We, the florists and gardeners, rarely know how to say “stop” to ourselves in time. We buy a lot of different kinds of crops and varieties, and when it comes time to plant, we reap the fruits of our immodesty.
All plants should not only be sown but also labeled with garden tags so as not to get lost in the variety!
In this article, I will talk about how to save money when giving making garden tags and putting seedlings in the field. And by doing so, you can be sure to keep your variety names until the end of the season.
FREE GARDEN TAGS FOR CROPS
In the early days of my passion for flowers, the products for plant lovers were not so widely represented. And it was almost impossible to find small seedlings garden tags for sale in our city.
To get out of the situation, for the first time I cut strips from the carton packaging and inserted them into the soil. But, of course, the reliability of this marking leaves much to be desired. Cardboard pieces would disintegrate and break, and the lettering would blur and disappear, especially when a pen was used instead of a pencil.
Then I came up with a method that I sometimes use even now when I need to start seeding urgently and the store’s garden tags suddenly run out.
To do this, I cut white or clear plastic containers and lids from them (like cheese buckets) into strips. To make it easier to write the name of the variety on them, the surface must be degreased. To do this, I wash them with dishwashing liquid, rinse them thoroughly, and then let them dry. Sometimes I additionally wipe them with alcohol.
It is best to sign such garden tags with a simple soft pencil or a thin permanent marker of higher quality. pens on which they do not actually write, or easily erase.
To save time, I usually do not write the full name of the species, but use an abbreviation I can understand for the designation, such as “PTP”-Purple Terry Petunia.
For those who are afraid of confusing their code later, it is recommended to prepare a separate planting notebook.
There, all varieties are written down in the form of a list with serial numbers. Then it is possible to label the crops with numbers. For example “PTP1”. This means that Purple Terry Petunia is listed as number 1 in the planting diary.
To avoid using buy garden tags, some gardeners also write the name of the variety or its code number directly on the cup. This is the crop I used to grow in 500g plastic cups, such as pumpkins.
Since most of these containers are transparent, I prefer not to write with a black marker, which is not visible against the background of dark soil, but with a white corrector.
If you have broken plastic horizontal blinds in your cottage or office, it would be the ideal material to make absolutely free and very convenient garden tags, both for seedlings indoors and for marking open-air plantings.
HOW TO MAKE GARDEN TAGS LESS COSTLY?
Cutting the cost of garden tags in half is very easy, just cut them in half horizontally. Of course, for tall boxes, this reduces their stability.
But for flowers, which I usually sow in small, low containers or trays, this is the best option. Admittedly, the long markers are too high and tilted away from the container.
By the way, plastic garden tags can last more than a year. The species name is easily obliterated by various solvents (acetone, white spirit, turpentine, etc.).
When using liquids containing alcohol, it is necessary that the alcohol content is higher than 45%. However, in the process of growing seedlings on a large scale, I personally have a large number of garden tags in the steam, which literally fall in the ground, and inevitably have to buy new ones every spring.
By the way, using plastic shears instead of garden tags is a very good option that will allow you to save garden tags. but here you also need to pay attention to some subtleties.
Not every knife is suitable to play the role of garden tags. For this reason, it is best to choose a smooth and flat “blade”. But very many knives have deep longitudinal grooves or protrusions on them. On such a knife there is hardly any place to write the name of the variety.
In addition, knives with a glossy surface are not very convenient, because the writing on the knife does not stick well. In addition, plastic cutlery is made of very fragile thin plastic and knives can easily break. Therefore, the perfect “knife handle” still has to be found.
Other options for cheap seedling markers include.
- disposable plastic spoons.
- PFH panel of slicing structure plastic corners and other accessories.
- self-adhesive price tags.
- Engraving on flat rocks (coarse sea pebbles).
- Popsicle stick.
- Inscriptions on wine corks set on toothpicks.
- Writing on a wooden bobbin and placed on a skewer.
- Inscription on a wooden clothespin attached to a skewer.
USE DIFFERENT COLORS OF GARDEN TAGS AND CUPS
If you have a large number of seedlings, you will often encounter not only financial problems but also navigate the abundance of crops as quickly as possible. For this reason, I adapt the use of different colors of materials. It is perfectly possible to use the leftover trimmings from children’s stickers, which usually come in different colors.
I cut small squares from such strips and glue them to the sides of the cups. Example: For example, I have 10 cups of yellow peppers with yellow fruit. Then I cut 10 yellow squares, pick them and glue them to the cups.
In doing so, in one cup I put a garden tag with variety and clarity glue directly on its square. So instead of putting 10 garden tags and signing each garden tag, I just use one garden tag and write the variety once.
And if you don’t want to use garden tags, you can write in a special notebook, “Yellow squares are yellow peppers”. I also like to use colored cups, which are often on sale now.
This way, even from a distance, you can identify the variety of each seedling. To make it easier for me to identify my seedlings, I like to choose the color of my containers to try to correlate with the characteristics of a particular variety.
For example, I plant red petunias in red cups, purple ones in blue cups, etc. As with the first method, in this case, I only put garden tags in one jar labeled with the variety, the others just correspond by color.
Again, I often use colored garden tags. in this case, you don’t save money, but you don’t have to sign every garden tag with the same variety, which saves time.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SIGN THE TAGS?
Not only when sowing seedlings, but also when planting in the open ground, the question of keeping the variety name is relevant. In the latter case, the problem becomes even more acute, because garden tags are attacked by stronger precipitation and bright sunlight in the open ground.
Most commonly, markers are used to inscribe plastic garden tags in the form of garden tag rings. When selecting markers for this purpose, it is important to remember that not every type of marker is suitable for use in such harsh conditions.
There is a wide variety of markers for different purposes, but most often you can find five main categories represented in sales: whiteboard markers, highlighters, art markers, “permanent” markers (permanent), and paint markers (paint).
For obvious reasons, the first three types cannot do permanent marking on plastic.” Permanent” markers in this regard – a big lottery, where you can find two quality products, whose inscriptions can be used with great difficulty at the end of the season, and such that the marks of which will disappear literally in a week.
In most cases, reliable marks can be identified by a higher price, but even this is not always an indicator. So to be on the safe side, it is better to repeat the name of the variety with a simple pencil on the back of the garden tags.
In principle, signing garden tags with a simple soft pencil is quite reliable. However, it takes more time to achieve the same boldness and crispness as engraving from a specimen, which is already rare in springtime.
A paint pen is the most reliable tool for lettering plastic garden tags, which is why I like to use it. Admittedly, it is also the most expensive type of marker. These markers are actually similar to paints in that they are more resistant to the effects of the atmosphere, and they were originally designed to write on plastic, wood, stone, metal, rubber, glass, and other materials.
These markers often have a small bead inside that allows the paint to mix evenly inside the case. Therefore, the marker must be shaken well before inscribing.
There are so many ways to put garden tags on crops, depending on economic opportunities, love of needlework, the creativity of the gardener, etc. Share your choice of garden tags for seedlings in the comments of the article! We would be very grateful to you!