Nothing is worse that looking at a plant in your garden and saying “What is that?”.
Next worse thing is to plant thinking that you’ll know what that plant is next year.
I’ve taken to labeling all of the plants in my gardens so that I always know what they are. This also benefits visitors in that they can easily see what the plants are, and they don’t have to ask me! It also helps me when my memory slips a little. I know, I’m giving away my age.
There are a lot of things that can be used for plant markers. One that I use frequently when I’m sowing seeds in six-packs is cut up plastic containers. The big tubs for margarine are ideal. Just get a large pair of scissors and cut the bottom off and then cut it up into sticks one to two inches wide. Write on them with a permanent marker and you’ll know what’s in those six packs when the begin to sprout … or don’t begin to sprout.
They work OK in the garden too, although they are certainly not the most attractive markers you could make. Look around your house, there are no doubt a lot of things you can use for plant markers. One very elaborate item I read about was old spoons. This person actually said to use “antique spoons”. I’d think they would be a bit pricey, but certainly you can find “old” spoons at a flea market or tag sale. Their method was to hammer the spoon out flat and then use steel punches to spell out the name. The punches are available, but again, to assemble an entire alphabet is going to run up the bill. Of course technically they will last forever. I like the free, or next to free, things around the house to use.
I’ve used paint sticks, you know, those paddles they give you when you buy paint. They work great although outdoors they tend to weather fairly quick. Wedges used by carpenters to level cabinetry and fill in spaces in doorways and windows work well too. They also will weather.
I saw someone using clothes pins. They wrote right on the wood handle of the clothes pin and then pinned the tag to a stick or rod pushed into the ground. I read of another who printed the name out from their computer and then taped it onto the clothes pin with clear tape. That is a nice idea although it won’t weather well either.
A new idea came to me this past year and the timing could of of been better. Use old venetian style blinds as plant markers! I was painting the house and replacing the blinds we had. I had a mix of both aluminum and plastic. They both work perfectly. Simply cut the strings and remove. Then you can cut the slats down to whatever size you need. Cut them long enough to go all the way into the pot you will use it on, and then long enough to stick up far enough to be seen, and to hold the name you will write on it. I cut most of mine in half making them about the right size to use. These are great in the garden too. One set of blinds will supply you with a lot of plant labels! This is one of those great ideas for recycling that come along from time to time.
I ran into this while going through gardening information online. This looks great and like a lot of fun, with great results, although it must be a bit time consuming. Have a look at these plant markers. Does this lend itself well to your backyard garden? Wood branch and sticks plant markers