Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playing tag - you're it!

For a long time we labelled our seedlings with tags that were purchased from a shop. Unfortunately after long exposure to the sun they became brittle and the four you see here is all that is left. Probably obvious to many of you, but not so to me until recently, there are many other options including making your own.

We gave paddle pop sticks a go but we don't eat very many ice lollies so the sticks needed to be purchased. Then on top of the cost I didn't find them very good. I found you have to choose your writing implement carefully as a pencil and ball point pen seem to just sink into the softwood. But my major dislike of them was after a single use the dirt sticks and stains them which requires washing if you want to reuse. Time and water I would prefer not waste.

What is working really well for us now are home made ones. Take a plastic food container lid and simply cut it into segments. Compared to the purchased version the glossy surface does make it difficult to write on though. The purchased ones have a nice mat finish and work well with both pen and pencil. But I have found a felt tip pen does do the trick.

You could use more than just the lid but because we consume a couple of containers of yogurt per week we have plenty.

What do you use?


  1. Hi Jason
    I've been using lids for years but now that we don't purchase margarine (prefer butter) or yoghurt (make our own) containers are in short supply. People will often give me a bag of containers 'for the garden' though and I do re-use as many as I can.

    I find the marker pens fade in the sun but a 4B pencil mark stays put and is easily erased away for the next crop.
    If there are any disease problems they would be best cleaned and soaked in a household bleach solution when you clean out and soak the pots for re-using.

    Another thing I do for more permanent pots is write on the pot itself with a 'chinagraph' pencil or whiteout. Again these will scrub off when cleaning the pots.

    I found the paddle pop sicks discoloured quickly and I couldn't read what was written on them!

  2. Old, metal venetian blinds. One blind provides enough labels for years!

  3. Scarecrow I must admit I have only started using marker pens so I have not put them through their paces. So I am pleased you have corrected me on my advise. Your suggestion of using a 4B is a real winner. I have been using a HB, no wonder I have been finding it hard to write on the glossy plastic.

    Kate I am very impressed with your resourcefulness.


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