24 Carrot Rabbitry

City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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Mildly humorous garden labels :)

Having to take a map with me anytime I wanted to know exactly what was where in the garden was getting a little old, so I wanted to label the plants.  At the nursery, they had some garden labels you could buy for about $4.50 a pack, with what looked like about 20 in a pack.  I have 100 squares in my garden… am I going to spend $25 just so I can label them all?!?  Uh… no.

So I poked around for some other ideas.  There are plenty of ideas around.  Like cutting up an old mini blind.  I didn’t have an old mini blind, so that was out.  Or plastic forks or knives.  Hey… I’ve got those.  Not 100, but I had almost enough to label all the stuff I’d planted.

So I got them out, and found a piece of fine sandpaper, and a fine-tipped Sharpie.  I sanded the handles of the forks until they were no longer shiny, wiped them with a paper towel, then wrote on them.

It is a little humorous that I'm using forks to mark plants that are growing food... at least I think it's a little funny.

I carefully slid the forks into the front right corner of each square.  For the squares around the sides, I put the forks in a couple of inches away from the side, being careful to try not to place them too close to a plant, or where I expected a plant to emerge.

Everything that we planted from seed (or clove, in the case of the garlic) got marked with a fork.

Now I just have to see how well the Sharpie will hold up in the sun.  I may need to get a paint pen or something.


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12 Responses to “Mildly humorous garden labels :)”

  1. ladysown says:

    just so you know…having done the mini blind thing and the popsicle stick thing for labeling. It’s amazing how fast the sun bleaches out the marker. :) RED works better than black for some strange reason, and green is just horrid. :)

    • Miss M says:

      I thought I noticed it fading already… red, eh? I’ve got a red sharpie around here somewhere… :D Thanks!

  2. iggysbabysitter says:

    I bought metal spoons for a project, and metal punch letters. I have dozens of second hand silver spoons, some punched “basil”, “tomatoes”, etc., but my favorite is the one I put in a potted tulip for a friends memmorial (“We love you and miss you” on a gorgeous silver spoon).
    The punched letters never fade, and with age actually get easier to read as they tend to darken.

    • Miss M says:

      Wow, that sounds really nice! Are those the letters you place, and then hammer them on the back to leave an impression?

      • iggysbabysitter says:

        Yes, they were tricky to use at first, though. As I hit the hammer on the first few, the spoon would rock and tip. And with the silver spoons I had been using I had to do 2 stikes to get a good impression. Flattening the spoon helped, but I thought they looked funny.

        • Miss M says:

          It probably did look funny, at first, because you were still thinking of it as a spoon, maybe. LOL

          • Kris says:

            REAL silver spoons? My BIL just sold a set of silver silverware he inherited and got something like $2200 for it–have you seen the price of silver lately? It’s over $40/ounce.

  3. Kris says:

    So, how are the plastic forks working out? Did the marker wear off? I’ve been looking for a way to mark my own squares–what a cute idea!!

    • Miss M says:

      Welcome, Kris! I like your blog! :) You plunged right into the square foot gardening like we did… no experimental 4×4! (with the way things are going in this country, I don’t think there’s much time for experimentation…)

      The forks are working out great! I’m glad you asked, because I need to write a new post about it. The marker (which was a Sharpie) began fading quite rapidly. After three weeks in our brutal spring sun, some of the forks were almost unreadable. It depended on their orientation (ones facing east and west were worst) and whether they had been grown over by some leaf.

      I decided to try a different medium, and bought a black Elmer’s paint pen. About a week and a half ago, I wiped off the handle of each fork (just with my fingers, to get loose dirt), and then rewrote what had read. It wasn’t a super-fine point, so I had to omit some words.

      So far, the paint pen isn’t fading at all. We’ll see how it goes! Thank you for reminding me to do a follow-up post. I haven’t posted in a while, because we’ve been so busy outside.

    • Miss M says:

      Oh — and yes, while silver spoons may have been nearly worthless just a short time ago, it’s amazing how it has shot up lately.

  4. Dixie says:

    There is an industrial Sharpie that is supposed to hold up better outdoors. I used it for garlic markers last Fall and they haven’t faded yet. I got mine at Staples.

    • Miss M says:

      That is definitely something to keep in mind, since I’m sure it’s easier than a paint pen.

      The paint pen still has not faded, though! :D