I use popsicle sticks which are very cheap and china markers. So far they have held up thru rain and the sprinklers.
Bonnie, could you kindly show us a picture of what you mention? It would be nice.
Someone mentioned paint pens so I did some looking online and found that Sharpie is making paint pens in about 10 colors. They have 2 kinds. One is water-based and the other is oil-based. I found both at Hobby Lobby for about $3 each. They make the pens in fine point and extra fine point. One is way too fine to read, but the other that is really like a felt tip, is just right. I got all kinds together and marked some of the yellow plastic markers. One with a reg. Sharpie Industrial "super permanent ink", one Sharpie "permanent marker", one Sharpie water-based paint marker, one Sharpie oil-based paint marker, one Pilot permanent type, one Garden Marker from DP Industries and something called AT-A-GLANCE. All of these were black. I then put all of these marked tags in the dish washer and they all got washed in hot soapy water 11 times in 2 weeks.
The Sharpie oil-based paint marker was by far the best, nothing changed, the Sharpie water- based paint marker seems to be water soluable and nearly disappeared as did the AT_A_GLANCE. The Pilot, the Sharpie Indudtrial and the others were still legible but not anything like the Sharpie oil-based paint marker. I am now starting over with all new ones outside to see what the sun does to fade them. This may take 2-3 months.
I suspect the Sharpie oil-based paint marker will probably excell in this as well. If it does all my other markers are going in the trash. I think this new paint pen is best by far. And now I know ,I'll let you know after the next test. I hope this will help someone, it has helped me.
I just got the DP Industries Garden Marker (xylene free) from a gardening site. I will be interested to see how it works for you in comparison with the paint marker. Sharpies don't last too well for me here but I've not tried the oil-based paint marker yet.
I used to use the Garden Marker from DP but then found the Pilot. It was an improvement but this Sharpie oil-based paint marker is so far superior to everything else. There is even a manufacturer of stainless steel components for the space program that is using the paint marker as not heat or cold or moisture and many chemicals could do anything to the marks. Anything that marks stainless steel has to be good. I even tried it this morning on a piece of chrome plated steel and no problem. I think this is the solution to marking all kinds of things. I'll let you know how fast the pen runs out....that is my next concern. I usually write 30-40 labels every day, Results later.
These pens are available at Hobby Lobby and Home Depot. And you know how hard it is to use a marker on ceramic. This thing works great there too.
An early report on the outside labels in the sun and water. The Pilot pen has completely disappeared in only 2 weeks. The Garden marker is badly faded. The Sharpie industrial is fading but still legible. As expected the new Sharpie oil-based Paint marker is totally uneffected. I'll let you know more in a month or so.