Have you ever grown a garden throughout the summer and then suddenly realized that you do not remember what variety a certain plant was? Was it n heirloom variety that you should be saving seeds from for next year, or was it a hybrid variety which the seeds will not be savable?
Perhaps you were smart enough to write the variety name on a plant tag when you planted them, which I have done for several years. But then you notice there is a problem. All summer long that plant tag has been sitting in direct sunlight with the ink slowly getting bleached out over time until it is left unreadable.
Like most gardeners, I have run into these situations many times over the years until I finally found the perfect solution. A metal foil reusable plant tag that will last many years out in the elements and remains legible. You simply write on the plant tag using a standard ball point ink pen which embosses the writing down into the foil. It doesn't matter how much sunlight it is then exposed to, the writing is always readable.
The plant tags are made from pieces of cardboard sandwiched between two thin sheets of aluminum foil. A small wire is used to tie the tag around the stalk of the plant, or to a steak placed in the ground next to the plant.
The plant tags are available from multiple suppliers online, including Amazon and are very reasonably priced.
I am able to use the exact same plant tags, year after year, making my initial very small investment even more of a value each year. Originally, I ordered 2 boxes of 50 plant tags for just over $6.00 a box. So for about $15 including shipping, I had 100 durable and reusable plant tags.
Because I do not always plant the exact same varieties each year, I have had to order additional boxes of plant tags so that I have a stockpile for all the different plant varieties that I use. I store them all organized into ziplock sandwich bags marked with the variety.
When it is time to plant, I just grab a bag containing tags for whichever variety I am planting that day, take a tag, and use the included twist wire to attach the tag to the plant. It couldn't be simpler, and now I never have to wonder what a particular plant is, or if I can save the seeds from it or not.
If you are more Arts & Crafts minded, and have more free time available to you than I do, lol, you can make your own metal foil plant tags and skip ordering them.
Simply use aluminum foil adhesive tape available from any hardware store or home improvement supplier. It can also be easily ordered online from Amazon. This metal tape is normally used for sealing air conditioning duct seams among other uses.
Simply cut pieces of cardboard to the desired size of plant tags that you want, and sandwich the cardboard between two pieces of the aluminum foil tape sealing the cardboard from the weather. At one end of the tag, punch a small hole so you can then simply use a piece of string to tie the tag to the plant. Simply write on the tag using any ballpoint ink pen and you are ready to go.
Hopefully this Gardening Quick Tip gave you ideas that you can use to make your gardens better and make your gardening life easier.
Well, that's it for this quick tip.
Until Next Time,
Aloha & 73