Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Get Cheap (but Great) Potted Plant Markers

I tried to find inexpensive plant markers for my potted plants as well as for my raised bed plants.  I had nearly a thousand potted plants with various tomato plants, peppers, herbs, etc. this spring and I was racking my brain. If you noticed, the Big Box Stores and Plant Nurseries are peddling these little packages of 8 or 10 plastic strips for around $3.00. They probably got them from China for 10 cents a package. Is it any wander the country is in financial trouble. 

OK. So now I will get off my Soap Box and tell you the secret to good plastic markers. Plastic Picnic Eating Utensils! Especially Knives. They can be used again and again and can be Sterilized - and easily cleaned of Permanent Marker Plant Names. Just pick up a bottle of Rubbing Alcohol along with the Utensils and Black Permanent Markers. Both can be found at your friendly "Dollar" store.

You can even find several different colors in some stores. But look for the ones where there is not to much decorative scrolling. These are easier to write on. Most packages will have knives, forks and spoons all in one package. You can use all three. Just stick the Fork and Spoon ends down in the pots leaving the handles sticking up. They should look something like this:

As anyone can see, GrandBob's Garden is always engaged
in  cutting-edge technology...

Note: Permanent marker is not too permanent with some brands. Some fade very fast with a rain or direct sunlight. Try different brands. Even the ones best known. Imagine if you have 10  different brands of tomatoes all in the same box - and they fade overnight... There is only 2 types of tomato plants I can tell apart. The regular leaf and the potato leaf. And this can be difficult with the very young plants. I have to have good markers.

Hope you find this little garden tip helpful. And I always enjoy hearing from you folks. Drop a line to
I usually answer within a few hours and sometimes minutes...If I'm not taking a nap.

Addendum:  I have just found out that Medical Tongue Depressers also make good plant markers. they are about 6" long and 1" wide and made of wood. If you can't find them locally, they are easy to find on Ebay. Average cost is about 3 - 5 dollars per 100 box. They are easy to mark with a magic marker. The could be reusable too if you repaint them with a light colored enamel.

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